'Dum Laga Ke Haisha', which released last Friday to overwhelmingly positive reviews (here is HuffPost India's take on the film), saw excellent growth in its box-office figures in its opening weekend. After a poor start on Friday, with reports of 15% occupancy and a total collection of Rs 1.1 crore, its figures doubled on Saturday as it took in Rs 2.09 crore, according to a tweet by trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
#DumLagaKeHaisha biz doubles on Day 2. Tremendous appreciation translates into BO numbers. Fri 1.11 cr, Sat 2.09 cr. Total: ₹ 3.20 cr.
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) March 1, 2015
Now, an early report published by Bollywood trade website Koimoi.com on Monday morning says that the film's collections seem to have doubled again on Sunday, with its complete weekend box-office haul amounting to Rs 6 crore.
While the numbers themselves are low, this growth rate — aided by positive critical appreciation and word-of-mouth — seems to mirror the box-office journey of Kangana Ranaut starrer 'Queen', which released last year in early March. The award-winning comedy, directed by Vikas Bahl, had opened to a similarly tepid response on Friday, but managed to gain tremendous traction through great reviews and word-of-mouth. It grossed Rs 2.3 crore on its opening day, followed by Rs 3.35 crore on Saturday and Rs 4.3 crore on Sunday, ending up with Rs 9.5 crores over the weekend.
The significance of Dum Laga Ke Haisha's weekend box-office performance is that it doubled its figures on each day despite the little fanfare that accompanied the film's release. Its producer Yashraj Films has so far released it only in a paltry 775 screens (Queen, similarly, had an initial release of only 800 screens).
Dum Laga Ke Haisha, directed by Sharat Katariya, tells the story of an oddly-matched couple, played by Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar, in '90s Haridwar. Thematically too, it bears certain resemblances to Queen — both films are anchored by strong performances from their female leads, and favour the empowerment of women to certain, if somewhat different, extents.
Queen's box-office rose dramatically after that opening weekend, with its second, third, and fourth week collections breaking several records. Could Dum Laga Ke Haisha repeat this performance? It may be too early to tell, but the parallels as well as the numbers are hard to ignore.