Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) seems to be back with a vengeance to break the records set by his arch rival Salman Khan’s films in box-office collections. SRK’s Chennai Express, which overtook Salman’s Ek Tha Tiger by grossing Rs 33.12 crore on the opening day on Friday, is also expected to become the movie to take the least time to reach the Rs 100-crore magic number in gross box-office collections.
According to sources in production houses, Chennai Express has received 95-100 per cent occupancy in theatres for the weekend and is expected to touch the Rs 100-crore mark by Monday evening — to break the record held by Ek Tha Tiger, which had last year stormed into the elite club within five days of release.
The film, made at the cost of about Rs 100 crore, has already recovered Rs 48 crore by selling satellite rights to Zee and another Rs 30 crore through advertising & sponsorship deals with leading companies. Given that it also made Rs 6.75 crore from Thursday’s paid preview — another record — the movie’s total collection after the first day of release stands at Rs 39.87 crore.
“What a start it has been for Chennai Express — first it collected record numbers in paid previews and then followed it up with the biggest opening-day gross ever. We have received an overwhelming response from all quarters and the film is being loved by everyone. Though the film is playing on more number of screens than any other film ever, we still have run out of capacity at most locations due to huge demand. The film is on its way to creating new benchmarks,” says an exuberant Gaurav Verma, director, India Theatrical Distribution (studios), Disney UTV.
“Chennai Express has taken the box office by a storm in international markets. The movie is setting new opening-day and paid-preview records and benchmarks for Hindi movies in most countries. At many cinema chains. we have added shows and the movie has been moved to additional and highest-capacity screens,” informs Amrita Pandey, executive director, international distribution (studios), Disney UTV.
All eyes are now on whether the Shah Rukh Khan magic will be able to get Chennai Express an overall box-office collection bigger than that of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots (Rs 369 crore gross in the domestic market).