7th January 2011 – This was the date when Vidya Balan
played Jessica Lal’s elder sister in No One Killed Jessica
. Against all around advice, the makers decided to release the gritty drama as the first release of the year. Result? The film turned out to be a surprise success at the Box Office. Circa 2017, and Vidya would indeed be hoping that history repeats itself with her next release, Begum Jaan
, which is touted to arrive on 6th January.
"There is a lot of superstition connected with films that release on the first Friday of the year. Traditionally, the record has been extremely poor. Year after year, films have failed whenever they have tried to get adventurous and arrive on this date. Vidya Balan, along with her co-star Rani Mukerji
, didn’t worry though when No One Killed Jessica
arrived on this day. Ditto are the sentiments when Vidya, along with Gauahar Khan
, Pallavi Sharda
, Ila Arun
and Flora Saini
are arriving with their Begum Jaan
," informs our source.
On its release, No One Killed Jessica
didn’t just open well but also went on to gain a lot from word of mouth and eventually amass around 30 crore at the Box Office. Still, it turned out to be an aberration for Bollywood in general as films that released in years after that, Players
[6th January 2012] and Mr. JoeB. Carvalho
[3rd January 2014], turned out to be mega disasters. On the other hand in 2015 [2nd January] and 2016 [1st January], all major filmmakers stayed away from the first Friday. The only decent success has been Table No. 21
[4th January 2013], though strictly on ROI basis.
"There are reasons other than superstitions or jinx factor as well," says a filmmaker, "Typically, a very big film arrives on the Christmas weekend. That traditionally spills over to the next year too and hence there are no major screens available for the new films. Not that audiences do not watch films but then they have their options in place to watch Ranveer Singh
‘s Bajirao Mastani
, Aamir Khan
 and Dhoom 3
, Salman Khan
‘s Dabangg 2
 and Shahrukh Khan
‘s Don 2
 in the spillover year.
This translates into the fact that Vidya Balan would be practically competing with Aamir Khan’s Dangal
[23rd December 2016] which would be in the running by the time Begum Jaan
[6th January] arrives.
"Well, that would indeed make things interesting," our source comments, "When No One Killed Jessica
had released in 2011, the film had practically arrived solo with no competition in sight since 2010 Christmas releases Tees Maar Khan
and Toonpur Ka Superhero
had already consumed their run in a jiffy. Hence, there was no competition for the film and audiences were waiting for an entertainer to arrive. Guess audiences are in for a treat this time around since soon after Dangal
, Vidya’s Begum Jaan
– which belongs to an altogether different genre and treatment – arrives. Hopefully, it would turn out to be ‘Strike Two’ for Vidya."