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Kabzaa box office prediction: Can Upendra-Sudeep starrer beat the odds of a dull weekend? Trade experts weigh in

The odds are stacked against Upendra's most-ambitious movie Kabzaa at the box office. 

Kabzaa box office prediction: Can Upendra-Sudeep starrer beat the odds of a dull weekend? Trade experts weigh in
Upendra in a still from Kabzaa
  • Manoj Kumar R

Last Updated: 08.16 AM, Mar 16, 2023

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Kabzaa is the most ambitious and expensive movie in the career of Kannada movie star Upendra's career. With the movie set to release in cinemas on Friday, the level of interest among movie patrons seems to be below expectations in other parts of the country.  

In the last few years, Kannada movies have managed to find a lot of takers in the Hindi-speaking belt. The north circuits have emerged as a key market to extend the profits of the Kannada producers. Besides the KGF series and Kantara, films like 777 Charlie and Vikrant Rona have managed to make some significant gains at the box office in North India. But, Kabzaa has fallen short of building a ground-level momentum that would have ensured an encouraging opening for the movie. 

"All key releases tomorrow have dull advance bookings... #MrsChatterjeeVsNorway #Zwigato #Kabzaa #Papa ... are fully relying on their respective WOMs to take them through the wknd. #ShazamFuryOfTheGods will have a better start in key limited cities," tweeted Girish Johar. 

The ongoing exam season seems to be undercutting the film's box office potential. "It's not that great. The promotions and awareness level are not up to the mark. The exams are also going on, so the excitement level is below par," said film business expert and producer Girish Johar. 


Girish also opined that the promotions were not "aggressive enough" and he predicted that it would open below Rs 1 crore. "The promotions should have catered to the Hindi mass market. I don't think they have created enough awareness," he added. 

The situation for Kabzaa is not very different in Tamil Nadu. "We cannot expect any big opening here. Especially in this season, you can't expect anything. It's a very bad season," said Rakesh Gowthaman, who manages Chennai's popular twin-screen cinemas Vettri Theatres. 

"Kabzaa must get reviews similar to KGF to run in Tamil Nadu. After all the COvid confusion, this year's exams are happening as per schedule. In the history of Tamil cinema, no movie has ever performed goo in the first three weeks of Tamil cinema. Last March was good because of Valimai and RRR. People were eager to watch these movies in cinemas after the lockdown and all. This year, the situation is regular and it's looking bad. Even if the reviews say, this movie is good, it won't run. It has to be a must-watch in theatres," he added. 

The advance booking for Kabzaa has also fallen short of expectations in Karnataka. Some of the sources in the industry, however, are quite optimistic about the film's opening. It's expected to gross more than Rs 10 crore on its opening day. However, judging from the dull response for the movies in other parts of the country, the odds of this movie doing that kind of business are unlikely. The movie's premiere in the USA on Thursday was also cancelled owing to some technical issues. 

With the way things are now, Kabzaa may not live up to its marketing tag — the next big thing from Kannada cinema. It now all depends on what kind of response the receives from audience. Good word of mouth could change the movie's fortunes.  

Kabzaa is written and directed by R Chandru. Besides Upendra, the film also has Shriya Saran. It also stars Sudeep and Shivarajkumar in cameo roles.