R Madhavan’s Rocketry: The Nambi Effect publishes Pan India in various languages including Hindi, Tamil, English, Telugu and Kannada. The film is based on the life of former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) rocket scientist Nambi Narayanan. On top of that, moviegoers also have the actioner Om The Battle Within, coming out in theaters this week. Belonging to different genres, both films will appeal to different audiences. Film trade experts anticipate that while Rocketry will grow at the box office based on word of mouth, Om will see a greater presence in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Film producer and trade analyst Girish Johar believes that the Madhavan film “addresses a niche audience” and is not a “hard-core commercial film”. According to him, the film is a bit upscale and aimed at audiences in multiplexes.
“The buzz is pretty good and positive, especially in the south. Rocketry will get off to a good start at the box office. The film has also received many awards from the international arena, so things are looking positive. It’s going to be more word of mouth for the Hindi belt and it should be decent initially,” Johar told indianexpress.com, adding that Rocketry should do about a million on opening day. “I’m looking at the weekend and lifetime box office collections rather than the first day collection as I know the film is more word of mouth based,” he added.
R Madhavan stars in Rocketry. He also wrote and directed the film. Nambi Narayanan, head of ISRO’s cryogenics department, was falsely accused of espionage and arrested in 1994. All charges against him were dismissed by the Supreme Court in 1998.
While Girish Johar believes Rocketry will only find an audience in the city market, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who saw the film, suggests, “It’s not a film that’s intellectually inaccessible to people. It’s a movie about a rocket scientist, not a rocket science lesson. It is told in a way that the most ordinary of people can understand.”
According to Rathi, the film will resonate across the country, but its box office haul will depend entirely on “how quickly word of mouth spreads.” He said, “No doubting the fact that this isn’t a film that opens up to a large number of viewers on day one, it’s more of a word-of-mouth film.” He also compared Rocketry to The Kashmir Files, which not only for surprised the subject matter experts, but also the film’s producers, who never expected it to do so well at the box office. “Neither was The Kashmir Files an entertainer, but it was a topic that was extremely relevant to us. That’s what made it work. After watching Rocketry I can say that it is one of the most important films in the Indian film industry. As a director and actor, R Madhavan was phenomenal in this film,” said Rathi.
For those looking for some hardcore Bollywood entertainment, they have Om directed by Aditya Roy Kapur. The action drama also stars Sanjana Sanghi, Jackie Shroff, Ashutosh Rana and Prachi Shah.
Estimating the film’s opening day gross to be around Ts 1.5-2 crore, Girish Johar said, “It’s your typical hardcore action film. The trailer is decent. Aditya Roy Kapur fans will see him as a typical Hindi hero. The arousal level is only decent. I think the film is a gear change for Aditya Roy Kapur, until now he has mainly done romantic films and this is a hardcore action film. This time he tried to explore a different field.”
Both Om and Rocketry will appear on almost 1800-2000 screens.