Oppenheimer and Barbie will continue the momentum built by Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One at the Indian box office, say trade experts, predicting that the two Hollywood movies releasing Friday will collectively amass around Rs. 45 crore in the opening weekend.
In the duel between two major Hollywood titles, Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, a sprawling biographical drama on the titular American theoretical physicist played by Cillian Murphy, is expected to do better numbers than Barbie, a live-action film on the world-famous Mattel doll from actor-director Greta Gerwig, they said.
Gautam Dutta, PVR INOX Ltd co-CEO, credited Tom Cruise's Dead Reckoning Part One for giving a blockbuster start to the second half of 2023.
“The whole trend started with Mission: Impossible. It was released on Wednesday and the weekend was colossal... The whole momentum got created with that. This month also sees a huge opening of Oppenheimer and Barbie. This is by far the most positive news because people are flocking back to cinemas.
"We are expecting an industry-wide opening day gross box office collection of Rs. 7 crore for Oppenheimer and Rs. 4 crore for Barbie. The first weekend (Friday–Sunday) collection could be around Rs. 30 crore for Oppenheimer and Rs. 15 crore for Barbie," Dutta told PTI.
Dead Reckoning Part One, the seventh film in Cruise's spy action franchise Mission: Impossible that hit Indian screens on July 12, reportedly raised Rs. 50 crore in the first five days of its release.
Its maker Paramount Pictures India claimed the movie has registered the "biggest opening day and opening weekend" for the franchise, Cruise, and the studio in the country.
Dutta said over 8.5 lakh people and about 9 lakh saw Dead Reckoning Part One on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
For Oppenheimer, the PVR INOX executive said, the multiplex chain has sold "close to 1.5 lakh tickets already for a single day for Friday, and for the weekend, it's clocking about 4 lakh".
"Barbie, as well, is trending a little below Oppenheimer because it caters to a slightly different audience," he added.
Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas, online ticketing platform BookMyShow, said July has been a "crackling month" at the cinemas with three back-to-back Hollywood titles releasing in little less than 10 days. "It's especially heartening that Hollywood films have been doing so well. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One set the tempo, followed by the most anticipated box-office duel between Oppenheimer and Barbie.
"Both films continue to pick pace, as we get closer to the release date. While both the films are creating a buzz worldwide, Nolan's Oppenheimer has started off on a very impressive note in India, as advance sales for the film in IMAX screens opened up much earlier than usual, therefore naturally taking the lead in sales," Saksena said in a statement. According to the senior executive, the film has crossed over 3 lakh tickets in sales on BookMyShow, since advance booking went live three weeks ago.
Since Oppenheimer will be the only release on IMAX screens this week, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, and Chennai are in the lead for most ticket sales on the platform, he said. Forty-two per cent of tickets for Oppenheimer booked on BookMyShow have been for immersive cinematic formats, specifically the IMAX format, Saksena added.
Echoing his sentiment, Dutta said IMAX screens for Nolan's latest film are "all packed across the board". "This is not just a region-specific trend. All the weekends are already gone," he added.
Barbie, led by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is drawing audiences, especially the youth, to the theatres, observed Saksena. "The film has already crossed 54,000 tickets sold on BookMyShow with Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, and Kolkata in the lead as bookings continue to open across other screens and theatres across India," he further said.
According to the ticketing platform, eight per cent of the people have booked tickets for both Oppenheimer and Barbie, with most of them opting to watch the films on the same day.
"In fact, we have also witnessed 22 per cent of transactors for Oppenheimer having watched Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One just recently, further reiterating a strong audience following for quality Hollywood spectacles on the silver screen," Saksena said.
"We are optimistic that these two films are set to welcome hordes of consumers to the theatres across formats for the ultimate big-screen experience," he added.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta hopes the excitement in cinema halls continues this week with Oppenheimer and Barbie. "The craze of both the films is immense, but they can't be expected to do the Mission: Impossible figures because it was a mass film. Christopher Nolan is a class director and Barbie is not being released in Hindi.
“Mission: Impossible has mass appeal as well as was dubbed in Hindi. Having said that, the figures will be big. It's good that there are no Bollywood films releasing in cinemas, except Ajmer 92, which is a small film. If there was a major film, then there would have been a competition," Nahta told PTI. According to Nahta, Avatar: The Way of Water and Fast X were the last tentpole Hollywood films that performed well at the Indian box office.
James Cameron's The Way of Water, which was released in December 2022, reportedly collected over Rs. 100 crore in the first weekend, while Vin Diesel-led Fast X landed in theatres in May this year and earned Rs. 61 crore in the first three days.
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