It's the same story at the box office this week. None of the latest releases have been able to leave a mark. Though Anurag Kashyap's Gulaal and Sooni Taraporewala's Little Zizou got rave reviews, they did not translate into good box office returns in the opening weekend, whereas Puneet Sira's Jai Veeru was a complete failure.
Anurag Kashyap's Gulaal was expected to do great business in it's opening weekend considering its good reviews and Kashyap's last release, Dev D being 2009's surprise success. The film opened with 30 per cent average occupancy all over India. Over the weekend, the collections saw an increase in some centers they fell in most others. On an average the opening weekend occupancy for the film was in the range of 25-30 per cent.
The directorial debut of Sooni Taraporewala, Little Zizou too generated great reviews but a poor box office response. While day one the collections stood at 15 per cent, the weekend saw an average response in the range of 15-20 per cent. The week ahead may see some rise in the film's collections due to good word of mouth. Thanks to its low budget, the film may just break even after the sale of satellite and home video rights.
Fardeen Khan–Kunal Khemmu starrer Jai Veeru reportedly budgeted at Rs 7 crore opened in some centers in the North like CP Berar, East Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan and UP on Wednesday to take advantage of the Holi holiday.
While its average response on Wednesday was in the range of 35-40 per cent the collections went downhill. The opening weekend, especially in Mumbai was a disastrous 10-15 per cent. To add to its woes, late producer of Sholay GP Sippy's grandson Sascha Sippy sent a legal notice to Jai Veeru producer Shyam Bajaj accusing of copyright infringement over their film Sholay's lead characters.
According to senior trade analyst Amod Mehra, "Jai Veeru has come at a time when realistic cinema is being preferred over masala entertainers. The film had nothing new to offer and failed even at the smaller centers.
The cute little gem of a film, Little Zizou had a child as its main protagonist and the makers of this film made the big mistake of releasing it during the exam season. Gulaal though well made never really took off. Those few who saw the film, appreciated it but word of mouth didn't spread the way it was expected to."
Veteran analyst Amar Solanki says, "The hard hitting Gulaal isn't most people's idea of 'entertainment'. Plus the abundant use of expletives and gory violence ensured the family crowd keeping away. Little Zizou's story too had little appeal and despite first rate performances from every single actor in the film and nice reviews it couldn't generate much interest with the multiplex audience.
But there is still some hope for the film, as such films take time to grow. In today's times who would want to waste their money on a no-brainer like Jai Veeru starring unexciting names like Fardeen and Kunal Khemmu?"