Akshay Kumar in 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha'
After back-to-back superstar duds, industry has reason to cheer as satire collects Rs 30 crore on first two days
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; August 14, 2017)

Five months after it enjoyed its last hit, Bollywood can finally heave a sigh of relief. Akshay Kumar’s Toilet -  Ek Prem Katha seems to have struck a chord with the audience. The satire opened at Rs 13 crore on day one. What’s encouraging is that the film saw a jump in its figures on Day 2 — it registered collections of Rs 17 crore on Saturday, taking its two day tally to Rs 30 crore. The drama is expected to close in the weekend at approximately Rs 50 crore.

Trade expert Amod Mehra says, “For an Akshay Kumar film, the opening was on the lower side. However, positive word of mouth saw the collections improve on Saturday and it should rise further on Sunday.”

What needs to be noted is that Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Harry Met Sejal, which hit theatres a week earlier, too had earned Rs 30 crore on its first two days, only to spiral downwards as the week progressed. However, trade analyst Komal Nahta feels Kumar’s film shows promise of a strong first week. With Janmashtami falling on Monday and Independence Day on Tuesday, Nahta says the holiday period will further boost the film’s collection. “The film is backed by good performances. It will definitely have a decent first-week collection,” he reasons.

While the distributors have been left bleeding, courtesy the recent string of flops, Mehra feels they will recover their money with Toilet. “The distributors will be in a position to recover their money, as the film is expected to stand its ground over the weekdays.”

This will spell good news for the industry, which hasn’t seen a bona fide hit since Badrinath Ki Dulhania that released on March 10. Although Irrfan’s Hindi Medium (May 19 release) registered profits and there may have been few other earners as well, the box office has taken a severe beating with biggies like Salman Khan’s Tubelight and SRK’s Jab Harry Met Sejal turning out to be damp squibs.

If Toilet earns the hit tag, it will be Kumar’s fifth consecutive success. Mehra reasons, “Akshay has understood the pulse of the audience. Also, he makes his films on a reasonable budget and finishes them in time, so the recovery is easier.”