Dull week ahead despite Shah Rukh's 'Billu' hitting the screens

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) After a moolah raking weekend, courtesy Anurag Kashyap's "Dev D", experts say the box office is expected to face a dry week in terms of movie business despite three movies Billu", "The Stoneman Murders" and "Jugaad" releasing Friday.

"This weekend is going to be a dull affair. None of the three movies is going to fare well at the box office. Even the buzz around 'Billu' won't last for long as everyone knows that it's an Irrfan Khan movie with only a few cameo appearances from Shah Rukh," Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor told IANS.

A Mumbai-based source said: "'Jugaad' is a non-starter and it would be an achievement if it manages to get decent timings. 'The Stoneman Returns' boasts of an interesting premise but has not been promoted enough."

But the experts feel that if Shah Rukh has a sizeable role in "Billu", collections may pick up.

"There aren't many hopes to get anything better than a 50 percent initial for 'Billu' because of its mixed bag promotion. Shah Rukh has underplayed his presence in the film. And if he actually has a good part to play, there could be an increase in collections as the weekend progresses," the source said.

Zoom film critic Omar Qureshi, however, gives "Billu" a thumbs up.

"'Billu' is the biggest movie of the weekend. The selling point of the movie of course being Shah Rukh, who has gone all the way to promote it. The movie has already managed to get the required buzz. So, it's definitely going to bring in the audience," he said.

Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment, "Billu" has been directed by Priyadarshan and stars Irrfan Khan and Lara Dutta in the lead apart from Shah Rukh, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra in three item numbers.

"The Stoneman Murders", written and directed by Manish Gupta, stars Kay Kay Menon, Arbaaz Khan and Rukhsaar. "Jugaad" has been directed by Anand Kumar and produced by Sandiip Kapur. It stars Manoj Bajpai, Hrishita Bhatt and Vijay Raaz.

In terms of budget, while Gauri Khan has invested around Rs.200 million in "Billu", Kapur has invested around Rs.60 million in "Jugaad".

Kapur says that "Billu" will give tough competition to his film.

"I am facing tough competition with Shah Rukh's film. He is getting all the attention and promotion and films like mine are being sidelined. Though I won't be able to do a business like his film, but still other films exist."

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