Will this create a stree like magic at the ticket offices? Analysis

Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma Starrer Roohi is the first major Hindi film to come out amid a pandemic (Photo credit: IMDb)

After a long wait, Bollywood is finally preparing for a comeback on the big screen. Although a few films were released after the lockdown, they had virtually no potential to bring audiences back. Now that the industry is gearing up to release major films starting in March, the excitement is pretty high. Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma with Roohi is the first major Hindi film to come out amid the pandemic.

The long-awaited film is part of Dinesh Vijan’s horror comedy universe and follows on from the 2018 Super-Duper Hit, Stree. Starring Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in the lead, the film was loved by critics as well as audiences. With an enterprise of 129.67 crore, it was among the top trending movies and also one of the highest grossing this year.

Now, expectations are high from Roohi as well.

1) It’s part of a successful brand and horror comedy is a very popular genre among audiences. The success of Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Go Goa Gone, Golmaal Again and even Stree is proof of this.

2) Janhvi Kapoor has built her own following fan even though she is a newbie in the industry. Her first film Dhadak was a box office hit and the second film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl was a hit on OTT as well. Rajkummar Rao is also a popular face thanks to films like Bareilly Ki Barfi, Kai Po Che !, Queen, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, Stree, Ludo and others.

3) The trailer for the film promised an artist that audiences have been looking forward to for a long time.

Now, how much business can Roohi expect to do at the box office?

First of all, don’t expect it to be more than 100 crore, just like Stree.

1) Times are tough and audience behavior is unpredictable. Even when 100% occupancy has been allowed in theaters in multiple locations, one cannot expect the crowd to immediately jump on the movies.

2) Before COVID-19, the cinematic window to OTT for movies was 8 weeks. However, during this period, this was reduced to a great extent. As the movies will be released on OTT earlier than before, a lot of people will like to wait and opt for this option.

3) The star value of Janhvi Kapoor is not as large as that of Shraddha Kapoor. Prior to Stree she had donated 100 gross crore like Ek Villain & ABCD 2. So it was not a huge task for Stree. Whereas in this case it will be a big challenge.

Practically in a situation like this, Roohi’s first target will be hitting the 50 crore mark. If that happens, it will be good news for the industry. And if he can get past 60, that will surely be something really encouraging.

Directed by Hardik Mehta, Roohi is set for release on March 11.

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