Mumbai Saga is one of the highly anticipated Bollywood films of this season and boasts of the bankable duo of John Abraham and Emran Hashmi. The film is directed by the evergreen Sanjay Gupta who's known for both good and bad style of films. But he's never out of touch with trends and is always updated in terms of technique. The veteran director might have wanted to have his piece of cake in Mumbai gangster scene with this film co-starring Kajal Aggarwal who's more known down South.
Though the movie received mixed reception from the critics, by the end of the first day at the box office it started to get positive word of mouth from the audience who are deprived of action in theatres. The fast paced storytelling and charismatic lead men added to the interest of the audience. But all these don't mean much for virus. It's one with a single purpose... that is... to spread and consume as many lives as possible. Just like the gangsters and crime cannot be completely eradicated, its effects cannot be done with.
After a sedate start on Day 1, and lower than Day 1 numbers on Day 2 (which was surprising) , Mumbai Saga surprised everyone on Sunday with a Rs. 3.55 Cr. nett. totalling Rs. 8.77 Cr. in the weekend. In a world without pandemic this 8.77 Cr. would have been a minimum opening day Nett for a John Abraham film. But based on current reality, the Sunday numbers are way more than anyone could have expected.
This despite there being the most night curfews and restrictions since films started releasing again with Roohi. Major centres like Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore and Bhopal which were shut and there were places like Thane and Pune under heavy restrictions which meant limited screenings. Also many other areas in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh had limited screenings.
This is where John Abraham films work well usually. It's more like asking him to participate in a Taekwando world championship with his arms and legs tied with tight ropes. In Northern circuits, Punjab had seen many cinemas remaining shut due to heavy restrictions.
Wherever the film is generally shown, the seats are completely filled as per the allowed numbers. Sunday numbers augured well for the weekdays but restrictions in Maharashtra will be going to an extra level with random testing in malls which will mean less people going to malls from Monday onwards. Still on Monday the film put up good enough numbers and the Nett stood at Rs. 1.5 Cr.
As per our estimates, Mumbai Saga may end up with just above 20-22 Cr. range but it's not a flop. Historically, it should be seen as a good film whose success chances are killed by the resurging pandemic. Of course, human lives are more important than entertainment.