Superstar Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.One fails to cheer the box office on day one of its opening on October 26. BoxofficeIndia.com data indicate that the film collected only Rs 14.63 crore from the domestic box office as against the estimated Rs 25 crore.
The day one collections are well below Rs 22 crores that Salman Khan's Bodyguard clocked and on par with Rs 14.5 crores of Dabbang, the record holders. The low collections on day one is despite the fact that Ra.One was released in 1500 screens more than Bodyguard and Dabbang and also had 500 3D screens release with higher ticket prices.
Industry observers had expected the film to break Bodyguard's records due to higher number of prints and the extraordinary hype. However, Eros International, the co-producers of the film claim that Ra.One has approximately grossed Rs 18.5 crore on the first day at the domestic box office.
According to Mutliplex officials, while the morning shows starting from 10 am were houseful on Wednesday, the collections fell from 1 pm in the afternoon at most places and did not really recover till late evening.
However, the fate of the film cannot be yet decided based on just day one's earnings. The final verdict on Ra.One will be out after this weekend. Golmaal 3 which released last Diwali grossed only Rs.8 crore, but later went on to cross Rs.100 crores at the domestic box office over a period of three weeks.
Vishal Anand, senior vice president, operations and sales, of Fun Cinemas, a multiplex chain, says, "It is unfair to compare an Eid release with a Diwali release (homes in North India generally have Laxmi puja in the afternoons on the Diwali day. This year, the muhurat was between 5-11pm. Today, (Thursday) will be the D-day for Ra.One. Print to print, Bodyguard yielded better returns."
The reviews of the film are mixed. But Anand says that it is a family film and kids (6-15 year olds) come to the theatre only with parents and they are liking the film. Komal Nahta, editor of Koimoi, a box office tracking website says: "People are overreacting to the first day numbers. We have to wait and watch." Nahta however is certain that going by the reports, this film holds no chance of breaking the record of all time blockbusters, Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots. "It is an above average film at the box office, at this juncture," he adds.
If the film fails at the box office will it be a setback for brand SRK? It is early to take a call on that say industry experts and are of the opinion that the failure of Ra.One is in no way going to affect the personality or brand value of SRK.
Sunil Punjabi, CEO of Cinemax multiplex, says that the distributors are erred by releasing lesser number of 3D prints. "Infact, we are expecting second time audience, who missed the 3D version on day one. With the kind of effects in the film, Ra.One has taken the quality of Indian movies to a new level. Family and kids will love it and we are expecting them to flock the theatres this weekend. The numbers on Thursday is certainly up there with Bodyguard". He further adds that the weekend advance booking are ahead of Bodyguard too.
Punjabi feels that there was sky-high expectation created due to the marketing hype which is one of the main reasons for the disappointment. Thursday is very strong and multiplexes claim they have collected almost one-third of first day's collection within the first two shows of the day.
According to industry insiders, when public compare Ra.One with Bodyguard it certainly is below par. But, if the movie crosses Rs.18 crores on day two, it can be termed as a hit and if it is below, Rs.16 crores it is going to be an average grosser and going by the early reports from the multiplexes on Thursday, the movie is well on its way to become a hit.