Despite rave reviews and great word of mouth, John Abraham-starrer Madras Cafe began on a slow note on Friday, earning Rs 5.17 crore at the box office.
The great word of mouth for this Shoojit Sircar's venture set the collections soaring at the ticket windows on Saturday. Early estimates suggest Saturday figures may cross Rs 7 crore - a good pick up.
The film, co-produced by John, who is also playing the lead in it, came under the scanner after Tamil activists alleged that it portrays the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres as terrorists.
After attending a special preview of the Shoojit Sircar-directed film Sunday, the objection against the film by the groups grew stronger. Tamil filmmaker Seeman, head of Naam Tamizhar (We Tamils) group, said the film was "nauseatingly anti-Tamil".
In a related development, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit chief Pon Radhakrishnan said the movie should not be released in any part of the country.
Also featuring Nargis Fakhri, Rashi Khanna, Ajay Rathnam and Leena Maria Paul, Madras Cafe is a fictional story inspired by true events. It is set against the Sri Lankan civil war and also depicts the 1991 assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
(With inputs from IANS, Figures: Taran Adarsh)