As expected, 'R... Rajkumar' opened well at the box office. In fact the footfalls as well as the collections were pretty much as per the plan, what with around 50% opening resulting in a little over 10 crore coming on the first day. Now this is the highest opening that a Shahid Kapoor film has ever taken and second highest ever for Prabhu Dheva after 'Rowdy Rathore'.
Such collections were always on the cards, considering the songs (Gandi Baat, Saree Ke Fall Sa) had done the trick while the promos were accepted too. Oh yes, there were spoilers in the party though, what with majority of critics panning the film with some of the worst reviews of the year reserved for it. There were a handful of average and good reviews too but largely, there wasn't any chance given to the film. However, audience had a choice of its own and this was reflected in some consistent numbers that the film gained over the weekend.
As a result, over 30 crores came over the weekend for 'R... Rajkumar' which has given the film a good chance to fight it out during the weekdays. Solo release as well as absence of any competition whatsoever has helped the film's prospects and since there is hardly any competition in the coming week, 'R... Rajkumar' should continue to find audience, especially in the single screens. This must indeed be good news for Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha who were hunting for a good earner this year.
Other release of the week, 'Club 60' got good reviews and sparse release, hence resulting in hardly any collections coming its way. It would soon be hunting for audience in the home video circuit.
In 2011, he worked under his father’s direction in Mausam. But Shahid Kapoor admits that it would be “scary” to share the screen space with his father, veteran actor Pankaj Kapur. “I would rather have him direct me. Why should I make a fool of myself by having him act with me?” says Shahid, during a visit to the HT office to promote his new film, R…Rajkumar.
“I’ll use his acting abilities to my advantage and have him direct me. It’d be scary to work with him as an actor.”
Shahid further adds that Kapur Sr is so good and his expectations are so high that it is a constant process of trying to get to a point where you feel that he is satisfied. “You feel that pressure. I’d love to work with my father because he’s a phenomenal actor. I’m scared, but if I get an opportunity, I’ll take it up. It’d be definitely intimidating to be in the same frame as him though,” he says.
I wanted to be an astronaut... then...a tennis player: Sonakshi
Is it true that you knew about R...Rajkumar even when you were shooting for Rowdy Rathore (2012)?
Sonakshi: Yes, Prabhu sir narrated the script of R…Rajkumar while we were shooting for Rowdy Rathore. In principle, I told him that I was on board because I liked the subject and the premise of the film.
Did you notice any difference in his style of film-making since Rowdy Rathore?
Sonakshi: No, he’s been true to his style. Every film-maker has a different style, and Prabhu Sir has his unique style.
You’ve never worked with Shahid before. How was that?
Sonakshi: We didn’t know each other before I started to work on this film. Both of us felt, when we met each other, that the other person has a lot of attitude (laughs). But, luckily, we started the film on the right foot.
Lootera, your last film, was very different. How was it coming back to a mass entertainer?
Sonakshi: Yes, but these (mass entertainers) are the kind of films I like doing. Then, Lootera came along and I felt strongly about it, and I felt it was a role that I could do.
Shahid, what has it been like working with Prabhu Dheva?
Shahid: It’s been quite a party; we’ve all gotten along really well. Sonakshi and I didn’t know each other…
Sonakshi: I was just telling them that you had a lot of attitude (laughs).
Shahid: Ya, we both did, but I think, right from the first day of filming, we got along well. We started with a song. She loves dancing, I love dancing, so we had a party.
You had recently said that you were angry with yourself for having done less work in the last two-three years.
Shahid: Yes, it’s not a good thing that I did less work. But I think I did good work, and that’s all I can do. I can only focus on my work, I cannot take responsibility for something that’s not my area.
So now, are you looking to do more work?
Shahid: Yes, I mean this year has been a lot of work. I have been working without a break, so definitely the effort is to do more work.
Sonakshi, on the contrary, you have been doing several films. Any plans of taking it easy?
Sonakshi: No, I don’t know any other way to work. I think I’ve become a certified workaholic, I’m happy, I enjoy my work, I look forward to going on the set in the morning and working all day.
Shahid, you seem to be making a conscious shift from romantic films to action. Is this because the genre has gained popularity?
