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`Khatta Meetha` goes sweet at single screens, sour at multiplexes

New Delhi: Superstar Akshay Kumar starrer `Khatta Meetha` has had a sweet-sour effect on the Box Office as the Priyadarshan helmed comedy has made single-screen audiences burst into guffaws but left the multiplex gentry asking for more.

"The overall average occupancy for `Khaata Meetha` over the weekend was 75 percent. Word of mouth is not that great and it is not being appreciated. Basically, it is a masses film meant only for single-screens where it is doing very well unlike in the multiplexes," Amit Awasthi, senior manager (Programming and Operations) of Spice Cinemas, told reporters.

"Monday onwards the occupancy of the movie has fallen drastically," he added.

A source from PVR cinemas said: "The weekend was Ok and the occupancy was only 60 percent. The content is average and the initial was not as expected as out of an Akshay Kumar movie. We hope it sustains this week. However, it is doing well in single-screens."

Produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd and distributed by DreamWorld Searchlight Pictures, `Khatta Meetha` takes a dig at corruption and bribery.

Akshay`s character in the movie is modelled on renowned cartoonist RK Laxman`s iconic "Common Man" character.

A remake of Priyadarshan`s 1988 Malayalam film "Vellanakalude Naadu", it also stars Makrand Deshpande, Johnny Lever, Rajpal Yadav, Aroona Irani and Milind Gunaji. Southern actress Trisha makes her Bollywood debut with the film.

"The weekend for `Khatta Meetha` was only above average and not as per expectations, though not below too. The occupancy over the weekend has only been 70-75 percent vis-a-vis Akshay`s films that generally get a 90-95 percent opening," said Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (Cinemas) of Wave Cinemas.

"The content is being appreciated at small centres but we are hoping it to sustain over the week, though there has been some fall today (Monday)," he added.

Deepak Taluja, senior vice president (Business and Operations) of Fun Cinemas, however, had a different story to tell.

"The weekend went quite well. Our expectations were rather very low but at the Delhi properties, it has got an occupancy of 60-65 percent on an average. Akshay Kumar`s movie`s hardly have a story but viewers have somehow liked it," said Taluja.

Single-screen theatres are going gaga over the film.

"People are liking the movie and it might stretch for a week at least. We have had an average occupancy of 80-85 percent in the initial weekend with a gross of over Rs.400,000. We are very happy with the audience reaction," said Prakash Dubey, manager, Sheila Cinema.

Added a source from Sangam cinema: "The movie has done good business at Sangam with an occupancy of over 80 percent. In fact Sunday was houseful and jampacked. We are hoping it will sustain for at least two weeks."

IANS

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