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Dabangg bangs it at the national BO

Film tradesmiths say Salman Khan starrer’s picked up higher opening than 3 Idiots, audiences cut across multiplexes and single screens. Opinion divided on whether this bull run will continue for long.

bollywood Updated: Sep 14, 2010 19:16 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Film tradesmiths say Salman Khan starrer’s picked up higher opening than 3 Idiots, audiences cut across multiplexes and single screens. Opinion divided on whether this bull run will continue for long.



Historic… One word to describe

Dabangg’s

three-day opening. Justifying the record initial, veteran trade analyst, Amod Mehra says, “It has surpassed the opening collections of

3 Idiots

.” However, he is cautious about dubbing it the next big blockbuster: “Let’s see if it will sustain in the long run.”



Vinod Mirani, another trade veteran, pegs the opening at 30 per cent more than

3 Idiots

, and believes that

Dabangg

will continue with its golden run. “People who didn’t get tickets on the weekend, are queuing up to see the film on Monday. Even though it cost them over Rs 30 crore, the Khans are laughing their way to the bank as they’re distributing the film in half the country,” he reasons.



Dabangg

Devang Sampat, vice-president, Cinemax chain of multiplexes, points out that the film has the advantage of a second clear week as there are no major releases on September 17. “I believe it will surpass

Ghajini

’s collections. The two-hour running time is a plus point,” he asserts. “Following the humongous hype, trailers are screened during the interval, along with a lot of commercials. It’s a win-win situation for other movies and advertisers too.”



Shaaminder Malik, a Ghaziabad-based distributor, exults that he has never seen such crowds for any other film before. “The audience is going berserk during the

Munni badnaam hui…

track, they want it to be played again and again,” he enthuses. He insists that the film will do record-breaking business in Delhi, UP, Punjab and Uttarakhand. After a Rs 48 crore gross opening, Malik projects net business at Rs 50 crore in the first week. “And even if it drops to Rs 25 crore in the second week,

Dabangg

will still make as much as

Ghajini

, if not more,” he insists.



Some centres in Bihar are witnessing twice the occupancy. Vishek Chauhan, owner of Roopbani Cinema in Purnia, says, “Around 1,200 people are coming to see the film in a 600-seater theatre. Wanted didn’t work in multiplexes, but Dabangg is running to packed houses, in multiplexes as well as single screen theatres in Jalalgadh in Bihar.”



Mirani attributes the success to the larger-than-life persona of Chulbul Pandey. “

Wanted

sprang a surprise by revealing that Salman was an undercover cop.

Ghajini

had a strong emotional connect in Aamir’s love for Asin. But

Dabangg

is an out-and-out

masala

movie and Chulbul Pandey of 2010 is like Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry Young Man from the 1970s with the gimmicks of Rajnikanth,” he says.



Dabangg

is also Salman’s biggest hit overseas. With over one million dirhams in Dubai, it has surpassed the actor’s previous blockbusters in the Gulf, US, UK and Australia too.



With 14 prints, it grossed 80,000 dollars in Australia on Friday alone, as compared to We Are Family, that collected 66,000 dollars over three days. However, everyone is unanimous in their opinion that

Dabangg

won’t oust 3 Idiots as the biggest earner ever. Mirani attributes this to lack of repeat value, emotional connect and depth. “You laughed, cried, laughed and cried some more while watching 3 Idiots. You don’t have such mixed emotions while watching

Dabangg

,” he argues. In the same vein, Malik notes, “It’s a good entertainer, but I don’t think too many people will want to see it again and again.”