Based on the flimsy evidence of the first-day number in India, some critics and commentators have been quick to write off Salman Khan’s Tubelight as a flop.
That’s way too premature to call, particularly considering the Eid vacation in India on Monday and the initial results for the Kabir Khan-directed drama in markets such as the Gulf States and Australia.
Even so, some analyst are lowering their estimates for the first four days in India and the lifetime potential of the film starring Salman Khan, his brother Sohail, Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and the late Om Puri.
Produced by Salman Khan Films’ Amar Butala, the title launched on June 23 on 4,400 screens in India and on 1,200 screens internationally. Set during the 1962 Sino-Indian war, the plot follows Salman as Laxman, a happy-go-lucky simpleton who sets off to find his brother Bharat (Sohail), a soldier who goes missing during the war.
Om Puri plays the boys’ uncle who raised them after their parents died. Zhu Zhu and Matin Rey Tangu play a widowed mother and son who form bonds with Laxman. Shah Rukh Khan appears in one pivotal scene.
The first-day take in India was 21.15 crore ($3.2 million), the second biggest this year behind SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Conclusion but just the fifth best for Salman’s Eid releases behind Kabir Khan’s Eka Tha Tiger, Kick, Kabir’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan. It was steady on Saturday, earning 21.17 core to bring the total to $6.4 million.
The drama rang up $1 million on opening day in the Gulf States and $A220,000 ($168,000) on only 40 screens on Friday/Saturday in Australia. The Friday collection of $280,000 on 342 screens in the U.S. was below expectations.
Budgeted at 100 crore ($15 million), the production is already well into profit. NH Studioz paid a reported 132 crore ($19.8 million) for theatrical rights in India while Sony Music forked out 20 crore ($3 million) for the music rights. The soundtrack features five songs, all composed by Pritam. Star TV bought the satellite rights.
Chennai-based analyst Ramesh Bala, who originally predicted a 4-day haul in India of 100 crore ($15 million), has lowered his estimate to 75 crore ($11.2 million).
Fellow analyst Sumit Kadel said the film’s Monday and Tuesday collections will decide its fate but he doubts it will end up earning more than 180 crore ($27 million) lifetime.
Critic/analyst Aavishkar Gawande has written off the film as a flop, almost certainly prematurely. He expects it will reach 95 crore ($14.2 million) by Monday but thereafter will drop sharply due to the adverse reviews and word of mouth. He forecasts an eventual tally of 150 crore ($22.5 million), well short of the 200 crore ($30 million) he said would be needed to qualify as a hit.
Salman insisted he was not bothered about the negative reviews, telling IANS, “ I was expecting minus 3 and minus 4 but they gave 1-1.5 apparently, so I am very pleased .”
Speaking at an event to announce his association with PVR Cinema and Being Human Foundation to support their humanitarian initiatives, the 51-year-old actor said, “I got so many text messages, saying that they got emotional watching the brothers dancing on the song. So we are preparing audience for a beautiful, simple, emotional film about brothers. As far as reviews are concerned, every film has mixed reviews.”
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