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Rajinikanth’s Jailer sells 9 lakh tickets, Gadar 2 rules the North with 3 lakh ticket sales: What Independence Day weekend at movies looks like 

Gadar 2, OMG 2, Jailer and Bhola Shankar — cinephiles have a variety of films to pick from this weekend. All the films have their own pull at the box office, hence all are expected to have a decent run, leading to a bountiful weekend at the movies. However, in the Hindi-speaking markets, Sunny Deol’s masala entertainer Gadar 2 is expected to take the lead, and there are no doubts about Rajinikanth’s Jailer creating fireworks at the ticket counters in the South.

Movie buffs in the North have already made their preference clear as Gadar 2 has recorded an unprecedented advance booking. The film has already sold over 1.3 lakh tickets for day one, and this number is expected to go up to 2 lakh by the end of Thursday. As per ticket aggregator BookMyShow, 3,00,000 tickets have already been sold of the film, with Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Patna, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Surat leading the charts.

Film trade expert Taran Adarsh calls the film, “a lottery for the distributors and the producers” as he shares that Gadar 2 is the only film this year, after Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan, which appeals to the ‘heartland’ of the country.

Also read | Jailer actor Rajinikanth continues to be a superhero at 72

He told, “The advance booking is phenomenal and the first day should be over Rs 35 crore. The mass circuits are in overdrive. In the single screens, there will be capacity issues because they have only four shows in a day, unlike multiplexes where you can hold 18-20 shows. But single screens also have an advantage because they have larger auditoriums with a sitting capacity of 1000-1200. So, that compensates. This is one film after Pathaan that is going to rule the heartland.”

Watch the trailer of Gadar 2 here

Gadar 2 is a sequel to Anil Sharma’s Gadar, which was a blockbuster hit in 2001. The film brings back Sunny Deol as Tara Singh alongside his ladylove Sakeena (Ameesha Patel). This time, he will fight to bring back his Jeete (Utkarsh Sharma) from the neighbouring country.

Film producer and trade analyst Girish Johar is confident about Gadar 2 doing good business in Tier 2 and 3 cities as he noted, “Craze is phenomenal in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.” Revealing that the film has already secured over 4,000 screens, he pegged the film’s opening day collection at around Rs 25 crore, which can grow depending on word of mouth.

Given the drama and nationalist tone of Gadar, which pulled people to the cinema halls 22 years ago, some doubted the relevance and pull of the latest. However, all the apprehensions have been put to rest by the advance bookings. For Taran Adarsh, Gadar 2 is not only a film but an “emotion.”

Also read | Sunny Deol on his Gadar 2 character: ‘Tara Singh is our Hulk, Superman’

He said, “Gadar is not an ordinary film. It is an emotion. Emotions and drama can never go out of fashion. This film has played on satellite channels over the years and has tremendous recall value. When they re-released the film in the cinemas recently, the reaction was tremendous. So, even today’s generation is aware that when Sunny Deol lifts a hand pump, it is believable. Also, when he says, ‘Hindustan zindabad tha, zindabad hai, zindabad rahega’, the dialogue stays with you. So, I am expecting its fabulous run in the theatres.”

Meanwhile, the makers of Akshay Kumar’s Oh My God 2 (OMG 2) are underplaying the film as Girish Johar pointed out, “They are not trying to overcommit. They are not going overboard as they know what the content is, and they know they cannot target the family audience because they have got an ‘A’ certificate. They are trying to walk the tightrope. Still, the awareness levels are quite positive for the film as well.”

OMG 2 has sold 45,000 tickets on BookMyShow and Johar predicts an opening of Rs 8-10 crore for the film.

While Gadar 2 and OMG 2 grab the attention of the audience, the fate of Karan Johar’s successfully running film Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani remains uncertain. Taran believes that there are some “programming issues” going on to ensure screens for all the films.

Meanwhile, Girish Johar opined, “Rocky Aur Rani has been a little displaced because of its release strategy. First, they came with Oppenheimer, so they were a little cornered. Now, they should ensure that they are sufficiently placed in the third week because you never know, if Gadar 2 and OMG 2 don’t work, then the holiday weekend can be encashed by Rocky Aur Rani. But for that, they have to be present over there.”

Also read | Karan Johar on using ‘Keh diya na bas’, ‘mazaakiyaan’ and other K3G references in Rocky Aur Rani: ‘I can’t say it’s original but it works every time’

In South India, the audience is divided between Rajinikanth’s Jailer and Chiranjeevi’s Bhola Shankar. Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi said that the opening box office figures for Jailer would be one of the best Tamil cinema has ever seen.

“In Tamil Nadu and the Tamil-speaking belt across the country, Jailer is looking like an absolute storm. The kind of advance bookings that you see around the film is unprecedented. It is possibly on its way of becoming one of the highest-opening Tamil films of all time. A huge Huge buzz there,” he said.

BookMyShow has already sold 900,000 tickets of Jailer with southern states leading the charts.

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Rathi added, “All of this put together is such a comprehensive recipe that there is some content for every kind of audience in the cinemas simultaneously and that is an ideal case scenario.”

He also vouched for a simultaneous release of films of different languages and genres. “It should happen more often. This notion of no other film releasing with you simultaneously is very wrong because we rarely have films that can release in every single cinema there is in the country. So, to satiate the number of screens we have in the country, we need simultaneous releases happening all over the country, week in and week out round the year,” he said.

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With all the films releasing this week, the film trade experts are hoping for a revival of Indian cinema to pre-pandemic times.

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