Photo Caption: A still from Chehre; Credit: Movie poster

Chehre, the Hindi film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi, which released in theatres on Friday, had an unimpressive showing at the box office during its first weekend. A report in Box Office India stated that the film earned an estimated Rs 1.05 crore as of Saturday night.

The mystery thriller was also overshadowed at the box office by the re-released Punjabi film Chal Mera Putt 2.

According to the Box Office India report, Chehre opened to a mere 45 lakh on the first day and went on to add Rs 60 lakh on Saturday. The film’s two-day earning was less than what Akshay Kumar’s Bellbottom made on day one. The latter film, which was released on August 19, became the first big Hindi film to release exclusively in theatres after the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic struck India. It collected around Rs 2.75 crore on its opening day.

Bellbottom also made more on its second Friday compared to Chehre’s first day earnings. The spy thriller’s total domestic collections currently stand at Rs 19.5 crore.

Meanwhile, Chal Mera Putt 2, the Punjabi film, which had earlier been released in 2020 and is back in theatres after their reopening, registered Friday earnings of approximately Rs 1.01 crore. It further added another Rs 1.15 crore on Saturday.

While the collections of Chehre came in primarily from Delhi NCR and East Punjab, the report in Box Office India stated that the film stood no chance against Chal Mera Putt 2 in Punjab.

Anand Pandit, co-producer of Chehre, had earlier said in a statement that the film deserved a theatrical release. He also added that he insisted on a theatrical release because he wanted to express solidarity with exhibitors and theatre owners who have gone through untold hardships during the pandemic.

Speaking to Silverscreen India earlier, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi had said that Maharashtra, where theatres continue to remain shut, contributes 30-35% to the box office revenue of the country and thus, any film which releases in theatres now will not be able to earn as expected. “The [state] government is proactively ignoring the entertainment sector. Because of this decision, the entire country’s entertainment industry is suffering. Several producers do not want to release their films until theatres in the state open,” he said.

However, despite low box office showings, Kangana Ranaut recently announced that her upcoming film Thalaivii will release in theatres on September 10. The announcement came after the Tamil Nadu Government allowed theatres to reopen with 50% capacity.

Other big films like Sooryavanshi, Gangubai Kathiawadi, and 83 are yet to announce their release dates.