Despite COVID restrictions and only 50% capacity permitted in theatres, the Badhaai Do's performance at the box office shows that moviegoers are actually yearning for considerable screen experience, as per the film distributors fraternity.
Badhaai Do was the first major Hindi film to hit the big screen on February 11, right after cinema halls reopened. Its strong run at the box office so far has brimmed movie exhibitors with optimism. They believe that maybe the industry is finally rebounding from pandemic losses. Trade analysts are confident that the film is headed for another good week as footfall has gone up not just on weekends but on weekdays too.
Distributors say it was a brave and bold decision to release the film when no one else would, which has worked in Badhaai Do's favor.
It comes as a sign of relief, especially when the Hindi film industry thought it was getting back to its feet after the pandemic but was trampled again by the Omicron, which led to several theatres across the country pulling down their shutters. Furthermore, all January releases were pushed to March and April.
Therefore, when theatres have finally reopened, Badhaai Do was the first major Hindi release. Despite 50% occupancy and other COVID restrictions – thanks to word-of-mouth publicity and strong content – the film is doing quite well at the box office, observed by trade analysts.
Raj Bansal, industry expert, says, "I am really impressed with the Badhaai Make makers' decision to release the film on February 11, at a time when others weren't ready to take the same call. It was a brave and bold decision, and it has paid dividends. The film is doing very well, and the release date being close to Valentine's Day was an added impetus. The film's already collected '11 crore plus in five days, even with the restrictions in most of the states. It was a master strategy indeed."
Bansal further adds, "Badhaai Do also has the added advantage of its prequel Badhaai Ho being a hit. With the audience appreciating the film, footfall is going up, and we expect another good weekend. It has shown the way to upcoming films by proving that people are ready to go back to cinemas to watch good content."
Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Limited, says, "Badhaai Do is the first Bollywood blockbuster after the third wave of the pandemic and has been well appreciated by our patrons, the audience. Hence, the timing of the release – right during Valentine's Week – has been appropriate. Belonging to the hugely successful 'comedy' genre of movies, it has appealed to audiences while at the same time addressing a highly relevant social angle of inclusivity portrayed by an excellent star cast.
Emphasizing the same fact, Girish Johar, producer and film business expert, explains how the lack of any other releases and the release date falling close to Valentine's Day worked in the film's favor. He said, "Valentine's Day is not a holiday, but it is a celebratory occasion when young people like to go out. So it's had a positive impact on the film, specifically in metros like Delhi and Bengaluru, where the film is doing well. And with no major film scheduled to release next week either, Badhaai Do will get more audiences."
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