R Madhavan’s Rocketry: The Nambi Effect releases pan-India in several languages including Hindi, Tamil, English, Telugu and Kannada. The film is based on the life of former rocket scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Nambi Narayanan. In addition, the moviegoers also released actioner Om The Battle Within this week in theaters. Both films, which belong to different genres, will appeal to different audiences. Movie business experts suggest that while Rocketry will grow at the box office based on word of mouth, Om will see more visitors in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Film producer and trade analyst Girish Johar believes that the Madhavan film is “tending to a niche audience” and is not a “hardcore commercial film”. According to him, the film is a bit posh and targets audiences in multiplexes.
“The buzz is pretty good and positive, especially in the south. Rocketry is going to get off to a good start at the box office. The film has also received a lot of praise from the international arena, so that looks positive. For the Hindi belt, it will rely more on word of mouth and should be decent to start with,” Johar told indianexpress.com, adding Rocketry should be somewhere around a crore on opening day. “I’m looking at the weekend and lifetime box office collection, rather than day one, because I know the film is based more on word of mouth,” he added.
R Madhavan plays the lead role in Rocketry. He also wrote and directed the film. Nambi Narayanan, head of ISRO’s cryogenics division, was falsely accused of espionage and arrested in 1994. All charges against him were dismissed by the Supreme Court in 1998.
While Girish Johar thinks Rocketry will only find audiences in the urban market, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has seen the film, suggests: “It’s not a movie that’s intellectually inaccessible to humans. It’s a movie about a rocket scientist, not a rocket science lesson.” It is told in a way that ordinary people can understand.”
According to Rathi, the film will find traction across the country, but the box office collection will depend entirely on “how quickly word of mouth spreads”. He said: “There’s no question that this isn’t a film that will open to huge numbers on its first day, it’s more of a word of mouth.” He also compared Rocketry to The Kashmir Files, which came as a surprise not only to the professionals, but also to the film’s producers, who never expected the film to do so well at the box office. “Even The Kashmir Files wasn’t an entertainer either, but it was on 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 made in the Indian film industry. As a director and actor, R Madhavan has been phenomenal in this film,” said Rathi.
For those looking for hardcore Bollywood entertainment, they have Aditya Roy Kapur run Om. The action drama also stars Sanjana Sanghi, Jackie Shroff, Ashutosh Rana and Prachi Shah.
Girish Johar said: ‘It’s a typical hardcore action movie. The trailer is decent. Fans of Aditya Roy Kapur will see him as a quintessential Hindi hero. The excitement level is just decent. I feel the movie is a change of gear for Aditya Roy Kapur, so far he has mostly done romantic movies, and this is a hardcore action movie. This time he has tried to explore a different field.”
Both Om and Rocketry will be released on nearly 1800-2000 screens.