Last week it was predicted that Bajrangi Bhaijaan would comfortably double 14 crore opening day of ABCD 2. That was pretty much done with 27.27 crore coming in for the Kabir Khan directed film. It was also predicted that the film would cross the 30 crore mark on Friday. While this didn’t really happen (and good credit for that must go to Bahubali that is still going strong in Hindi belt as well, in addition to South, which did take away some part of the audience for sure), the collections were still super solid, hence surpassing Kick (26.5 crore). As for Independence Day record of Ek Tha Tiger (33 crore), it stays intact.
However, and as was pretty much on the cards, the film gained very good critical acclaim and also out and out positive response from the audience, hence resulting in very good word of mouth spreading all over. Moreover, with Eid falling on Saturday, the real magic was waiting to happen. No wonder, there was a very good push in occupancy from Saturday morning itself, which reached its crescendo by the time Sunday evening came through. There was no stopping the film, what with the weekend collections hitting the 102.60 mark. Surpassing Kick (~84 crore), this is also the highest weekend ever for Salman.
From this point on, it is all about consolidation for the Salman Khan starrer as sky is the limit for it. There is no competition whatsoever till 30th July (when Drishyam and Bangistan hit the screens). With a solid run expected right through these two weeks, Eros are set to top their biggest grosser so far, Tanu Weds Manu Returns (152 crore), in one week flat. From this point on, the march towards the 200 crore mark would be a cakewalk.
The weekend in the U.S. and Canada was also record breaking for Salman Khan. The film $720k+ opened on Friday. By Saturday, the box-office take surged over 40% in US and hit $1 million plus. The prediction is that the final numbers should be about $2.5M* but amazingly went to 8 million USD!
Film industry indeed has a reason to smile now with a flurry of successes, what with Bahubali as well as Bajrangi Bhaijaan doing wonders at the box office in back to back weeks.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder