Things aren’t looking too good at the box office for Samrat Prithviraj, the big-budget period epic starring Akshay Kumar. The film tanked on Monday, and early estimates for Tuesday suggest that the downward trend will continue. However, not everybody is willing to write it off just yet.
According to a Bollywood Hungama report, Samrat Prithviraj’s morning shows are being cancelled due to low attendance. Those shows that haven’t been cancelled are seeing footfall only in single digits.
Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Samrat Prithviraj opened to Rs 10.70 crore on Friday and jumped to Rs 12.60 crore on Saturday. On Sunday, the film made Rs 16.10 crore, taking the total weekend collections to Rs 39.40 crore, which paled in comparison to the Rs 55 crore that Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 made in its first weekend last month. Ironically, Akshay Kumar starred in the first Bhool Bhulaiyaa but didn’t return for the second, which cost much less to produce than Samrat Prithviraj's.
Bollywood Hungama quoted sources as saying that the film didn’t attract crowds in Mumbai, but nobody expected shows to be cancelled because of zero ticket sales in the morning. Samrat Prithviraj is expected to have made between Rs 4 and Rs 4.25 crore on Tuesday. Another source said that the film was performing marginally better in the Delhi and Hindi markets, but due to its massively wide release—Prithviraj was playing on nearly 5000 screens worldwide—a drop was to be expected during the weekdays. The film, made at a reported budget of Rs 200 crore, needs to recoup its cost. This is panning out to be Akshay’s second box office dud in a row, following Bachchhan Pandey, which was released in the wake of The Kashmir Files’ blockbuster run. However, the fact that it has almost 3 weeks of ticket windows till Jugjugg Jeeyo drops works in its favour.
Speaking about Samrat Prithviraj's performing below expectations, Sonu Sood told Hindustan Times, "I am very thankful to the audience for showering us with their love." It might not have gotten as much business as expected, but we have to accept that things are a bit different after the pandemic. Having said that, I’d say I am very happy with it and with how much love people have shown it. "