Salman Khan has done it again on Eid. His latest release Sultan rode the extended festive weekend and a solo release status to rake in a whopping Rs180.36 crore domestic intake in its first five days.
The figure makes Sultan the highest weekend grosser of 2016 so far, and also assures it is only a matter of time for the Yash Raj Films production before it becomes a domestic blockbuster. The trade expects the film to cross the 200-crore mark in less than a week.
Early reports coming in show the film is also doing well in the overseas market, having grossed nearly Rs90 crore. Sultan has opened in 4,350 screens in India while the screen count abroad is 1,100.While on its domestic collection, a 180.36-crore figure means the movie has raked in over three times the money that Housefull 3 collected in its opening weekend.
The Akshay Kumar-Abhishek Bachchan-Riteish Deshmukh slapstick is this year’s second highest weekend grosser so far, having made Rs53.31 crore in three days.
Sultan, of course, had the advantage of being a solo release over a five-day weekend, what with the film opening a day before Eid on Wednesday instead being a regular Friday release.
With the film marking Salman’s return to the marquee for the first time since last year’s Diwali release Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the anticipation among fans base was frenzied.
Also, traditionally Eid has been Salman’s lucky festival. Since 2009 when he released Wanted during the festival, he has delivered blockbusters such as Dabangg, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan on Eid.
The good show of Sultan is joyous news for the film trade that is yet to see a clear blockbuster in 2016. The biggest hits of the year so far have been the Akshay Kumar films Airlift and Housefull 3, besides the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Fan. Although these films are hits, they failed to scale a recordbusting high.
Incidentally, Sultan’s five-day India haul (Rs180.36 crore) has already crossed the lifetime domestic collection of Airlift (Rs127.8 crore), Housefull 3 (Rs107.7 crore) and Fan (Rs85 crore). The big question: Can Sultan become Bollywood’s all-time biggest hit – a record Salman Khan has been eyeing forever? That record is currently held by the Aamir Khan blockbuster PK.