The Bollywood film Agneepath, only one day after breaking box office records with a massive first-day opening, saw a nosedive in profits on its second day in theaters, leading some investors to worry that the movie will be remembered as an unexpected flop, not as a record-breaking success.
'Agneepath' Dominates Box Office
The film, a remake of the original that stars Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and Sanjay Dutt, was set to become India's biggest blockbuster of 2012.
On its first day, Agneepath grossed Rs 23 crore (roughly $4,813,729) in box office collections.
The movie not only broke the opening-day box office record of Shahrukh Khan's Ra.One, but also managed to top the Salman Khan film Bodyguard, the highest Bollywood box office opener in recent years.
Bodyguard topped the Indian box office at Rs 21 crore (roughly $4,499,790.90) when it premiered in August 2011.
Big Loss After Republic Day
Trade analysts and box office gurus were expecting Agneepath box office collections to fall on Friday, according to ApunKaChoice.
The movie premiered on Republic Day, a national holiday. But Friday was a workday and a school day, shrinking the available audience for things like matinee screenings significantly.
Nonetheless, it was a shock to those celebrating the film's box office success when the star-studded Agneepath saw a 60 percent drop in box office collections.
When Bodyguard braced for a drop in numbers after its holiday opening on Eid Day, its second-day sales only dropped by about 15 percent the next day.
Hope For 'Agneepath'
Such a significant drop in numbers sends a bad message to Bollywood movie-goers, implying wholesale audience rejection or at least a lot of negative word-of-mouth. Glamsham.com reports that some families were vocal about their disgust at some of the violence shown in the film.
Even if distributors break just above even on the movie, which is rumored to have had an exorbitant price tag for production, poor weekend returns would be extremely disappointing to producers.
Before analysts give up on Agneepath, however, they would do well to remember that while Bodyguard had a much better second day, it was also a summer movie.
Making between 11 and 12 crore on a winter Friday is not a bad showing for the film, no matter how dramatic the difference between the first- and second-day box office collections were for the film.
Can 'Agneepath' Break Into '100 Crore Club'?
And while it may have been unwise to start celebrating the movie's box office success so soon, there remains little reason to doubt that Agneepath will continue to do exceptionally well over the weekend, grossing somewhere between 19 and 21 crore on Saturday and on Sunday.
Beyond the buzz, meanwhile, the Agneepath remake has gotten almost unanimously rave reviews from Bollywood critics. Every actor in a lead role has been praised for his or her performance.
Next Friday, meanwhile, offers Agneepath no competition in the box office. The next major Bollywood release is Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, which comes out on Feb. 10.
With a little luck for the filmmakers, Indian moviegoers will ignore the film's second-day sales and focus on its phenomenal success on Republic Day. If Agneepath keeps up its first-day momentum, it stands a good chance of breaking into the 100 crore club, a success achieved by only a few select Bollywood films.