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'Rustom' ahead of 'Mohenjo Daro' in box office race

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar's latest release "Rustom" seems to have had a better start at the box office as compared to the Hrithik Roshan starrer "Mohenjo Daro". According to trade pundits, the Akshay Kumar starrer courtroom-drama is getting better reviews from the audience than the Ashutosh Gowariker-directed period-drama. "'Rustom' is leading... It is performing better than "Mohenjo Daro". It got decent reviews and people are liking this film more. 'Mohenjo Daro' did not seem to be appealing to the audience, while there was curiosity and hype around 'Rustom'," film distributor Rajesh Thadani told PTI. According to Thandani the opening day figures of "Rustom" can touch the Rs 12-13 crore mark and for "Mohenjo Daro" it will be around Rs seven-eight crore. "There is a holiday period ahead and it seems both the films will benefit from it. I think over the weekend 'Rustom' should do Rs 40 crore and 'Mohenjo Daro' will do Rs 20-25 crore," he added. Distributor Akshay Rathi says the average occupancy of Akshay Kumar-starrer for day one stands somewhere around 45-50 per cent, which is better than the Hrithik-Pooja Hegde's movie, which is around 35 per cent. "Number of screens for 'Mohenjo Daro' are higher than that of 'Rustom,' but the average occupancy is lower. It's like there are 100 people who want to watch both the films, but 'Mohenjo Daro' is playing at 150 screens while 'Rustom' is at 100. That way the occupancy is better for 'Rustom'." "Rustom" is based on K M Nanavati case, while "Mohenjo Daro", helmed by Gowariker, is set in the Indus Valley civilisation. According to Manoj Desai, executive director, Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir Cinema, both the films have "killed" each other's business by releasing on the same day. "To be honest, both of them have killed each other. They should not have come together at all. One is a film about history, which everyone knows about, the other is based on Nanavati case which the older generation has seen already in Guru Dutt's "Yeh Rastey Hain Pyaar Ke"." "As of now, the audience is moving towards "Rustom". The film is doing good as compared to 'Mohenjo Daro'. But 'Mohenjo Daro' will pick up too. By August 16, everything will be clear," Desai added. Rathi, however, says that while it is hard to predict which film will come out as the winner, both the movies have an audience of their own. "'Rustom' day one looks to be around Rs 13 crore, while Mohenjo Daro should be around Rs 11 crore... The clash has not really affected them. Ultimately, people who want to watch 'Rustom' will watch that and people who want to watch 'Mohenjo Daro' will watch that too." Even though 'Mohenjo Daro' has more screens, 'Rustom' is getting good response when it comes to advance booking. "'Mohenjo Daro' has an edge in terms of screen count. It has 2,600-2,700 screens across India and 'Rustom' has 2,100-2,000 screens. But the advance booking for 'Rustom' is better than 'Mohenjo Daro'. In the north, there is more fan following of Akshay so there it is 'Rustom'," Rathi said.

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