When the trailer for Akira was first released, it offered the tantalising idea that Bollywood was ready to give us a bonafide new action star — Sonakshi Sinha.
Watching her punch her way through the trailer with panache, and with the knowledge that the next film she would star in, Force 2, would also have her take on some nifty stunt sequences, there was a tremendous amount of excitement over Sonakshi's action avatar.
Unfortunately, Akira didn't live up to the promise of its trailer.
Our critic Anna MM Vetticad felt that the film portrayed Sonakshi's character as a "Hulk-type creature best left unprovoked" with little thought given to fleshing out her motivations.
However, Sonakshi's ability to carry off the action scenes was not contested by anyone.
In terms of box office collections, the film has had a somewhat middling fate so far — after the opening weekend earnings were tallied, Akira has garnered around Rs 20 crore.
The 20-cr figure can be broken up thus:
On its opening day, Friday, 2 September, the film took in Rs 5.15 cr in collections, Rs 5.30 cr on Saturday and Rs 6.20 cr on Sunday. Trade expert Taran Adarsh pegged the collections by end of Sunday (for India alone) at Rs 16.65 crore.
Akira's overseas business is reported to be a little over Rs 5 crore, bringing its total opening weekend tally to an estimated Rs 21-22 crore.
The film's figures over its opening weekend have been compared to the previous week's release, the Tiger Shroff superhero flick A Flying Jatt. While Akira has done better business overseas, in terms of the domestic collections, Flying Jatt was a few crores ahead.
But how has Akira performed when compared with the other heroine-centric films of 2016?
Neerja, Jai Gangajaal, Sarbjit and Happy Bhag Jayegi have been films to have their female protagonists front and centre. (One might also count in Radhika Apte's Phobia, though it wasn't marketed as a 'woman-centric' film.)
An India Today report pegged Neerja's opening weekend box office collections (domestic) at Rs 22 crore. This made its earnings comparable to Priyanka Chopra's Mary Kom (Rs 28 cr) and Deepika Padukone's Piku (Rs 25 cr). By the time Neerja finished its triumphant theatrical run, it had amassed over Rs 120 crore.
Priyanka Chopra's Jai Gangajaal ended its first weekend at the box office with a kitty of Rs 18 crore. Unlike Neerja, however, this cop drama didn't take off, at by the end of its first week had registered a small increase with earnings totalled at Rs 29 crore. That figure rose to Rs 36 crore in later days.
Sarbjit — despite having Randeep Hooda play the titular role — was presented as a vehicle for Aishwarya Rai (playing Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur). An International Business Times report presented Sarbjit's opening weekend collections at Rs 13.96 cr — fairly low. The actress' previous film, Jazbaa, had managed a Rs 15 cr opening weekend despite generally negative reviews. By Sarbjit's second weekend, its box office figures were in the vicinity of Rs 26.67 cr, as reported by trade site KoiMoi.com.
The figure gains some context when you see that even Happy Bhag Jayegi — with Diana Penty, whose second Hindi film this is — managed to make a neat Rs 26.05 crore by the time it hit week three at the box office. Word of mouth buzz helped HBJ add to its fairly low-key Rs 10 crore first weekend take.
(Radhika Apte's Phobia had an opening weekend box office collection of Rs 1+ cr, with total earnings estimated at Rs 3+ cr.)
When contrasted with these figures, Akira seems not to have done so badly for itself.
Its production and promotion costs have been pegged at a total of Rs 30 crore, and it has already made up 2/3rds that.
Will it manage to break even before this Friday, 9 September, when the Katrina Kaif-Siddharth Malhotra starrer Baar Baar Dekho hits the screens?
We'll be tracking the numbers, right here.