Rs 300 cr at stake this summer in B-Town!

By Hindustan Times

Akshay Kumar’s mainstream action flick Rowdy Rathore has been chosen by trade experts as the most awaited commercial film in the ongoing quarter. Though the release dates of a few films may be reshuffled in the time to come, the industry is eagerly awaiting the spate of around 23 commercial as well as offbeat films scheduled to hit the box office this summer.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “Approximately Rs. 250 to Rs. 300 crore is riding on the next crop of releases. Rowdy... is Akshay Kumar’s return to action and it’s being directed by Prabhudheva, famous for his Wanted (2009). That’s a good combination.” Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures agrees that from the upcoming line-up, he expects Akshay’s film to do the best business. He says, “The distribution strategy is still being finalised, but we plan to release the film in 2,300 screens in India and close to 400 screens abroad.” Made at an approximate budget of Rs. 40 crore, trade experts feel the film may cross the Rs. 100 crore mark. Industry pundit Amod Mehra adds, “This film, with its rural to metro appeal, may bring Akshay Kumar his biggest opening ever.”

The film also stands to gain because it’s the first film to release (June 1) after the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) ends on May 28. Siddharth adds, “Not many films release during the IPL, so the audience’s appetite is whetted for a big film. The first film after the IPL always sees a tremendous response. You don’t have to contend with cricket anymore, so the evening shows are also not affected.”

Taran points out that Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur is also being awaited enthusiastically, because the Dev D (2009) director promises to add masala to his new age cinema with this one. Then there’s the Arjun Kapoor – Parineeti Chopra vehicle Ishaqzaade, which reportedly cost Rs. 25 crore.

Trade expert Komal Nahta says, “Ishaqzaade’s songs are quite catchy and are doing well. I am also looking forward to Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai because of its combination of massy Emraan Hashmi and offbeat Abhay Deol coming together.” Dibakar is supposed to have spent Rs. 30 crore on the production and promotions of the film.

Mehra makes a pitch for Ferrari Ki Sawaari, which he claims is being underestimated because it’s a low budget film. He says, “The fact that it’s from the Vinod Chopra Productions banner that made 3 Idiots (2010) and directed by Rajkumar Hirani’s assistant, Rajesh Mapuskar, might make it a kicker.” Sunil Punjabi, CEO, Cinemax says, “Since Ferrari... is releasing in the period right before schools reopen, it fits well in the fertile family slot. Expectations are huge from this one.”

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