`Guzaarish`, `Harry Potter` cast spell in initial weekend

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010, 10:10 AM IST

New Delhi: It was a battle between a magician from the East and a wizard from the West and their spell proved unbreakable as both Hrithik Roshan starrer "Guzaarish" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" wowed audiences, with the two running neck and neck in the first weekend.

While "Guzaarish" lost its initial pick to the boy wizard on Friday, Hrithik`s magic tricks and intense acting picked up Saturday onwards.

"The weekend was superb. While `Guzaarish` was good with 85 percent occupancy, `Harry Potter...` did around 70 percent both in Hindi and English. Collections wise both movies have done neck to neck business, however, `Guzaarish` is a class movie and not meant for everyone," Amit Awasthi, senior manager (Programming and Operations) of Spice Cinemas, told reporters.

Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (Cinemas) of Wave Cinemas, said: "`Harry Potter...` was good with 60-70 percent occupancy as per its fan following while `Guzaarish` is a class movie and not for masses but it garnered 70 percent occupancy. The content for both is being appreciated and both are worth watching."

While "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" is the seventh installment in the epic franchise, it has been directed by David Yates. The wizard trio - Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reprise their roles in the movie.

Distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, the movie earned a gross of Rs.11.3 crore in its first weekend, according to the distributors. It released in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in India.

"Guzaarish", on the other hand, is the story of a magician (Hrithik) who becomes paraplegic after a trick goes haywire. The movie highlights the issue of euthanasia (mercy killing). Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, it also stars Aishwarya Rai.

"`Harry Potter` was good on Friday while `Guzaarish` picked up Saturday onwards. Both the movies did a neck to neck business with on an average 70-75 percent occupancy," said Amit Shah, chief manager (programming) of DLF DT cinemas.

Added Jayendra Banerji, vice president (Operations) of Satyam Cineplexes: "The weekend was very good with both `Guzaarish` and `Harry Potter...` doing very well. While the former got 65 percent occupancy, the latter was anywhere between 60-70 percent. Both the movies have been appreciated a lot, however, `Guzaarish` has won kudos for its technical brilliance and emotional content despite not being a movie for the masses and only multiplexes."

A source from PVR Cinemas, however, had a different story.

"Both the movies got only 50 percent occupancy on an average because of more shows and because people didn`t like both the outings that much.... The movies didn`t go down well with audiences as per their expectations. However, `Guzaarish` did better than `Harry Potter...`," said the source.

IANS