October 5, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): In its opening weekend, 'Anjaana Anjaani' has managed to boast of collections in the vicinity of 30 crores which is quite good considering the fact that the film had not been given a massive release a la 'Dabangg' which has 20-25 shows running in one single multiplex. The release of 'Anjaana Anjaani', going by its genre, was well spread out though with 10-15 shows being an order of the day. As was predicted in this column last week, the film did eventually take an opening of over 70%, hence turning out to be pretty safe on the first day itself.
The film boasts of a high budget though (over 40 crores) which means that recovery is required from avenues other than theatrical as well. However, since satellite and other rights have been sold at fancy prices, a 50 crore plus total from theaters should make this Sajid Nadiadwala production a comfortable hit. As things stand today, this total is pretty achievable considering the very good opening it has taken. This Siddharth Anand directed film has seen mixed reviews coming its way though. However, patronage from young crowds means that 'Anjaana Anjaani' should have a comfortable run through the weekdays as well.
The other release of the weekend gone by, 'Robot', had one thing common about it - the appreciation that came from the critics. Almost all reviews were positive, hence ensuring that this Rajnikanth-Aishwarya Rai starrer saw good reception from all those who watched the film. However, the sad part is that the opening was way below the mark. While one didn't expect the Hindi version to create an iota of the kind of mayhem that the Tamil version is currently creating, it was still believed that the film would take a 10 crore opening though. However, 'Robot' registered lesser numbers, hence making one wait and watch for how the film would sustain itself in the coming weeks. A very good film, one would definitely want 'Robot' to reach out to wider segment of audience though with support coming from good word of mouth.
As for 'Khichdi', it clearly got sandwiched between biggies. It did make a sincere effort of making its presence felt though, especially so by hosting a flurry of paid preview shows. However, it still couldn't find much awareness built up for itself. Also, while a few reviews were indeed quite generous, audience were not much enticed as they preferred to step into 'Anjaana Anjaani' and to some extent 'Robot' for the big screen experience.
Even otherwise, 'Khichdi' could primarily strike a chord only with its loyal followers on television. Coupled with this the fact that direction was amateurish and jokes repetitive (and at times stale), the writing was clear on the wall. Except for some pockets in Maharashtra and Gujarat, 'Khichdi' doesn't quite stand much chance of making an impression in theaters beyond a week. 'Benny And Babloo' starring Kay Kay Menon and Rajpal Yadav was even worse as it didn't even get a proper release. Worse, even critics didn't bother to review it. This small time comedy with a social message (rehabilitation of bar girls) went totally unnoticed.
-- Joginder Tuteja / Sampurn Wire