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Box office: Emraan Hashmi's Why Cheat India has a poor opening weekend

The film, with a paltry Rs5.75 crore nett on the opening weekend, simply becomes yet another addition to the long list of Hashmi duds.

Mayur Lookhar

Emraan Hashmi left no stone unturned to try and create the right buzz around his maiden home production Why Cheat India.

But with generally average to poor reviews (with the possible exception of this website), Why Cheat India failed to get going at the box office, making a poor Rs5.75 crore nett in its opening weekend.

The film, directed by Soumik Sen, opened poorly, bagging just Rs1.50 crore nett on Friday. With such a poor opening, it needed to improve hugely over the weekend, but Why Cheat India could only muster Rs2 crore and Rs2.25 crore nett over Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Raaz Reboot (2016), Hashmi’s last solo release, was also panned by critics but still made Rs15.18 crore nett on its opening weekend. The horror film, directed by Vikram Bhatt on a budget of Rs30 crore, did Rs24.81 crore nett in India business after being released on 1,700 screens.

Why Cheat India becomes just another addition to the long and seemingly never-ending list of duds for Hashmi. The actor’s last hit was Raaz 3D (2013).

Made on an estimated budget of Rs27 crore (prints and advertisement included), Why Cheat India was released on 1,200 screens across India. 

"Audiences should be able to identify with a film," trade analyst Vinod Mirani explained. "Maybe such cheating takes place in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. But the common people need to find something in a film that they can identify with.”

Why Cheat India was co-produced by Emraan Hashmi Films, Ellipsis Entertainment and T-Series. Inspired by true events, the film tells the tale of Rakesh Singh, mastermind of a nationwide education scam.

There was a bunch of other releases last weekend, notably Arshad Warsi’s Fraud Saiyaan, Govinda’s Rangeela Raja and Radhika Apte’s Bombairiya, but all of them had limited releases and negligible collections. The trade simply filed all of them in the ‘disaster’ category.

In fact, holdover film Uri: The Surgical Strike enjoyed a great second weekend, bagging Rs37.25 crore nett, while Ranveer Singh's Simmba, which was released on 28 December, made a decent Rs4 crore nett on its fourth weekend. The film has so far made Rs236.16 crore nett.