Chennai Express (CE) is on a record-breaking spree. The Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone starrer whizzed past the coveted Rs100 crore mark just four days after its release and currently stands at Rs113 crore. The film hit theatres on Eid (Friday, August 9), and even had some paid previews the previous night.
Trade experts are of the opinion that with Rs. 33.13 crore as opening-day collections, the film has beaten the record set by Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger (ETT; 2012). Also an Eid release, it had collected Rs. 30.72 on the first day. “They may or may not have broken records, but in many single screens, CE has collected in three days what ETT did in a week. Now, all eyes are on the record set by 3 Idiots (2009) as the highest grossing Indian film,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra.
Trade experts expect Chennai Express to touch Rs. 150 crore this weekend
Trade pundits awed by its box-office collection over the weekend predict that the film might touch Rs. 150 crore by the second weekend. “It has phenomenal collection so far; let’s see how it goes today. The film is already a super hit. Since Thursday (August 15) is a holiday, it should cross Rs. 150 crore,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says that the film will have to share business as there’s another film (Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara) lined up for release on August 15. “When you have such a strong opening, half your battle is won. CE has done great overseas business too. It’s a sure hit, but only time will tell how big it turns out. Since there is another release on Thursday, the business is sure to get divided,” says Adarsh.
Exhibitors too are looking forward to a lucrative weekend. “On Thursday, we are expecting Rs. 22 crore business from Chennai Express,” says Girish Wankhede, head of marketing, Cinemax and PVR West.
Meanwhile, the makers couldn’t be more thrilled. “The film has shown amazing sustenance since its opening day and on Monday. It shows how well it is being accepted and loved by the audiences. This is the only reason why it has successfully created a new benchmark at the box office,” Gaurav Verma, director, India Theatrical Distribution, Studios, Disney UTV.