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Box office: Kalank makes Rs42.25 crore nett in the first three days

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After a bright start, the Dharma Productions-Fox Star Studios co-production has slowed down quite a bit and trade experts do not see much hope for it.

Mayur Lookhar

Kalank (2019) is enjoying an extended five-day opening weekend, but the collection of the first three days is not so impressive. The film, co-produced by Dharma Productions and Fox Star Studios, has collected Rs42.25 crore nett in the first three days, as reported by BoxOfficeIndia.com.

The Abhishek Varman film opened to a high of Rs21 crore nett on Wednesday, but the average reviews the film has received from critics seem to have hurt its cause. The collection dropped over 50% on Thursday to Rs10.50 crore nett and was only slightly higher at Rs10.75 crore nett on Friday. Even the public holiday on account of Good Friday does not seem to have helped the film much.

A trade source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "Kalank is a failure. The storyline has not appealed to the audience. Stories of Partition, inter-faith love story, I don't think they work much in current times. The presence of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt might help pull in audiences over the weekend, and so there could be a little increase, but the film will be finished after five days." 

Another trade source said, "Visually the film is great. It has a great star cast, but overall it felt like a disorientated film. Length is immaterial if your content is good, but if the film is boring then two hours 50 minutes gets really long. Dharma Productions, though, will get Rs75 crore through satellite and digital rights, all sold to Star."

While Kalank's business may yet grow on the weekend, the film needs to do a lot better, having been made on an estimated budget of Rs160 crore (Rs135 crore cost of production, Rs25 crore for prints and advertisement).

The film was released on 4,000 screens across India and 1,200 screens overseas. The overseas collection (producer's figures) for the first two days stood at $1.65 million (approximately Rs11.5 crore at the current exchange rate). 

Kalank, a family drama, is based in the Partition era, and stars Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditya Roy Kapur.

Next Friday, Marvel's Avengers: Endgame is set to be released. According to the second trade source, "The Marvel film will get a sizeable release in India. Simply because Fox is distributing it, most multiplexes might retain a few shows of Kalank."

Meanwhile, the preceding weekend’s release The Tashkent Files (2019), which was left with only about 100 screens after Kalank was released, managed to stay afloat bagging Rs45 lakh nett on its second Friday, which was more than it managed on opening day. The Tashkent Files has so far got Rs4.20 crore nett in domestic business.

Holdover release Kesari (2019) made Rs25 lakh nett on its fifth Friday to take its India business to Rs149.42 crore nett. If you leave aside the Tamil-Hindi bilingual 2.0 (2018), Kesari is likely to become the first Akshay Kumar film to make Rs150 crore nett at the box office.