Can Vijay Deverakonda, Ananya Panday’s Liger pull Bollywood out of box office ditch? Experts talk


Vijay Deverakonda’s Liger is all set to hit the screens on 25 August. Fans are eagerly waiting to see their Arjun Reddy star pack some punch on the big screen. Liger is a Pan-India film and marks the Bollywood debut of Vijay. Along with Vijay the film also stars Ananya Panday, Ramya Krishnan, Vish Reddy, and Ronit Roy. The movie also has a special cameo by none other than the boxing legend Mike Tyson.

On Sunday, the advance booking for Puri Jagannadh directorial kicked off in full swing. Liger has four days left for its arrival and the buzz for the film is heightened. Despite the boycott trend, the film has some positive word of mouth, and given the main market for Vijay lies in the Telugu regions, Hyderabad is showing a great response. Now, IndiaToday.in, exclusively spoke to trade experts to gauge and understand the box office numbers the film could achieve in the given scenario.

WILL LIGER REVIVE BOLLYWOOD’S DRY SPELL?

Vijay Deverakonda and the team have gone all out to do extensive promotions for Liger. He already had done enough promotions in Mumbai, Pune, Patna, Punjab, Gujarat, and Ahmedabad. The film has been promoted on a lavish scale, but will this work in the favor of the film? Trade expert Ramesh Bala predicts the first-day collection and explains, “I’m thinking Hindi, Telugu and Tamil day one collection could be around Rs 15 crore to Rs 20 crore all over India. If we are specifically talking about the Hindi belt, then the film is expected to collect around 10 crore. In Telugu, it can collect Rs 8 crore and in Tamil maybe around Rs 2 crore.”

He continued, “What can work in favor of Liger is that, they have done promotions all over the country, Dharma has promoted this film really well. So I hope that it translates. Of course, Vijay is a new star in Hindi, but I hope that Ananya Panday and Dharma’s magic works. Also, the film is a mass entertainer it should click well. The movie is promoted as though a big Bollywood star is in presenting the film, from Gujarat to Punjab he has visited all the states. For a debut Hindi star, this kind of promotion has never happened before, this kind of wide promotion has never happened. The promotion for Vijay is happening as though he is like Shahid Kapoor or Varun Dhawan. So it’s kind of a weird situation in which a relatively new person is getting an extensive promotion. Having said that he is popular everywhere because people have seen his films on YouTube and in theaters, but Liger is a bit of a new thing which we don’t have any presidence on, so we have to see how much will this work in his favor.”

Film critic and Trade expert Taran Adarsh added, “It’s a bit too early to comment on it because we don’t know the screen counts yet, as to how many screens has the film got. But, yes on the plus side, there is a scarcity of movies right now, good entertaining movies. Also, director Puri Jagannadh is known for making masala entertaining films, he has really made some very good entertaining films in the south, so let’s see and hope that he makes another successful film for the Hindi belt as well. Having said that Vijay has a very good market in Hindi after Arjun Reddy, people have seen that film and have developed a fan following, people know him just like it happened with Allu Arjun. People knew who he was before Pushpa was released. Similarly, it might translate into numbers for Vijay too. Let’s wait and watch, it has been promoted very aggressively, so let’s see how it works. It looks like the numbers will be good.”

Talking about the advance booking, Ramesh said, “The Telugu advance booking has started on a good note, Hindi advance booking data is yet to be seen, but I assume it’s good. Tamil booking will be on a softer side because, unlike in the Telugu region, Vijay is not a big star in Tamil, so there are chances the booking will be on a slower side. Right now we can cautiously be optimistic about the film.”

So, will the Bollywood boycott trend affect the film? Ramesh answered, “It’s been going on for a few days. I think the team is fighting back aggressively. I don’t think Laal Singh Chaddah or Raksha Bandhan fought the boycott thing. But, the Liger team is fighting it with counter hashtags like ‘I support Liger’, and ‘Unstoppable Liger’ trends. As per me there will be some damage but not to the extent of Laal Singh Chaddha. There will be a small dip, maybe 20%, not like Aamir Khan’s film. So far that’s the number we have seen which has affected a movie due to the boycott trend.”

Taran weighed in, “I genuinely feel that if the content is good enough it can withstand any bad weather, IPL matches, examination, boycott calls, or any opposition, but the content has to be good for that. If the content is not good then even bad weather or IPL matches can harm it. We are going through a drought right now and hope this film will get us out of it.”

On a concluding note Ramesh said, “I am hoping whatever bad memories Bollywood faced recently with the last two movies-Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan, Liger manage to bring some sunshine back to the industry, and hopefully, we have something to cheer about. This film should be a turnaround and bring cheer to the trade. Hoping for some positive things to happen and I wish it clears these glooming times for Bollywood.”

ALL ABOUT LIGER

Liger, meanwhile, has piqued the curiosity of fans with its trailer and songs. It is a sports drama that features Vijay Deverakonda in the role of a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter with a speech issue. Ananya Panday, who was last seen in the Deepika Padukone-led romantic drama Gehraiyaan, will make her Tollywood debut with the film. Liger is written and directed by Puri Jagannadh. Liger is slated to open in theatres on August 25.Vijay Deveradonda recently revealed that the film will most probably get a sequel.

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