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Box office: Black Panther edges Aiyaary out in opening weekend


Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary had a poor opening weekend at Rs11.75 crore nett as opposed to the Marvel film Black Panther, which bagged a fairly impressive Rs18.75 crore nett in India.

Mayur Lookhar

Hindi films can no longer afford to rest at ease, especially when competing with Hollywood releases. Yet another Hindi film struggled to compete with a Hollywood release as Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary had a poor opening weekend at Rs11.75 crore nett as opposed to the Marvel film Black Panther, which bagged a fairly impressive Rs18.75 crore nett in India, as reported by Boxofficeindia.com.

Pandey’s espionage caper failed to live up to expectations. The opening weekend number is lower than Sidharth Malhotra’s last release Ittefaq (2017) which had fared slightly better (Rs14.82 crore nett). However, Ittefaq was made at a modest estimated budget of Rs29 crore, as opposed to Aiyaary made at Rs60 crore. As per trade sources, Aiyaary is said to have released across 1,700 screens in India. Ittefaq had released across 1,100 screens.

Meanwhille, superhero film Black Panther started with Rs5.25 crore nett on its opening day and did better on Saturday and Sunday, bagging Rs6.5 crore and Rs7 crore nett, respectively.

“Black Panther has released in about 1,000-plus screens in India. The numbers are fairly impressive considering that film wasn’t quite promoted in the same vein as the earlier Marvel releases. The film has great story telling and it’s a different experiences as compared to other Marvel films,” said trade analyst Atul Mohan.

Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man didn’t have a great second weekend, as it earned Rs8 crore nett. Pad Man has so far made Rs70.75 crore nett in its India collection.

There are no major releases this Friday (23 February), but Aiyaary will need to pull up its socks if it has to recover at least half of its budget.