With Rs 73.7 crore already in its kitty, the Salman and Anushka Sharma film is comfortably cruising towards the Rs 100 crore target, which is likely to be reached on Friday. Trade is speculating that the film will do anything beyond Rs 150 crore during the first weekend, which is five-day long due to Eid on Thursday. A strong word of mouth and good reviews are only helping the film’s humongous business. Salman’s Midas touch at the BO has been proved once again.
The film released on 4500 screens in India. records have fallen like a house of cards, producers have earned money and paying audience has gone home happy. With Sultan he has another ace up his sleeve — a film which is unlike a typical Salman film, a tight script, rousing drama and excellent performances all around, especially from Anushka Sharma.
So, will Salman go one-up on his past Eid record, which happens to be impeccable? If it was Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015, the year before that was Kick. Both the films made multiple crores and earned their place in Bollywood’s blockbuster gallery. It is for nothing that Eid weekend is so coveted that Bollywood’s two Khans — Salman and Shah Rukh — were vying for it in 2016. Salman and his producers Yash Raj Films prevailed and Shah Rukh shifted the release of his next, Raees.
Given the over Rs 36.54 crore debut of Sultan, will Shah Rukh be ruing his decision? Well, he simply should have looked at BO successes in the last five years. Ever since 2010, Salman has prevailed at the BO this time of the year with a string of superhits — Dabbang, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Kick and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. The only year Shah Rukh managed to rain on Bhai’s parade was in 2013 with Chennai Express.
So whose records is Salman Khan breaking with Sultan? His own. For a mid-week release, Sultan’s collections at Rs 36.54 crore are stupendous. The fact that this is the money the film made on a day which was not even Eid (the festival was shifted to July 7) is even more exemplary. Prior to this, the star’s Ek Tha Tiger held the record for mid-week release with over Rs 32 crore in ticket sales.
In terms of biggest first-day openings, Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express with Rs 44.9 crore is the biggest. It is followed by Salman’s Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo with Rs 40 crore. Trade is said the film made Rs 36.54 crore on day one and the number only went up on day 2. Expect records to tumble.
And now for the big one — trade is counting on Sultan to earn over Rs 150 crore in the first weekend, will that happen? Here’s all that is in the movie’s favour — a five-day weekend, the second day of its release being the Eid holiday, a bumper opening and solid word of mouth. For once, even critics are given Salman star ratings for Sultan. Till now, the biggest weekend grosser is PRDP that managed Rs 129.7 crore business despite being slammed by critics.
If the film can manage to destroy that record, Salman will indeed be the Sultan of Bollywood. King Khan and ilk, time to worry about your crowns?