Drishyam 2, the second installment of Bollywood’s remake of the Mohanlal-starrer Malayalam original, has brought cheer to the Hindi box office. Released seven years after its first part Drishyam, the Ajay Devgn and Tabu-starrer is estimated to have collected over Rs 50 crore in its opening weekend, notching up the second-biggest start of the year. Add to that, overseas collections of Rs 12.7 crore, primarily driven by the US, Canada, and the Middle East, and Drishyam 2 is on its way to becoming a huge hit.
Released on more than 3,300 screens, Drishyam 2 also had a stronger opening than Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 — the biggest Hindi hit of 2022 — across national multiplex chains PVR, INOX, and Cinepolis. “#Drishyam2 rejuvenates the industry that was going through a turbulent phase after a string of failures… The remarkable run continues pan-India, multiplexes superb, mass pockets join the party,” wrote trade analyst Taran Adarsh in a series of tweets.
Interestingly, Drishyam 2 also garnered good reviews from critics. Add to that, the positive word of mouth from audiences on social media, and the film could be looking at a Rs 80-100 crore lifetime collection domestically, say analysts. “Drishyam 2 opening has been a positive surprise. It is showing a recovery trend [at the box office],” Karan Taurani, SVP of Elara Capital, told Business Today.
Elaborating on the advantages of a franchise film, he said, “Typically, remakes and second parts have done well, barring a few like Heropanti 2. Franchise films have a stronger recall for the audience, and you don't need to do new and aggressive marketing for that particular piece of content. We have seen what the Singham franchise did at the box office too.”
Drishyam 2’s success also brought back midnight and early morning shows across theatres. In the run-up to its release, India’s largest multiplex operator PVR Cinemas shared that it “received record pre-bookings” for the film. Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Limited, said in a statement, “We are seeing the trend of families coming back to cinemas and Drishyam 2 pre-sales substantiates this trend... Drishyam 2’s success debunks the thinking that only ‘larger than life’ or ‘horror comedies’ will work, mid-size drama/thrillers etc. will struggle in cinemas.”
Drishyam 2’s success is also expected to augur well for multiplex stocks in the near term. Abneesh Roy, Executive Director at Edelweiss Financial Services, said, “We maintain ‘BUY’ on PVR and Inox. Most of the Drishyam 2 shows are almost full, and it has begun picking up in mass pockets too. This raises hopes for a better Q3FY23 after the Hindi box office’s slow performance in Q2.”
Analysts agree that Q3 will see some respite compared to Q2, which saw even big-budget projects like Vikram Vedha perform below par. It was only towards the end of October and early November that the stupendous success of Kannada film Kantara (with its Hindi dubbed version collecting Rs 80-90 crore) sent the cash registers ringing. “Kantara came out of nowhere with zero marketing effort in the Hindi belt. It somewhat made up for the losses of the Hindi films,” Taurani explained.
However, he cautioned that Q3 may not be as good as Q1, which saw a 15 per cent growth over pre-covid levels. “Broadly for Q3, the bigger part of the recovery will come towards the end of the year, from Avatar 2 and Cirkus (a large-scale comedy film by Rohit Shetty). Drishyam 2 and a strong December will see 85 per cent of the recovery, which is still 12-15 per cent below pre-covid levels,” Taurani added.
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