The two big budget Hindi movies released on Thursday have performed lower than expectations at the box office on the first two days with hopes now pinned on the Independence Day holiday weekend to help the two flicks gain more traction.

Trade experts are worried that weaker performances of Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan may add to the woes of the ailing Hindi movie industry at a time when South Indian movies such as RRR and KGF-2 earned record collections.

According to trade analysts, Aamir Khan starrer Laal Singh Chaddha raked in about ₹11.70 crore on the first day of release, while second day collections were estimated at about ₹7.26 crore (Hindi version) at the domestic box office.

Akshay Kumar-starrer Raksha Bandhan opened with first day collections of ₹8.20 crore and Friday collections were pegged at ₹6.40 crore.

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Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted, “#LaalSinghChaddha falls flat on Day 2....Drop at national chains...Mass pockets face steep fall... 2-day total is alarmingly low for an event film... Extremely crucial to score from Sat-Mon. (sic)“

He also stated that collections for Raksha Bandhan remain extremely low at national cinema chains and the mass circuit seems to be driving its business.

Rajender Singh Jyala, Chief Programming Officer, Inox Leisure Ltd said that Friday being a non-holiday a drop in collections was expected, “With the Saturday-Monday period being a long weekend, we expect the momentum to pick up. Overall it has been a mixed bag and both the films have performed below expectations so far,” he added.

Post the third pandemic wave, the box office had largely been witnessing release of small and medium budget movies and therefore a lot was riding on these two big budget movies timed to be released on the Independence Day holiday weekend for better traction.

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Karan Taurani, Senior Vice-President at Elara Capital said the weaker performance of the two films will impact the Hindi box office’s performance in the second quarter.

“This is a cause of concern as this quarter has been weak. We expect that there will be a 20 per cent decline compared to the pre-Covid levels in terms of box office collections in the September quarter of FY23. I think Laal Singh Chaddha will wind up around ₹70-80 crore at the box office and Raksha Bandhan at around ₹40-50 crore as lifetime collections. This is nearly half of the numbers in terms of box office collections that we were expecting from these two big films,” he added.

Meanwhile, the multiplex industry is now banking on the other big budget movies like Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva, Vikram Vedha and Ram Setu to perform well at the box office slated for release in September and October.