KARACHI: Although expected to be one of the most spectacular releases of the year, Spectre — the latest installment in the James Bond franchise — has been unable to live up to its hype. While the reviews are flailing on both sides of the spectrum, the 24th Bond film has, by and large, failed to cast a spell on the local box office, as it did with the 2012 blockbuster Skyfall.
After hitting theatres on November 6, the spy-thriller grossed around Rs30 million on its opening weekend, leaving behind its estimated target of Rs50 million to Rs70 million. According to Mirza Saad Baig, general manager at distribution company FootPrint (Pvt) Ltd, the movie’s performance has been “below par.”
Despite how the film’s mediocre performance came as a jarring surprise, Baig feels a major reason for low box-office returns is that the film did not fare well in the “interior region.” He added, “Spectre did not do well in cities, such as Gujranwala and Faisalabad, which was mainly because the Digital Cinema Package for the Urdu dubbed version arrived on Tuesday,” he shared.
Spectre has fared better at multiplex cinemas, such as Karachi’s Nueplex, something that distributors believe boils down to the nature of the film. “Bond is not like the Fast and Furious series. It’s classier and caters to a niche audience. So, it won’t garner the same response as a Fast and Furious movie,” explained Baig.
Screened on 64 cinema screens and across 42 locations, there might be a need to recalculate the box-office gross that distributors had forecasted initially. “It’ll be very difficult for Spectre to gross around Rs150 million but I think it’s more likely for the film to reach Rs120 million in its lifetime.”
Chances that Spectre will strike its expected gross amount seem bleak, especially with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo releasing later this week. It may also inadvertently reduce screenings of the James Bond movie.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2015.