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‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ tops Bollywood box office in March

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-04-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: In a month traditionally considered dull, thanks to school examinations, Dharma Productions’ young romance Badrinath Ki Dulhania sprung a surprise bigger than anyone expected. The Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt-starrer contended with examination fever and the ongoing India versus Australia Test cricket series and netted Rs114.24 crore at the end of three weeks.

“Badrinath ki Dulhania was definitely the film of the month,” said Ashish Saksena, chief operative officer, Cinemas, BookMyShow, the online ticketing platform. “People were already eager to see the Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt combination in a Dharma production and undoubtedly, the movie lived up to all expectations while entertaining the audience in huge numbers,” he said.

Film trade and business expert Girish Johar added that there hardly was a Bollywood film in recent memory that had managed to cross the Rs100 crore mark in March. Apart from the lead pair being much loved by the younger audience, the film and its songs were also packaged and marketed well, ensuring repeat turnout.

The other Hindi releases to make a mark included Anushka Sharma-starrer Phillauri and action film Commando 2: The Black Money Trail that made Rs25.78 crore and Rs25.09 crore, respectively. The same, however, did not hold true for small-budget films like Govinda-starrer Aa Gaya Hero, crowd-sourced film Mantra, Abbas-Mustan’s romantic thriller Machine, Vikramaditya Motwane’s survival thriller Trapped and Swara Bhaskar-starrer Anaarkali of Aarah that managed Rs1.06 crore, Rs0.06 crore, Rs3.12 crore, Rs2.82 crore and Rs0.80 crore, respectively.

Bollywood was not the only one to have an impressive run at the box office this month. Among Hollywood releases, Disney’s romantic fantasy musical Beauty and the Beast made Rs16.13 crore by the end of its second week, while Marvel’s superhero film Logan and monster flick Kong: Skull Island made Rs33 crore and Rs22.58 crore in box office earnings, respectively.

While no regional film, apart from Pawan Kalyan-starrer Katamarayudu, set the cash registers ringing, there is already much to look forward to next month. Apart from Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan and Sonakshi Sinha’s Noor , which focus on women issues, the real excitement, trade experts said, will come from the much sought-after mainstream spectacles.

“The mother of all films, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion should be huge and all languages put together should bring in numbers unheard of,” Johar said. “There is also great feedback on how huge Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious 8 has shaped up and it should definitely do well.”

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