Kabir Khan's second directorial venture 'New York', about the repercussions of 9/11, is expected to end the prolonged dry spell at the box office when it hits the screens Friday.
Industry insiders suggest good initial takings courtesy the big names - John Abraham and Katrina Kaif - associated with it.
Produced and distributed by Yash Raj Films, 'New York' also stars Neil Nitin Mukesh and Irrfan Khan in pivotal roles.
Set in New York, the film is about three youngsters: Omar (Neil) who goes abroad for the first time and begins to see and love America through the eyes of his Indian-American friends Sam (John) and Maya (Katrina).
Their lives are turned upside down by larger events beyond their control after the 9/11 attacks. At this point enters Roshan (Irrfan), an FBI undercover agent who sets the ball rolling for a series of tumultuous events that turn the lives of the three friends into a dangerous roller-coaster ride.
Explaining his choice of actors, Khan said: 'John was very apt for the character. His physicality and body language simply fits Sam's character. I was very clear about Neil since 'Johhny Gaddar' for Omar. The vulnerability in Neil and the greyness he has is simply picture perfect. It's a very mature role for someone who is just two films old.'
'Katrina is a surprise package in the film. No one would have seen her in this new avatar - deglamourised, no make-up and a real meaty role. She has been a revelation. Irrfan is a master of his craft and brings in a certain credibility to the film. He is also the cornerstone of my movie,' Khan added.
Katrina, who goes for an image makeover in the film, says it will appeal to the audiences looking for good content.
'Times are changing a lot in cinema and audiences are looking for something extra in a film. Cinema is all about a good script and its content,' Katrina told IANS.
Khan also said that 'New York' is going to be very special because the process of making it was 'very pleasurable, satisfactory and enjoyable'.
Khan wrapped up the entire shooting in three-and-a-half months. The film, which was shot 100 days at a stretch in New York, has become the first Hindi film with the longest shooting schedule in the Big Apple. Some parts were also filmed in Philadelphia.
The film's music is also making waves on the charts with its soulful renditions like 'Hai junoon' and 'Mere sang'.
Though Subhash Ghai's 'Paying Guests' that released last Friday is drawing only average audiences, theatres have yet to witness a 'House Full' board and all eyes are set on 'New York', which has garnered initial positive reports so far from the industry.
'The film will be get a very good initial and it will do fantastic business until 'Kambakkht Ishq' releases. Audiences are hungry for good content and it's been long since any A-list movies were released. The film will bring footfalls and business...but it might lose to the Akshay starrer as it has created a great buzz,' said Delhi-based distributor Joginder Mahajan.