Santhu Straight Forward vs Mukunda Murari
The collections of Santhu Straight Forward and Mukunda Murari at box office were affected by the demonetisation.PR Handout

Yash-starrer Santhu Straight Forward and Upendra and Sudeep's Mukunda Murari faced the heat of the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currencies. As a result, the business of both the big movies was affected.

As per trade experts, the audience turnout was lesser than usual this weekend. "It appears like the viewers' first preference was to have cash on hand instead of spending on a movie. In many theatres, the films witnessed below-average occupancies," tells an observer from the industry.

Interestingly, Mukunda Murari and Santhu Straight Forward have done well in Bengaluru. "People here book tickets online. They pay using debit/credit cards or through cash wallets. Hence, the movies have done well here," the observer adds.

The makers of Mukunda Murari and Santhu Straight Forward, which had made good collections in the first week, were expecting the movie to do good business following positive word-of-mouth from the cine-goers. But the central government's demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes came as an unexpected shock to the film industry. 

In its third weekend, Mukunda Murari was played in close to 200 screens, while Santhu Straight Forward was played in close to 225 screens in Karnataka.

However, trade experts are expecting the business of the movies to improve this weekend as the circulation of the currencies is expected to be better this week.

Moreover, the family audience generally prefers to watch a big film in theatres a few weeks after its release as the craze around the flick comes down. So, the makers hope Mukunda Murari and Santhu Straight Forward will recover and perform well at the box office this week.