'Challo Dilli' scores over 'Shor in..', 'I AM'

May 4, 2011 IANS

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) It was a dull weekend at the box office as four new releases saw weak openings, but word of mouth publicity seems to be working well for "Challo Dilli", which was released alongside "Shor In The City", "I AM" and "Naughty@40".

"All the films had normal openings. With so many small-budget films releasing at the same time, audiences are divided and they are eating into each other's business. Over the weekend, the films opened up with merely 15-20 percent occupancy. But fortunately, because of the Maharashtra Day, the films picked up to 50 percent," Girish Wankhede of Cinemax, Mumbai told IANS.

"Word of mouth publicity is working for 'Challo Dilli' and the film is picking up. It is likely to sustain," he added.

Directed by Shashant Shah, "Challo Dilli" is Lara Dutta's first production venture. Made on a budget of approximately Rs.5 crore, it has raked in Rs.4.25 crores at the box-office.

The film stars Vinay Pathak and Lara. It is a story about Mihika (Lara), a successful investment banker living in Mumbai. She misses her flight to Delhi and needs to get there in any way possible and on her way she meets Manu Gupta (Vinay Pathak) and it is about their journey.

Although Onir's "I AM" has been appreciated by critics, the lack of mass appeal is proving difficult for it to sustain at the box office. Made on a budget of Rs.3 crore, the film has four stories entwined into each other with four characters struggling for individual identities.

The budgt for director duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK's "Shor In The City" is not known, but boxofficeindia.com reports it has earned Rs.3.85 crore so far.

The film revolves around three interconnected stories in the midst of the noise and grime of Mumbai. The star cast of the film includes Sendhil Ramamurthy, Tusshar Kapoor, Nikhil Dwivedi, Preeti Desai, Pitobash Tripathy, Radhika Apte and Sundeep Kishan.

"'I AM' lacks mass appeal as it is a serious film and not made for all kinds of audiences, while 'Shor In The City' has been critical acclaimed. The overall performance of 'Challo Dilli' is good. People are liking it, especially Vinay Pathak. 'Challo Dilli' opened with 80 percent occupancy, while 'Shor In The City' had 40 to 50 percent occupancy and 'I AM' had 30 to 40 percent occupancy," said Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (Cinemas) of Wave Cinemas.

Actor Govinda's Naughty@40 with Yuvika Chowdhary also failed to attract eyeballs.

"'Naughty@40' has got a very ordinary response. It's a very stale film. It has nothing interesting to offer. You can't fool audiences anymore. You have to give your best," said Piyush Raizada, director, Delight Cinemas.

However, theatre owners are now looking forward to the release of Vikram Bhatt's 3D "Haunted".

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