MS Dhoni: The Untold Story surprised everyone by taking a terrific opening at the box office. It went on to record second highest opening day and weekend of 2016 beating films of SRK, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan. However, it faced heavy drops on weekdays and now it will just manage to recover the costs.
No doubt that the film opened due to Dhoni brand but the few cinema owners have revealed that what contributed more was the block bookings by all Dhoni’s brands in the film. All the brands that Captain Cool endorses and who are part of the film, who booked full theaters on the release day for their patrons and that contributed (approx Rs 8-9 cr) to the B-O collections, which is a big chunk. The brands booked a large number of seats all over the country on the opening day and weekend.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “Yes, block bookings by major corporates were done for MSD. But as long as the money and people keep coming into the theatres, there’s no harm. Dhoni is about team work and cricket is also won through team work. Trade is only concerned with box office revenue and with more occupancy.”
Rajendra Jala from Inox says, “Dhoni has done extra-ordinary business. While this happened because of the MSD brand, block bookings also helped in the big opening. However, the general public also came to to watch the movie. Such movies are not dependent on block bookings for its success. It’s the kind of movie that families will come to watch and be entertained. After a long time, we are seeing such good numbers. Almost everyone is a huge fan of Dhoni’s. He is a household name. His brand, interesting promos and good content has brought in the audience.”
Rajesh Makhija of Carnival Cinemas said, “India is crazy about cricket and players like Dhoni have huge fan following, and his biopic has proved the same with packed theaters. As we expected, it is doing great at the box-office and throughout the weekend, the occupancy was 70 per cent-plus all-across and in states like Jharkhand and Bihar it was up to 90 per cent. Block bookings have also played a big role in the collections and the advance booking was unprecedented for a non-Khan movie, which opened on a working Friday. More than five lakh patrons watched it till Sunday at our cinemas and we are confident about a fabulous run during the weekdays also.”
Devang Sampat of Cinépolis India says, “The film is running successfully. It is the second biggest opening of the year 2016, so far. I think that the movie collections will increase even more with overwhelmingly good reviews from viewers and the critics. There was lot of demand from corporate houses due to the huge fan following of MS Dhoni. This helped the surge in box office collections.”