Two big-ticket movie releases are lined up for this Friday, which also marks the 5th day of Navratri. As Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan-starrer Vikram Vedha and Mani Ratnam directorial Tamil film Ponniyin Selvan: 1 (PS-1) make it to the big screen, brokerages expect a strong opening for both films because of the extended Dussehra weekend (till next Wednesday).
While Vikram Vedha, a remake of a 2017 Tamil film of the same name, is expected to gross Rs 15-18 crore on Day 1, PS-1 is likely to rake in Rs 25 crore (with Tamil Nadu accounting for ~60 per cent of it). Other southern states, including Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana may account for ~20-25 per cent of its collections, with the balance coming from the Hindi circuit, according to Elara Capital.
Karan Taurani, SVP of Elara Capital, says, “PS-1 may be the game changer with regards to acceptance of Tamil content in Hindi language. It is the first part of the franchise and may see reasonable hold in the Hindi circuit. And it is a large-scale film that audiences may prefer to watch in cinemas if it garners favourable word of mouth.”
Both releases together are expected to stage a recovery in theatre footfalls in the third quarter (Q3FY23) of this fiscal. “There are early signs of festive cheer at the box office,” Taurani shares, “We expect strong traction for both the films helped by the holiday season (Dussehra).”
Vikram Vedha, which marks Hrithik Roshan’s return to the big screen after three years, has reportedly been made at a budget of Rs 175 crore. Not only is it the actor’s most expensive film ever, but is also among the most-anticipated Bollywood releases in December quarter.
Interestingly, Vikram Vedha producers said in a recent statement that they look to price tickets affordably, taking a leaf out of Brahmastra’s National Cinema Day earnings, and the subsequent reduction in ticket prices. “The producers of the film, Reliance Entertainment, have opted for an affordable pricing strategy, hoping to make Vikram Vedha a budget friendly movie watching experience for the masses,” it said in a statement.
As per Elara Capital’s estimates, Vikram Vedha may report lifetime collections of Rs 80-120 crore. The rest of its production costs have to be recovered through satellite, OTT, and music rights.
Overall, the Hindi box office continues to report footfalls that are 20 per cent below pre-covid levels. “Expect some respite in Q3FY23 on festive season and large-scale releases,” Taurani says. “However, consistent footfall growth versus pre-Covid level is the key monitorable for healthy growth, and may only come in H1CY23.”
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