BO: Acid Factory fizzles; all eyes on Diwali movie releases

MUMBAI: The movie releases at the box office have been blowing hot and cold these past few weeks. While a handful of them have managed to perform well, some of them have failed miserably at the box office. The latest release – Sanjay Gupta produced Acid Factory – has had a poor opening at the Indian box office with the movie doing a net business of approximately Rs 15 million (Rs 1.50 crore) in its first day run and that too with a release in over 800 screens across India. The movie stars Fardeen Khan, Dino Morea, Irrfan Khan, Danny Denzongpa, Manoj Bajpai and Dia Mirza.

Cinemax senior vice president Devang Sampat said, "Acid Factory took a poor opening at the box office with only about 25 per cent occupancy. The night shows were a little better with around 40 per cent occupancy. The audience has not really appreciated the film even though the action is good."

According to Inox vice president distribution and programming Utpal Acharya, they had not expected the film to perform so poorly. He says, "The opening was very poor only about 20-25 per cent. Sanjay Gupta has given action films like this before so probably the audience did not find anything new and I also feel the timing was wrong since it’s the pre-Diwali week and most of the people are busy preparing for the festival so they don’t venture out to the movie halls around this time. Wake Up Sid probably, is the only movie from the current releases that will continue till Diwali."

While the pre-Diwali movie release may have disappointed at the box office, the industry can look forward to the three big Diwali releases. Scheduled to release on 16 October are the Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor starrer Main Aurr Mrs Khanna, Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt starrer All The Best and the Akshay Kumar starrer Blue. These big ticket movies are expected to bring alive the box office just in time for the festive season.

Amongst the previous releases, Dharma Productions’ Wake Up Sid has collected approximately Rs 160 million (Rs 16 crore) in its first week run, while Do Knot Disturb saw net collections of around Rs 145 million (Rs 14.50 crore) in it opening week at the Indian box office.

Salman Khan starrer Wanted has done a net business of Rs 500 million (Rs 50 crore) till date in India, while Yash Raj Films’ Dil Bole Hadippa has done a net business of approximately Rs 225 million (Rs 22.50 crore) till date. On the other hand, UTV Motion Pictures’ What’s Your Rashee’s performance has been dismal at the box office. The movie has managed to do a net business of Rs 100 million (Rs 10 crore) at the Indian box office so far. What’s more, two weeks after its theatrical release, the movie has also been made available across various DTH platforms on pay-per-view (PPV) basis.

Keeping this scenario in mind, the film industry is pinning its hope on the three Diwali releases to bring some cheer to the box office.

(With inputs from Manisha Pradhan Singh)