Despite unkind reviews, audiences seem to be lapping up Varun Dhawan-starrer Judwaa 2, the reboot of 1997’s comic caper Judwaa. In its first weekend, the film has earned Rs 59 crore, proving to be one of the better performers from Bollywood this year and third-highest opening weekend grosser of 2017
Source: Industry estimates
Judwaa 2 is directed by David Dhawan, who also directed the 1997 original and is produced by Sajid Nadiadwala. It is marketed and distributed by Fox Star Studios in India. The film opened with Rs 16 crore on the opening Friday, followed by Rs 21 crore the next day. The film’s highest collection so far has come from Sunday, when it made Rs 22 crore.
Suniel Wadhwa, independent distributor and box office analyst said: “With an impressive opening weekend of Rs 59 crore, Judwaa 2 has managed to breathe a little life back into the slumping domestic box office. It has also given Varun Dhawan his biggest opening day, biggest single day earner (Sunday) and his biggest opening weekend.”
While the reviews for the film, by critics and audience, have been mixed to negative, analysts believe there are multiple factors at work. For one, being an extended weekend, cinemas would be in demand as an outing choice for many in the metros and non-metros. Moreover, Toilet Ek Prem Katha
and the consequent releases like Bareilly ki Barfi and Subha Mangal Savdhaan have run their course at the box office, leaving Judwaa 2 with an open window and almost no competition.
“While the feedback has been mixed, the film has a nostalgia attached to it. Salman Khan’s Judwaa was one of the biggest films of 1997 and a lot of people continue to enjoy it. There is bound to some curiosity around the reboot. Most importantly, the 1997 original had some of the most popular tracks in Hindi cinema and the marketing team for the reboot has capitalised on it very effectively,” says another trade pundit.
Made at an estimated Rs 6 crore back in the day, Salman Khan-starrer Judwaa earned a total of Rs 24 crore in its lifetime, a massive haul for the time it was released during. The reboot may or may not be able to replicate the returns ratio of the original due to a significantly higher cost (Rs 65 crore approx), but is expected to make good money for the producers.
Wadhwa said, “The combination of an extended weekend holiday and commercial masala entertainer garner meant that the films saw growth from Friday through Sunday fetching an opening weekend of nearly Rs 60 crore. With Monday being a holiday as well, the film can expect to further enhance box by at least another Rs 20 crore, taking its four-day total to around Rs 80 crore.”