Shahid: Do you know which movie has done most well this year? Chennai Express. That’s an action-love story. When good products get made in any genre, people start saying that genre is popular. That is how I see it. I may be wrong, but when good films are made in any genre, people start thinking that people are enjoying the genre.
Now, films are considered a success if they make 100 or 200 crore. Do you consider that a yardstick?
Shahid: No, I don’t think that’s right. If a film is made in five crores and makes 40 crores, then it is a block-buster. But if a film is made in 75 crores and makes 100 crores, it is just about a hit film.
Before you guys became actors, what were you like?
Sonakshi: As a teenager, I loved going to school, unlike others who hated it. I played a lot of sports and my staple diet was pizzas and burgers and fries…
Shahid: You were that healthy?
Sonakshi: Yes, and I’d watch Cartoon Network. I had a very couch potato-ish teenage phase.
And did you intend on becoming an actor at the time?
Sonakshi: No, I had no intention of being an actor. I’ll show you pictures, so you’ll know why I never thought I could be an actor.
Shahid: Even I can show you pictures in which you won’t believe this boy can be an actor, but I always thought I’ll be an actor.
Sonakshi: Yes, but I had a sense of reality, even at that young age.
Shahid: Yes, but the first movie you got was Dabangg (2010). My first movie was Ishq Vishk (2003). The biggest star of the movie was Anu Malik.
Sonakshi: So I had no interest and no intention to be in this industry.
Shahid: So if you want to be in films, don’t be interested in it, that’s Sonakshi’s strategy, or be like me, my strategy was, besharamon ki tarah try karte raho, kabhi na kabhi toh lag jayega (Keep trying shamelessly, and you’re bound to get there eventually).
What would you have been if not an actor?
Sonakshi: Well, at one point, I wanted to be an astronaut, but I was terrible at math, so that was out. Then I wanted to be a tennis player, but I became too fat, so I couldn’t run.
Shahid: So you’re saying you used to eat burgers and wanted to be a tennis player, and you’re telling me that I didn’t have perspective.
Sonakshi: Yes, I was good at it. I just couldn’t go through with it. Then I thought I’m good at sketching, so I went to a fashion school for three years and then, what do you know, I became an actor.
Shahid, how did you get into dance?
Shahid: I would dance in the bathroom, in my bedroom. My mom knew, but I was always shy at school and birthday parties.
Sonakshi: I think I was one of those who’d go onto the dance floor.
Shahid: Yes, but you’re a good dancer…
Sonakshi: I remember these birthday parties, I’d dance and then they’d announce prizes for dancing and I remember I’d go and sulk in a corner if I didn’t win.
There have been talks for four-five years that you are doing a movie with your mom. Is anything happening?
Shahid: No, mom is not free, and I think everyone is talking about this, except mom and me.
Sonakshi, your brother is trying to revive your father’s production company.
Sonakshi: They are working on it, on the home production, and putting together a couple of scripts, meeting directors, so it’s work in progress.
Are you planning on working with your family banner?
Sonakshi: See, I only know my job, which is acting, so other than that, I don’t know how much I can contribute. But whenever they need my services as an actor, I’ll be more than happy.
R…Rajkumar, on its 2nd Monday too managed to remain in the consistent range at the box office. Earning an income of 2 crores, the film has so far managed to make an earning of 60 crores at the box office.
Being the highest Shahid Kapoor earner till date, the film recorded a lower drop than expected. The film can manage to earn over 15 crores in its second week as well. Though the release Dhoom 3 can be fatal for the film, for now it surprisngly remains one of the best earners since Ramleela.
R… Rajkumar on its 2nd Saturday made an income of 3.75 crores and as per the early estimates, on its 2nd Sunday too, the film earned in the range 3.80 to 3.90 crores. The film has so far collected around 58 crores at the domestic box office, which is excellent.
The film that has already recovered its investment, made a steady move towards garnering profits. Looking as a probable end to Shahid Kapoor’s dry spell at the box office, the film can be expected to fare consistently till the release of Dhoom 3 that hits the theaters this Friday.
