Raksha Bandhan, directed by Aanand L. Rai, is Akshay Kumar’s ninth Independence Day film. The story takes place in rural India and stars him alongside Bhumi Pednekar. The Central Board of Film Certification gave Raksha Bandhan a “U” rating for a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes (110 minutes). The team has been able to garner good showcases across the country due to the short runtime.
The family drama will have a wide release in India, with a focus on tier 2 and tier 3 cities. It is expected to be played on approximately 2500 screens. With the film’s runtime in check, it is estimated that the film will be shown 10,000 times a day on a single screen. On Friday, the advance for Raksha Bandhan opened at a reasonable price. As of Monday afternoon, the three national chains had sold about 7,950 tickets for the opening day of the film. Taking a look at the extended opening weekend, Raksha Bandhan has sold 12,000 tickets. For Raksha Bandhan, however, reservations are primarily for the first day, as opposed to Laal Singh Chaddha, where most people book for both opening day and the extended weekend.
Although Samrat Prithviraj and Shamshera have better bookings than Jug Jugg Jeeyo, Bhaiyaa 2, and 83, they are still far behind films like Jug Jugg Jeeyo, Bhool Bhulaiya 2 and 83. As of Tuesday morning, Samrat Prithviraj had sold about 2400 tickets at PVR as of Tuesday morning, while Raksha Bandhan has already sold 4000 tickets. Similarly, 6600 tickets for Jug Jugg Jeeyo have been sold through PVR. There is a discrepancy between the price of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 in Cinepolis and the price of Raksha Bandhan. Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan is likely to follow the same pattern of low advance sales and high spot bookings.
However, in some places outside the national chains, Raksha Bandhan can hold its own with Laal Singh Chaddha, and in some markets, like Gujarat, it can even outperform it in terms of advance sales. With a large metro audience preferring Laal Singh Chaddha by almost double, the gap between these two films narrows as one moves away from metro areas. 50,000 people are expected to buy Raksha Bandhan at national chains on the first day, which is lower than Jug Jugg Jeeyo but comparable to Samrat Prithviraj (41,000 approx.) and Shamshera (48,000 approx.) (57,000).
While we don’t rule out a 10 crore or more opening for this Akshay Kumar film, we’re expecting an opening day of between Rs 8.00 and 9.50 crore based on the advance estimates. On Thursday, the festival of Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated, which may help the film’s opening numbers in the secondary and tertiary markets, where the festival’s appeal to women and the general public may surprise audiences. Until then, we’ll just have to sit tight and see how the advances play out. The success of Raksha Bandhan will depend a lot on how it does in places other than big cities.