By: Melvin Samuel
Shah Rukh Khan made a grand comeback to the big screen with his new Hindi film “Pathaan” raising a whopping Rs 55 crore nett (£5.5 million) and its dubbed versions bringing in additional Rs 2 crores on the opening day, the makers announced on Thursday.
According to production house Yash Raj Films (YRF), the movie’s nett day one collection stood at Rs 55 crore, the “highest grossing first day for a Hindi film”. “Pathaan” was also released in Tamil and Telugu on Wednesday.
The Siddharth Anand directorial, which faced boycott calls over the song “Besharam Rang”, marks Shah Rukh’s return to movies after a gap of over four years. His previous film was 2018’s “Zero”.
YRF said “Pathaan” had set multiple new records, including the “widest Hindi release of all time in India” and “highest grossing first day for a non-holiday release”.
The first day gross collection of the stylish spy thriller is also the “highest ever” in Shah Rukh’s career as well as for co-stars John Abraham and Deepika Padukone, director Anand and YRF, the studio stated in a press release.
“It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for ‘Pathaan’ globally.
“For ‘Pathaan’ to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly,” Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, said in a statement.
With its record day one haul, “Pathaan” has exceeded the expectations of the industry experts who were banking on the action spectacle to pull out Bollywood from the trenches of the pandemic and a string of box-office duds. The film opened on Wednesday in over 5,000 screens across the country, including big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The movie has a five-day extended opening weekend as it released just the day before Republic Day.
Till Tuesday, “Pathaan” sold with 4.19 lakh tickets sold in advance booking reflecting 80 per cent occupancy on day one, even for early morning shows beginning at 6 am or 7 am, said industry insiders.
Buoyed by the phenomenal response to the star-studded entertainer, production banner YRF on Wednesday said it had added a post-midnight 12.30 am show across the country. Besides, 300 more screens were added due to high demand, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh, taking the film’s total screen count to 8,500 worldwide.
“Pathaan” is the fourth film in producer Aditya Chopra’s ambitious spy universe, following Salman Khan’s “Ek Tha Tiger” (2012) and “Tiger Zinda Hai” (2017), and “War”, featuring Hrithik Roshan (2019).
The movie follows the titular spy Pathaan (Shah Rukh) who comes out of exile to stop the terrorist group Outfit X, led by Jim (John), from launching a debilitating attack on India. “Pathaan” also has a guest appearance by Salman as fellow spy Tiger.