Eros International Media Limited (Eros International), a leading global company in the Indian film entertainment industry, has announced an impressive opening weekend of Shahid Kapoor & Sonakshi Sinha starrer R...RAJKUMAR at the box-office with Rs. 45.77 crores worldwide. Produced by Eros International and Next Gen Films, the mass entertainer starring Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha with its hit music and Prabhu Dheva style action, romance and signature dialogues hit the right chord with audiences and found its place in the top ten opening weekends among Hindi films this year. Monday remained steady at the box-office with the masalathon raking in an attractive Rs. 5.65 crore in India.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed Rs. 39.77 crore in India (Net collections: Rs. 30.59 crore) and Rs. 6 crores overseas. It released across 2900 screens in India and 300 screens overseas.
Speaking on the film opening, Nandu Ahuja, Sr. VP, India theatrical, Eros International Media Limited, "With its mass appeal, chart busting songs and high octane action, R...RAJKUMAR made for a perfect commercial entertainer has received big thumbs up from the junta. A large chunk of revenue has come from mass dominated circuits with single screens and multiplexes packed to capacity. With Monday holding up strong as well, we are looking to end the week with positive momentum."
R... Rajkumar had the tenth highest weekend of the year and it is interesting that it is the only film of the South style action genre to feature in top ten despite featuring a star who prior to R.. Rajkumar was mainly an urban star. Below are the highest collecting weekends of the year.
1. Chennal Express - 87,08,00,000
2. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani -61,87,00,000
3. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela - 49,73,00,000
4. Krrish 3 - 49,47,00,000
5. Race 2 - 48,17,00,000
6. Grand Masti - 39,37,00,000
7. Satyagraha - 33,86,00,000
8. Besharam - 31,65,00,000
9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - 31,16,00,000
10. R... Rajkumar - 27,50,00,000 approx
Despite an all around cynicism surrounding it right from the time Shahid Kapoor got on board for this Prabhudheva directed affair, R… Rajkumar managed to enjoy a good week at the box office. Even though the film enjoyed a healthy weekend, there were detractors baying for its blood and being almost sure that it would crash during the weekdays. This didn’t happen though as audience gave a green signal to the film, hence allowing it to collect consistently in week days to follow as well. Result? First week collections are in the tune of 47 crores, hence paving the way for a more than respectable lifetime total ahead.
For Shahid Kapoor, the film is a huge respite indeed. Not just it has managed to cross the lifetime total of his biggest grosser till date, Kaminey [42 crore], it is also set to be one of the top grossers of the year. Ditto for Sonakshi Sinha who would now end the year on a high with a bona fide success under her belt.
As for Prabhudheva, his track record of 100% success stays intact in the world of Hindi movies. Eros too has managed two back to back money spinners in the form of Ramleela and now R… Rajkumar. Meanwhile producer Viki Rajani has entered the big league after starting 2013 with a small budget, but impressive success with Table No. 21.
The film is looking at a lifetime total of at least 70 crore though a bigger total would be a challenge since Dhoom 3 strikes next week.
Another release of the week, Club 60, was a complete non-starter and didn’t have much to cheer about other than enjoying some good reviews coming its way.
'Phata Poster Nikla Hero', 'R… Rajkumar' and now Haider. It has been a hectic year for you. Has it taken a toll on you?
After the release of 'Phata Poster…' , I got busy with the promotions of R… Rajkumar and now I’ve started shooting for 'Haider' in Kashmir. It has been beautiful and the weather was minus-4 degrees. Being in Kashmir was enough to de-stress me. And I am a workaholic, so I hardly complain about the erratic schedules.
A lot of people feel that Sonakshi Sinha and you made an odd couple. Did you also feel the same while working with her?
Sonakshi and I have played an on-screen mismatched couple. Not every couple is perfect. I see so many mismatched real-life couples. Good-looking couples in terms of height, looks and attitude are in fairytales. Two individuals, who genuinely want to be with each other, won’t care about such trivial issues.
There was a buzz that your father, Pankaj Kapur, is looking for a suitable bride for you?
That’s not true at all (laughs). My father isn’t looking for a girl for me. I did read the story about him wanting me to settle down and searching for a Punjabi girl for me. But trust me, it’s not true. I can’t put that pressure on him. He has enough responsibilities on his shoulders.
Your last few films haven’t done well at the box office. As an actor, does that demotivate you?
I’m fed up of people walking up to me and saying that even though my film flopped, I was good in it. I want get back in the competition. I want my films to do good business. I want the competition to grow healthier and stronger. Enough of critical acclaim. I want my films to fetch huge figures commercially. Right now, I want people to look at me as a “successful hero”. Yes, Phata Poster… flopped. A lot of people liked the first half of the film.
The humour dipped after the first half and that killed it. I think it was sheer back luck. Like we take credit for successful films, I’d like to take the blame for the failure of Phata Poster…. Everyone goes through good and bad phases. I hope R… Rajkumar changes the game for me.
Actors resort to numerology and astrology during their lean phase. Did you ever succumb to the temptation?
I don’t believe in numerology, astrology nor do I believe in wearing stones to ward off negativity. It’s very simple. Sometimes a below average film works and at times a good film flops. It’s a matter of luck and time. A piece of stone cannot make or break someone’s destiny.
As a director, Prabhu Deva’s record is almost 100 per cent. It is said that he has taken charge to resurrect your career. Do you feel that you’re now in a safe zone?
More than resurrecting my career, he might want to ensure that his reputation as a 100-crore director is intact (laughs). Prabhu Deva told me that the industry is full of good actors who can dance well and are flexible to do daredevil stunts. Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor are fabulous dancers. Prabhu wanted me to learn the moves for the songs that would look different from what we see on screen. Trust me, he made me rehearse for days and hours. Even the action scenes in his films are unique. As an audience, I know that action scenes can be very boring to watch but Prabhu’s stunts can keep you entertained all through. He brings the common man on screen. Be it Rowdy Rathore or R… Rajkumar, he likes to play up the average mawali guy and make him the hero. He admits that he isn’t interested in making his actors look like James Bond or a superhero. He caters to the common man and that that works for him.
R... RAJKUMAR, which is yet another masala entertainer to release this year, has opened well with 50% to 60% occupancy in several circuits, especially the mass-dominated circuits, while the start was around 30% to 40% in few circuits as well. However, considering the fact that film business had hit a rough patch since last two weeks, the positive start of the film has come as a respite for the industry.
What has contributed to the robust start at the ticket window is its musical score, with a couple of tracks getting hugely popular. Also, the aggressive promotion seems to have done the trick. Most importantly, Prabhu Dheva's brand as a director has also been crucial in driving the audiences to theatres, thereby witnessing ample footfalls in the initial shows. Of course, what will play a crucial role in the film's overall business is the word of mouth, which will also decide how it fares over the weekend.
The second release, CLUB 60, has opened on a rather bleak note. The film was never expected to start with a bang in the first place and is dependent on word of mouth completely.
The cat’s been out of the bag that Shahid Kapoor has teamed up with Vishal Bhardwaj again (after Kaminey; 2009) for Haider — an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s popular play, Hamlet. But long before that, three other directors — Tigmanshu Dhulia, Onir and Sudhir Mishra — were also planning to adapt the play.
But Shahid maintains that he and Bhardwaj weren’t worried about competition. “Yes, we’d heard about others planning to make the film. But, by then our script was ready. We know that our interpretation will be very different. So we were never worried,” he says.
In fact, the 32-year-old actor says that Bhardwaj is the most apt to take up this adaptation. “He made Omkara (2006) and Maqbool (2004), so I really feel that he’s the best person to make another adaptation of Shakespeare’s work. Everyone knows the stories and the plays because they are in the public domain. But how you adapt them makes all the difference,” says Shahid.
Around 15 days ago, Shahid came back to Mumbai from Kashmir, after shooting for Haider. “I had an interesting time. We (Bhardwaj and him) share a great equation. Kaminey, I feel, is my best performance so far. I’ve a lot of fond memories associated with that film,” he says.
Ask him if all was okay between him and Bhardwaj after reports of a tiff after Kaminey and he says, “The fact that we are working together should put all those rumours to rest. I only have love and respect for Vishal sir,” he says.
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