As mentioned in this column last week, box office fortunes of 'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola' always looked dicey.
The promotion hadn't quite heated up the film optimally as a result of which the curiosity to watch it was minimal. However what happened at the box office was even lower than the controlled expectations one had from this Vishal Bhardwaj film.
While it was predicted that the film would taken an opening in the 40%-60% range, the collections stayed on the lower side with the average occupancy hovering around the 40% mark.
As a result of this the opening weekend (including Thursday previews shows) was just around the 21 crore mark. This doesn't really give much breathing space to a film which has been released quite extensively and boasted of stars like Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma.
Also, while it just about equals much moderately budgeted but better appreciated 'Ek Main Aurr Ek Tu' (21 crores), it is lower than Imran's last clean hit 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' (26 crores).
What threatens this film is the fact that it doesn't have really have audience cheering for it. Due to its patchy treatment and an overall boring narrative, the film isn't expected to hold on for long either during the weekdays. Worse, even critically the film hasn't seen much going for it due to which overall prospects look rather grim.
As a director, this is second straight downer after '7 Khoon Maaf' as it just hasn't been able to turn into an entertainer. There shouldn't be much to worry about for Imran though since he has 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2' as his next release. As for Anushka, she would be jumping straight into 'P.K.' which should keep her fortunes high.
'Vishwaroop' was expected to release alongside 'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola' but its last minute pull off means there is uncertainty around it's arrival.