Chennai Express has exceeded expectations at the box office. The film was expected to open huge, both in Paid Previews as well as regular screening from Friday onwards. However what happened at the box office was nothing less than a hurricane as the film not just took a smash start but also sustained amazingly well, hence turning out to be massive winner on its opening weekend itself.
While Paid Previews brought 6.75 crore, over 33 crore came on Friday, 28 crore on Saturday and then 32 crore on Sunday, hence resulting in 100 crore being accumulated even before the film entered the weekdays. This is huge indeed as no other film in the past has gathered so much so soon. Also, the very fact that the collections have stayed consistent reflects the kind of acceptance this family film has managed for itself.
The film has worked for all involved, and that is good news for the industry. For Shahrukh Khan, this is his resurgence in a major way to see an all around positive response. Though he arrived with three centuries behind him (Ra. One, Don 2, Jab Tak Hai Jaan), this one should hold a special place in his heart. For Deepika Padukone too, this is her fourth major biggie in a row after ‘Cocktail’, ‘Race 2′ and ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. She is clearly ruling from the top and doing well as a leading lady who can act and deliver box office successes too. As for Rohit Shetty, his mega run over the years is uninterrupted with ‘Chennai Express’.
All eyes are now on how far does this UTV production go from here. While 150 crores is a given, the challenge would be to come closer to the 200 crore mark. The film has major competition in the form of ‘Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbaai Dobaara’ and hence won’t really be enjoying a seamless run. Moreover, there are major/multiple releases to arrive in weeks to follow as well. While the job is done for the makers, it’s the eventual distance that it covers from this point on which would be looked at quite closely.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder