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Mumbai Saga Versus Sandeep Pinky Faraar At The Boxoffice This Week

Boxoffice bleakness is  now a pandemic , with every week looking  less viewer-friendly  for  the  movie theatres .Since  movie  theatres re-opened  after the lockdown only one film has shown  any kind of  boxoffice collection, and that’s director Hardik Mehta ‘s horror-comedy  Roohi last week.

 The  other post-lockdown releases  have all been washouts. This week Sanjay Gupta returns with another gangster thriller Mumbai Saga. Based  on  real-life  activities  in the  underworld  the film pitches  ‘gangster’ John Abraham against ‘cop’ Emraan  Hashmi.

While director Sanjay Gupta considers  Mumbai Saga to be a very special film in his repertoire there isn’t any noticeable  excitement   in the movie-going audience  for the product.

“Last week’s Roohi was  fun to watch. Mumbai Saga looks  very violent and grim. I don’t think I want to see  this right now, specially with the rise in  Covid cases all across the country. As  for Sandeep  Aur Pinky Faraar, it looks stale. Audiences will go back to the theatres only if they are  given a  big enough incentive to do so,”  says  Roshan Singh, a  leading exhibitor  of Bihar.

Also,  Mumbai Saga  looks  , at least outwardly, like many of Sanjay Gupta’s earlier gangster  epics including  Shootout At Wadala in 2013 in which  John Abraham had  played a  similar tikka-marked gangster.Audience at  the moment  don’t want déjà vu.They want laughter and  entertainment.

Analyzing  the prospects  of the two  releases  this week prominent  exhibitor  Akshay Rathi comments,  “Mumbai Saga is clearly the movie of the week. With the rising number of COVID cases in Maharashtra on one hand and the vaccination drive picking up steam on the other, there are too many moving parts in the equation for anyone to be able to estimate what the box office numbers would be like. However, this is a film that caters to an audience which has put the paranoia of the virus far behind it. I’m hopeful it can do very well.”

On the other hand  trade analyst Girish Johar is  more cautious in his  optimism. “Mumbai Saga and Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar are two major  releases this Friday. After Roohi brought some hope , these two films will be expected to take the business ahead.However the pandemic is still on and even though vaccine drive has started, the graph of daily increasing cases hasn’t slowed down. The Government has become more strict especially in Maharashtra,and has issued very strict  guidelines with  the warning  of  shutting businesses be it food , restaurants, malls or even cinemas, for those who are caught flouting norms.”

 However Girish sees brighter chances  for Sanjay Gupta’s dark  violent saga. “The stakes  are higher  , chances  slightly stronger for MUMBAI SAGA, as the film is based here in Mumbai the audiences will connect more with the film, in this particular region. Having said that, John, Emraan and Sanjay Gupta have a huge pan-India appeal and  I  am pretty confident that they will tide over this easily and  the film will have a good start at the BO.  Sandeep & Pinky Faraar, backed by YRF  and  Dibaker Bannerjee, is a niche and  upmarket thriller-drama. The film is expected to have a decent start at the BO, specially in urban cities and upmarket multiplexes.  Overall, it is going to be an exciting weekend at the BO.”

 Fingers  crossed.

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