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Akshay Kumar lights up screens on Diwali; Ram Setu second-highest opener

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Bollywood, which is struggling with a spate of flops, has found some relief thanks to a rescue act by . The actor’s latest release, Ram Setu, which released on Tuesday, became the second-highest Hindi opening day grosser in 2022 after Brahmastra.


The action-adventure film, which revolves around the mythical Ram Setu or bridge off the southeastern coast of India, earned Rs 15 crore in first-day collections at the domestic box office, said trade analysts and exhibitors. Brahmastra had earned Rs 36 crore in first-day collections last month.


Ram Setu’s performance comes at a time when the other release, Thank God, a comedy starring Ajay Devgn and Sidharth Malhotra, has earned only Rs 8 crore in first-day collections, said film experts.


By the close of Sunday, Kumar’s film could touch Rs 75-80 crore in domestic box-office collections, according to film exhibitors, while Thank God could garner Rs 40-45 crore.


has had a good track record during over the last few years,” said Rajendra Singh Jyala, chief programming officer at multiplex chain Inox Leisure.


“His 2021 release, Sooryavanshi, opened at Rs 26 crore during Diwali, which was the best for the year at the domestic . In 2019, Housefull 4, which was a release, earned nearly Rs 19 crore at the India . This again was among the best openings for the year,” Jyala said.


While most experts agree that Kumar, 55, remains a bankable star at the Hindi box office, some say that collections of Rs 75-80 crore for Ram Setu in the first week is underwhelming. The actor is also among the country’s most popular brand ambassadors, endorsing as many as 30 brands, according to experts.


On Tuesday, Kumar was signed up as the brand ambassador of BoroPlus Ayurvedic Antiseptic Cream from Emami. According to celebrity managers, Kumar charges anywhere between Rs 3 crore and Rs 4 crore per brand annually. His film fees vary anywhere between Rs 60 crore and Rs 100 crore per release, based on the film’s performance, according to industry sources.


Sooryavanshi had touched Rs 120 crore in its first week last year. Its lifetime collections were close to Rs 200 crore,” said Komal Nahta, film trade analyst. “In comparison, Ram Setu may see lower lifetime collections, as competition from other films releasing over the next few weeks will grow.”


Next month will see movies such as Phone Bhoot, starring Katrina Kaif and Jackie Shroff, releasing on November 4; Ajay Devgn’s Drishyam 2 releasing on November 18; and Varun Dhawan-starrer Bhediya on November 25.


After Ram Setu, Kumar will not have any more film releases this year. His next big projects are scheduled for 2023. This includes flicks such as Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, also starring Tiger Shroff, OMG 2, the sequel to Kumar’s 2012 film of the same name, Gorkha, a biopic on Major General Ian Cardozo, a 1971 war veteran, and Selfiee, a comedy-cum-drama film, starring Kumar and Emraan Hashmi.


The year 2022, incidentally, has been a mixed bag for Kumar, who has struggled with a string of flops that include Bachchhan Pandey, Samrat Prithviraj and Raksha Bandhan. Cuttputlli, a crime thriller, which released directly on a streaming platform in September, met with a lukewarm response.


Kumar, said exhibitors, will be hoping to turn the tide in 2023. For now, the performance of Ram Setu offers some comfort to the actor and the .


Akshay Kumar’s Diwali streak








Year

Film


Opening-day Diwali collections


2019

Housefull 4

Rs 19 crore

2021

Sooryavanshi

Rs 26 crore

2022

Ram Setu

Rs 15 crore


Source: Industry



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