Kartik Aaryan’s action masala film Shehzada is set to release in theatres this Friday. The advance booking opened earlier this week but the response has been rather tepid. In fact, of the three big releases this Friday, Shehzada has registered the lowest earnings in advance booking till Thursday evening. The figures, by 10pm on Thursday, did not paint a very rosy picture for the Kartik Aaryan-starrer.
By 10 pm on Thursday night, with under two hours left for advance bookings for day one, Shehzaada had managed to sell just 42,724 tickets across India, grossing Rs 1.32 crore. In comparison, last year’s Kartik’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 had grossed five times more – Rs 6.55 crore – in advance booking for day one.
Shehzada had been delayed for release by a week given the phenomenal success of Pathaan, which is still running strong in theatres. But this has meant that it is now clashing with Marvel’s latest release Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The Paul Rudd-starrer is a major MCU film as it reveals the newest franchise villain Kang. The film has outdone Shehzada in terms of advance bookings by a fair margin, grossing over Rs 4 crore in both Hindi and English. In fact, the Hindi-dubbed version alone accounts for a healthy Rs 73 lakh in advance bookings.
What is especially surprising is that Tamil film Vaathi (also being released in Telugu as Sir) has also managed to outdo Shehzada in terms of advance booking. The action drama stars Dhanush and has managed Rs 1.5 crore in advance bookings by 10 pm on Thursday night and is looking at a strong opening. That Shehzada, a massy action film, is lagging behind a Hollywood film and a Tamil entertainer on the day of release, is definitely surprising given the film’s hype.
Shehzada, directed by Rohit Dhawan, and alo starring Kriti Sanon and Paresh Rawal, will now depend upon word of mouth for a strong start. For that, it will have to garner good reviews when it releases in theatres on Friday.