The film is releasing in 3,500 screens in India and 1,200 screens abroad, taking the screen count back to the pre-COVID levels.
Rearmost Bollywood adventure Sooryavanshi, starring Akshay Kumar, will have a wide release both in India and abroad on November 5 after continuing of theatres in major requests and countries on easing restriction on seating capacity.
The film will hit defenses across India and defenses overseas. With a aggregate of defenses, taking the screen count to thepre-COVID situations.
Compare this withpre-COVID Bollywood gambles Stalman Khan-starrer Bharat, Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff-starrer War and Akshay Kumar’s Housefull 4 with separate screen counts of;; and.
Akshay’s recent immolation Bell Bottom that had hit theatres on August 19 had released across- defenses, half the number of defenses of what such a large film would have seen inpre-COVID times. The limited release was due to the staggered reopening of theatres in the country.
Bollywood gambles that released last time like Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari and Kiara Advani’s Indoo Ki Jawani had released in around defenses.
Riding on Sooryavanshi, the film assiduity sees some recovery in terms of screen count which is also making the sector bet big on the adventure’s box office collections.
According to critic Karan Taurani, SeniorVice-President, Elara Capital, Sooryavanshi is estimated to collect Rs 60-70 crore in the first weekend.
“ Net continuance box office collection will probably be in Rs 120-140-crore range. These collection figures are still around 30 percent lower versuspre-COVID situations due to timing restriction and residency cap in some countries and some section of the followership taking further time to return to the playhouses,” Taurani said.
As numerous as eight requests have allowed theatres to operate at full capacity, including Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Gujarat, Delhi NCR and Uttar Pradesh.
Taurani said that the success of the two large roof pole flicks Sooryavanshi and Rajinikanth and Nayanthara-starrer Annaatthe releasing during Diwali will affect in a sharp answer in the cinema business as utmost large countries have allowed 100 percent residency and are easing the timing restrictions.
“ Due to this, we anticipate the theatrical window to revive to six to eight weeks from four weeks by the end of FY22. Also, the distributor share arrangement may return to thepre-COVID situations in the coming months, which will appreciatively impact profitability,” he said.
Annaatthe is estimated to breach Rs 100-crore mark in terms of collections. This time, another Tamil adventure Master which had released in January had scored a century with gross box office profit of Rs 190 crore.
The buzz for the forthcoming Diwali releases is strong, which is performing in good response for the advance bookings of Hollywood adventure Eternals, Sooryavanshi and Annaatthe.
Ashish Saksena, Susurrus – Playhouses, BookMyShow, said that while early signs are positive for the three flicks, Rajinikanth’s Annaatthe is seeing better traction amid the followership in terms of advance bookings.
“ It’s no surprise that Annaatthe is ruling the maps on the advance bookings as seen on BookMyShow. The film’s advance bookings are neck-to- neck with that of megastar Vijay’s blockbuster Master that released during Pongal 2021, breaking all records. This has set a robust tone for Annaatthe’s overall business prospects, Saksena told Moneycontrol.
He said that the advance deals for all the three flicks are extremely brisk with both The Eternals and Sooryavanshi showing strength despite all defenses completely not opening for these flicks yet.
Top Legion chains, including PVR, INOX and Cinepolis, haven’t yet opened the advance reserving for Sooryavanshi due to disagreement over advanced distributor share.
In terms of requests, metropolises like Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai have seen loftiest advance bookings so far. “ This shows the strong demand for Diwali movie releases across the breadth of the country,” Saksena said
We are just a day away from the release of Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi fronted by Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif with Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh in key roles and there is no sign about the advance bookings opening up in the three national chains – PVR, Inox and Cinepolis. The development has put the entire exhibition sector and trade in a panic mode.
The distributor of Sooryavanshi, Reliance and the Multiplex Association of India have had a number of meetings over the last few days to discuss revenue sharing. While Reliance is asking terms similar to Akshay Kumar’s last release, Bell Bottom, the multiplex association is wanting to get back to the good old days of doing business. For those unaware, National Chains had agreed with the Bell Bottom team to share 60% revenue in week one, 55% in week two, 50% in week three and 45% in week four.
Team Sooryavanshi is also asking for the same terms. However, the catch here lies in the fact that the cinemas were operational with 50% occupancy across the country during Bell Bottom, the reason why multiplex association agreed on higher than usual revenue sharing terms. For Sooryavanshi, they are willing to share 52.5% in the first week, 47.5% in the second week, 45% in third week and 40% in fourth week. While the Sooryavanshi team is expecting better terms given that they held back on the release for over 18 months, the multiplex association claims that this would set a wrong example for all the releases going forward.
Here’s how Sooryavanshi is faring in advance booking (2 days before release):
All theatres are yet to open their advance bookings. What we see from the limited theatres is that Sooryavanshi is set for a fantastic start. Around 30-35% of shows are filling fast in the advance booking as of now.
The Delhi-NCR region is surprisingly low considering it’s a stronghold of Akshay Kumar. Except for a couple of filling fast shows, the rest are available here.
Bengaluru is yet to open full-fledged for the film. As of now, just 9-10 theatres have started advance booking.
Hyderabad is showing the signs of picking up, and as of now, around 5-7% of shows are filling fast. Expect a huge boost by today’s evening or tomorrow.
In Chandigarh, only one theatre has been opened for advance booking. All shows are filling fast there.
In Chennai, the response is decent with around 8-10% of shows are filling fast.
In Pune, just 3-4 theatres have started their advance booking process. Nonetheless, the response for Sooryavanshi is good.
At this point of time, neither of the two parties are willing to bow down, which is doing nothing but delaying the advance. We are on a ticking bomb, as there isn’t any consensus and the first show is less than 24 hours away. Multiple meetings are expected to take place and it is now about which of the two parties blinks first for the larger good of the film’s box office prospects. The revenue sharing model aside, the two stakeholders were also debating on the VPF – Virtual Print Fees issue, however, that has been sorted now with the charges being divided equally between producers and exhibitors. This was a minor issue, with revenue share being the bigger fish for the two.
The single screens too are in a conflict with the team of Sooryavanshi due to the showcasing issues, which has again delayed the advances in some places. While team Reliance is asking for 100% showcasing at the single screens, there are some 2K equipped single screens which had signed a contract with Disney to allot at-least 1 prime time show to Eternals on Diwali alongside Sooryavanshi. The contract was signed way back during the release of Disney’s Shang Chi. This has resulted in conflict of interest as Reliance at this point of time is in no mood to share even a single show with the Marvel saga. Things are being worked out amicably in this front too.
For the single screens and non national chains, Reliance has put forth the following terms:
- All shows to Sooryavanshi in single screen property (4 to 5 shows a day)
- All shows to Sooryavanshi in two screen properties (8 to 10 shows a day)
- 80% of shows to Sooryavanshi in three or more screen properties (12 shows a day)
The countdown for release has begun and we hope all the issues are sorted out soon resulting in a Happy Diwali indeed for the exhibition and distribution sector. Stay tuned to Pinkvilla as we bring an update as there is further development in their conversations by noon. The advances have opened at limited non national chains and single screens and if the early response is something to go by, we are set for ample of surprises with this Diwali Dhamaka at the box-office.