Actor Richa Chadda's upcoming movie Shakeela, based on the life of the yesteryear star of the same name, might open to a decent response at the box office on Friday despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking to DH, trade analyst LM Kaushik said the opening day net collection is likely to be around Rs two crore in a best-case scenario.
The film is also expected to make an okayish impact in Tamil Nadu as the erstwhile 'box office queen' is a popular name in the state. Industry tracker Ramesh Bala tells DH that the day one gross collection would be around Rs 75 lakh in a best-case scenario
The collection, however, would have been better if the makers had opted to shoot it in Tamil rather than releasing the dubbed version.
Either way, a lot will depend on whether it is able to draw a crowd despite the positive response to the Hollywood biggie Wonder Woman 1984. The Gal Gadot-starrer is likely to give Shakeela a run for its money in the metros.
While the trailer of Shakeela created a buzz with its sizzling presentation, a few feathers were ruffled as fans felt that it had a distinct The Dirty Picture feel. The Vidya Balan-starrer was inspired by the life of actor Silk Smitha, the star of Shakeela's first film Play Girls. Moreover, just like Richa's movie, it too revolved around the relationship between the protagonist and a reigning star.
Shakeela, however, would not have been able to beat The Dirty Picture at the box office even if it was released during 'normal times' as opposed to the Covid-era.
The Ekta Kapoor-backed movie was shot on a bigger scale and had a more accomplished supporting cast that included Emraan Hashmi and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah. Shakeela, on the other hand, has produced by a less established production banner and marks Sandalwood director Indrajit Lankesh's Hindi debut. While it features Pankaj Tripathi in a key role, the fact is that 'Kaleen' is not as seasoned a performer as the Hero Hiralal actor.
That said and done, Shakeela might spring a surprise if the word of mouth is positive and it benefits from the Christmas holidays.