Bell Bottom, the Hindi spy-thriller starring Akshay Kumar, collected Rs 2.50 crore – Rs 2.75 crore on its opening day on Thursday, reported Box Office India. Is is the first major film to release in theatres after the second wave of Covid-19 in the country.
Bell Bottom released on around 1600-2000 screens all over the country. Delhi NCR and Uttar Pradesh had the most number of screens. According to a Box Office India report, New Delhi emerged as the film’s biggest market, contributing to 20% of the total box office earnings.
Theatres in Hyderabad and Kolkata also saw a good occupancy on the first day.
Anupam Reddy, an executive committee member of the Telangana State Film Chamber of Commerce and owner of Sudha Multiplex, spoke to Silverscreen India and said that while occupancy hovered around 15-20% till the afternoon, on Thursday, it went up to 70-80% for the evening shows. “On an average, on the first day we had around 40-45% occupancy,” said Reddy.
Ajoy Bakliwal, the owner of Manoj Cinema (Asansol), Durgapur Cinema (Durgapur), and Lali Cinema (Barasat), said he expected the weekend numbers to be better.
“Thursday reports are good but numbers were disappointing. The film is getting good reviews and is generating excitement which gives hope that the film will perform well in the coming Saturday and Sunday,” he said.
Kumar’s last film Good Newwz had managed to earn a whopping 17 crore on the first day of its release, in 2019. Bell Bottom’s comparitely low earnings come at a time when theatres in Maharashtra, which contributes 30-35% of the box office revenue in the country, are yet to reopen.
Talking about the Maharashtra Government’s decision to not open up the theatres, Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi said, “The 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.”
However, the entire industry has come together to help out production houses that are releasing their film in theatres despite the problems, said Rathi. “The entire value chain has been adjusted in a way that producers and exhibitors across the country do not suffer much and can make up for their losses. These are temporary measures till normalcy is induced in Maharashtra,” he said.
Rathi said that Bell Bottom will serve as a “great opening batsman to start up the entertainment sector once again for the country”. “Bell Bottom is actually doing the terrific groundwork for the upcoming films like Thalivi and Sooryavanshi. When it comes to a pan-India impact, these are the films that will help in bringing normalcy in the next few months.”
Bell Bottom also stars Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, and Lara Dutta in pivotal roles. Directed by Ranjit M Tewari, the film is co-produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani and Nikkhil Advani and written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh.