A combination of the weekend, ‘Friendship Day’ and a single-window release has helped the movie to rake it in
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, a film starring Ajay Devgn, has received a house-full response in most multiplexes in Mumbai. The movie has collected approximately Rs21 crore in the opening weekend, according to industry sources.
The movie did not get a very good response on the release day (30th July) and managed to collect Rs5 crore on that day. The crowds started coming in on Saturday, when the film reported a collection of Rs7 crore. The combination of the weekend, 'Friendship Day' and a single-window opening helped the movie to report a collection of approximately Rs9 crore on Sunday, according to industry experts.
Balaji Telefilms has recovered the cost of production of the film in the first weekend itself by strategically planning the release of the movie and drawing a lot of attention by publishing the venture as a story based on the life of smuggler Haji Mastan and India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim. Retaliating to the movie being so publicised, Haji Mastan's adopted son Sundar Shekhar (alias Suleiman Mirza), sought a stay on the film's release. The argument was that Haji Mastan was a social worker and a politician and this film defamed him after his death. This drama attracted a lot of eyeballs which has also helped to make the film a success.
"The movie is expected to do well in metros. In Mumbai it will definitely do well because it is related to the metropolis. Balaji Telefilms has come up with a gangster movie after a long time, since the release of Shootout at Lokhandwala. A single-window release has also helped the movie to pull in the crowds," said Sheetal Malpani, analyst, BRICS Securities.
PVR Cinemas reported box-office collections of Rs60 lakh on Friday; Rs80 lakh on Saturday and in three days it reported an approximate net collection of Rs2.5 crore. "We reported 85% occupancy on Sunday across India for Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai," said an official spokesperson from PVR Cinemas.
"It was a decent attempt, but there is no story in the film. When there is no basic story, there is no drama in the movie. It is a very half-hearted attempt. More attention has been paid to the look and the era. The film is mainly glorifying the life of a gangster rather than being a real gangster film," said Amod Mehra, independent trade analyst.
According to industry sources, overall production cost of the movie - including advertising and public relations - was around Rs26 crore-Rs27 crore. Besides multiplex collections, the movie is expected to earn Rs3 crore-Rs4 crore from television rights; Rs1 crore-Rs2 crore from music rights and another Rs3 crore from international rights.
The film, produced by Balaji Telefilms and Popcorn Motion Pictures Ltd of actor Suniel Shetty, depicts the underworld of the 70s and 80s in erstwhile Bombay. It revolves around Sultan (Ajay Devgn) and is based on the time when crime started in the city. The film is directed by Milan Luthria; Sultan labours through his childhood and becomes a smuggler and ends up ruling the sea-routes. However, he is depicted as a smuggler with a 'conscience' who prefers electronic contraband to narcotics. Shoaib (Emraan Hashmi) is inspired by Sultan's life as a child and wants to emulate him. Shoaib is the son of a police officer, but loses his trust in the law. He makes his way into Sultan's gang and eventually climbs up the ladder. After he finally takes over from Sultan, he starts all kinds of crimes that his mentor had never committed.