Aamir Khan- and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Thugs of Hindostan has set a new box office record, opening its campaign at Rs 522.5 million across three languages. The record for the highest first-day collection for a Bollywood film was previously held by Salman Khan's Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (Rs 400 million). Baahubali 2: The Conclusion's Hindi version also opened with a collection of Rs 400 million.
With this collection, Thugs of Hindostan becomes the first film ever to cross the Rs 500 million (net after tax) mark. The film collected Rs 507.5 million for the Hindi version and Rs 15 million from Tamil and Telugu dubs. Not only has it clinched the highest first-day collection, but it also now holds the record for the highest collection on a single day by a Bollywood film.
The film's director, Vijay Krishna Acharya (Viktor), said, "Thugs of Hindostan is the quintessential Hindi movie that we love to watch with our friends and families. We were lucky to get two of the biggest stars of our generation to come together for an out and out masala Diwali entertainer and we are humbled and ecstatic with the love and appreciation that audiences have showered on Thugs to help the film create box office history on day one."
The film released on November 8, a day after the festival of Diwali, and hopes to make the most of the four-day weekend. However, the negative reviews from critics and tepid word of mouth from audiences may mean that the film's performance could see a sharp decline over the rest of the weekend. While the film saw healthy advance booking, most of it was for the first day, and footfalls going forward could be affected by bad reviews.
"We all expected the film to make between Rs 450 million and Rs 500 million on the first day. It has been released in almost 5,000 screens in India and is the only new (Bollywood) release this week. The rates have been increased by 10-15 per cent, and people are curious to see how Aamir (Khan) and Amitabh (Bachchan) interact on screen. Going forward, the tide may change. Ideally, with a start like this, the film should make close to Rs 1.8 billion in the first weekend. Negative reviews and bad word of mouth will make it very difficult," says a trade pundit.
The film has been made with an estimated budget of Rs 2-2.2 billion, with Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh in lead roles, along with Khan and Bachchan. This is Bachchan's first entry in the list of highest openers in Bollywood and Khan's second. Kaif, too, has now starred in two of the top five highest openers in Bollywood.
Highest first-day collections in Bollywood
Thugs of Hindostan – Rs 522.5 million
Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo – Rs 400 million
Sultan – Rs 367 million
Dhoom 3 – 363 million
Tiger Zinda Hai – Rs 337.5 million