Hindi film Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 had a grand opening on Friday at the ticket windows in India and it now has the highest opening day collection for a Hindi film in 2022. Indian films that had a better opening at the box office this year were KGF Chapter 2 ($6.9 million) and RRR ($2.5 million) – both were non-Hindi films.
Directed by Anees Bazmee, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 has earned $1.81 million in India on day one of the release. The collections saw a significant rise on Saturday and the film scored $2.3 million on the second day, making a total of $4.1 million in just two days. The film released across 3800 screens and 3200 among those are in India alone. On the other hand, Dhaakad, headlined by Kangana Ranaut, had a poor show at the box office.
Featuring Tabu, Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani in significant roles, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a sequel to the 2007 Bhool Bhulaiyya that was directed by Priyadarshan and featured Vidya Balan in the powerful, and now-famous role of Manjolika. Starring Akshay Kumar and Shiney Ahuja in important roles, the film was a remake of the 1993 Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 takes a leap far away from the first film, especially in terms of the treatment it gives to supernatural powers. The first film balanced it between science and belief while the new one is tilted a little too much on the side of belief. The 2007 film did not show a ghost, but the new one does.
Nonetheless, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 not only entertains, it does so in style. Aaryan and Tabu are absolute stunners in this one. While Tabu has enough screen space and her character arc offers her the bandwidth to showcase her talent, Aaryan manages to do the same despite limited opportunities to do so. Without getting into the details, his character is a happy go-lucky guy in the movie but the one time when he is supposed to be possessed, he gives an impressive performance, especially the dance sequence.
The other Hindi release this week – Ranaut’s Dhaakad – reportedly earned less than $0.07 million. Directed by Razneesh Ghai Razy, the film is an action drama that features Arjun Rampal and Divya Dutta in negative roles. Saswata Chatterjee, of Kahaani fame, also plays an important part in the film.
If anything is flawless in Dhaakad, it is the styling of the characters and the visuals. From Ranaut to Dutta and Rampal, all of them look perfect. The action sequences are also a visual treat and one of the opening sequences is a clear reminder of one in Quentin Tarantino’s iconic film Pulp Ficton (though this one is a bad copy).
It is no doubt that the film takes heavy inspiration from Tarantino’s style of action. The lyrics of a promotional song for the movie, She’s On Fire, calls the lead character (Agni, essayed by Ranaut) “Tarantino’s tenth film”. However, Dhaakad fails to add any depth to the characters, leaving little for the audience to empathize. The focus seems to be just on the visuals, and not the story. The direction and screenplay fail this ambitious actioner which also boasts of brilliant actors such as Ranaut, Dutta and Sharib Hashmi, among a few others.
Nonetheless, Dhaakad must be celebrated for the fact that a producer banked upon a female actor for Hindi film industry, for a film that is traditionally the zone of male stars, even outside India. Ranaut’s dedicated performance only adds to the experience.
Last week, Ranveer Singh-starrer film Jayeshbhai Jordaar also had a disappointing show at the box office and collected mere $1.5 million over the first weekend of the release. Directed by , Jayeshbhai Jordaar had an opening of $0.41 million and the collections saw slight rise over the next two days – the film earned 0.51 million and $0.61 million on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Championing the cause of saving the girl child, the film has had a meagre $2.2 million collections in one week of the release.