Last Friday saw the release of one of the most awaited projects of the first quarter of 2009, the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directed, Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor starrer, Delhi-6. Released at around 95 cinemas on Bombay-Thane by UTV Motion Pictures, the film saw a below average start. Outside of Bombay, the film saw an opening that was good at places and dull at most others. The collections did pick up slightly on Saturday and by quite a bit on Sunday. Given the expensive price (for the star cast) the weekday business and also the second week performance is of utmost importance. In the Overseas, Delhi-6 did poorly in the UK grossing $167,898 but was quite good with a gross of $602,850 from 90 theaters in the US.
Priyadarshan's Irrfan Khan, Lara Dutta and Shahrukh Khan (extended special appearance) venture, Billu, which was off to a dull start, managed to improve during the weekend, more so on Sunday, but its collections dropped sharply as the week progressed. During the week, Billu collected 3.20 crores from Bombay, 77 lakhs from Ahmedabad, 1.85 lakhs from Palanpur, 2 lakhs from Himmatnagar, 4 lakhs from Jamnagar, 4.30 lakhs from Bhavnagar, 1 lakh from Porbandar and Junagarh, 1.05 lakh from Surendranagar, 1.30 lakhs from Adipur, 3.40 lakhs from Solapur, 2 lakhs from Sangli, 17 lakhs from Pune, 7.35 lakhs from Nasik, 3 lakhs from Belgaum, 2 crores from Delhi city, 33 lakhs from Noida, 17.15 lakhs from Ghaziabad, 9.75 lakhs from Kanpur, 26 lakhs from Lucknow, 3 lakhs from Allahabad, 3.15 lakhs from Meerut, 3.65 lakhs from Gorakhpur, 2 lakhs from Zirakpur, 38.25 lakhs from Gurgaon, 11.35 lakhs from Faridabad, 1.55 lakhs from Panipat, 1.45 lakhs from Pathankot, 7.65 lakhs from Calcutta, 2.65 lakhs from Guwahati, 25.75 lakhs from Nagpur, 1.65 lakhs from Jabalpur, 3 lakhs from Amravati, 1.60 lakhs from Akola, 1 lakh from Dhule, 4 lakhs from Raipur, 1.45 lakhs from Wardha, 2.05 lakhs from Chandrapur, 18.25 lakhs from Indore, 1.25 lakhs from Sehore, 3.50 lakhs from Bhopal, 25.10 lakhs from Jaipur, 2.45 lakhs from Bikaner, 1.50 lakhs from Kota, 55 lakhs from Hyderabad, 1 lakh from Warangal, 3.45 lakhs from Aurangabad, 1.65 lakhs from Nanded and 5 lakhs from Mangalore.
During its opening week, Billu has netted a below par 19.25 crores (32 crore gross) from India. Given the fact that EROS International has procured the worldwide rights (including some non-theatrical rights) of the film for 35 crores, the distributors may just about break into safe territory. However, some of the sub-distributors (who obtained the rights from EROS at quite steep prices) are going to lose. In the Overseas, Billu has done average business grossing $671,597 from UK and $698,910 from US.
The second release of the Valentine week, Manoj-Hrishita's Jugaad proves to be complete washout. Netting a negligible 15 lakhs in its opening week from India, Jugaad is a complete washout.
The fate of other release, The Stoneman Murders, was not very different but comparatively better. The Arbaaz and Kay Kay starrer collected 21.50 lakhs from Bombay, 1 lakh each from Rajkot and Pune, 6 lakhs from Delhi city, 1.25 lakhs from Noida and 2.70 lakhs from Hyderabad. In its opening week, The Stoneman Murders has netted a shockingly low 70 lakhs from India. The film has been out rightly rejected.
Meanwhile Anurag Kashyap's Abhay Deol starrer Dev D manages to hold on at select cinemas, particularly in North India, but is on its way out at most others. The film collected 42 lakhs from Bombay, 4.60 lakhs from Ahmedabad, 3.80 lakhs from Pune, 53.10 lakhs from Delhi city, 11.75 lakhs from Noida, 4.15 lakhs from Ghaziabad, 2 lakhs from Kanpur, 5 lakhs from Lucknow, 14.65 lakhs from Gurgaon, 3 lakhs from Faridabad, 4.15 lakhs from Nagpur, 1.10 lakhs from Indore, 1.35 lakhs from Jaipur, 10.25 lakhs from Hyderabad and 1.55 lakhs from Mangalore. With another 3.40 crores in its kitty, DEV D has netted nearly 12 crores in two weeks from India. The 6 crore UTV Spotboy venture is now an above average fare from India. However, Dev D is poor in the Overseas grossing just $18,613 from US.
Concluding this week's report with Luck By Chance, the film fails to show any improvement and is breathing its last. The film collected 12.50 lakhs from Bombay, 1.15 lakhs from Ahmedabad, 1.05 lakhs from Pune, 5 lakhs from Delhi city, 1.10 lakhs from Noida, 1.45 lakhs from Ghaziabad and 2 lakhs from Gurgaon. Adding another 50 lakhs the Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma starrer has netted 14.50 crores in three weeks from India. Unfortunately the Zoya Akhtar directorial debut venture does its cause no good (due to the high involved costs) and Luck By Chance remains a flop, both in India and the Overseas. Just for records, in the Overseas, Luck By Chance has grossed $183,212 from UK and $355,492 from US.
The next week will see no major release and the trend is likely to continue for a few more Fridays! The reason is simple. The IPL Twenty20 cricket matches are expected to take away a major chunk of the audience, coupled with the ongoing board exam phase in most parts of the country. All the same, the only commercial release of 27th February is Ajay Chandhok's Arshad Warsi, Ashish Chaudhary, Aarti Chabaria and Udita Goswami starrer, Kisse Pyar Karoon. Carrying minimal buzz, the film is not expected to achieve anything significant. Giving company to Kisse Pyar Karoon is likely to be Rajat Kapoor's Siddharth - The Prisoner, which will also go unnoticed.