As per theatre owners, the buzz created by the protests seems to be helping in getting more footfalls. “I have not seen this kind of opening for any non-Salman Khan movie in the last five years,” said Arjun Rastogi, who owns three single-screen theatres in Uttar Pradesh. “Thursday opening was a bit slow, but since then, most of our shows have been houseful.
State government’s assurance of safety has also helped.” As per a Viacom18 spokesperson, between paid previews on Wednesday and Saturday night, the film has collected Rs 83 crore. “Wednesday paid previews collected Rs 5 crore, Thursday, when the film released, total collection was at Rs 19 crore. On Friday (a national holiday) and Saturday, the film collected Rs 32 crore and Rs 27 crore, respectively,” she said.
Meanwhile trade experts said that on Sunday by 6 pm, the film had already done close to Rs 15 crore business in ticket sales and advance bookings. “Padmaavat has crossed Rs 100 crore mark. The way the buzz is, I think it will be between Rs 150-175 crore by Thursday,” said Ghaziabad-based trade analyst Shaaminder Malik.
He added, “PVR, Cinepolis and all the major chains as well as single-screens theatres are going houseful and next week also it has a free run. If Tiger Zinda Hai can do Rs 300 crore, Padmaavat also has potential. Also, some markets in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have opened today, wait for other markets to open.”
Interestingly, the film has got mixed reviews, including below average acting by Shahid Kapoor and the film being too long, but the hype created by media since the protest has helped pull audiences to cinema screens.
Produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, ‘Padmaavat’ is based on 16th century poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Some Rajput groups had protested against the film alleging that Bhansali’s film will show Rajputs in bad light.
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