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The big bangg

Despite a R 14.5-crore opening, experts say Dabangg will be unable to sustain the hype.

bollywood Updated: Sep 13, 2010 02:39 IST
Minakshi Saini
Minakshi Saini
Hindustan Times

With a record box office opening of R14.5 crores, Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg beat the opening-day sales record of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots by R1.5 crores. The film is expected to have made R45 crores over the weekend — that is R7 crore more than what 3 Idiots made during its first weekend last December. However, experts caution that the tide may turn in the coming weeks.

“The biggest advantage is that the film opened on a festive weekend and there was a lot of hype around it,” explains trade analyst Taran Adarsh. He adds that the film has created history in the UAE, with record earnings of one million dirhams. In the UK, the film earned £1,21,480 in the first two days. “This is solely because of Salman Khan and his mass fan following. It’s too early to call it a bigger success than 3 Idiots,” says film critic Komal Nahata.

Like Wanted, which made R20.5 crores in 2009, Dabangg too has opened to packed houses in multiplexes and single screen halls. “We presumed that the film would only excite the masses, but surprisingly it’s done as well with the classes. It’s picking up well, but expecting a phenomenon like 3 Idiots is a bit far fetched. In fact, Dabangg’s best days are over. I doubt it will be able to sustain in the second week,” says Gautam Dutta of PVR Cinemas. “We are running as high as 16-18 shows per day right now, but the film won’t gain any more momentum once the frenzy is over,” says Shirish Handa of Fun Cinemas.

Single screen hall owners are more optimistic. “All the shows in the past three days were sold out and even today and tomorrow are almost full. We are even hopeful about cashing on the repeat watch,” says Ravi Trehan of Vishal Cineplex in Raja Garden.

Regardless of what happens in the coming days, the filmmakers are thrilled right now. “We were confident of our product but this kind of mass hysteria and shattering box office collections is beyond what we expected,” says co-producer Malaika Arora Khan.

Salman in trouble, again
In future I will record all my interviews so such controversies will not happen — Salman Khan, actor

Actor Salman Khan finds himself at the centre of a controversy again. In an interview to a Pakistani news channel last week, Salman said that the reason the 26/11 attacks made such headlines was because the elite were attacked. His comments have angered political parties in India, who have demanded an apology. “Salman’s actions are anti-nationalist and he should apologise,” said Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut. “This not a matter of rich and poor,” said Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan. “Every human life has equal value and any act of terror... is unpardonable,” said the actor in response.

The new fad in town
Salman Khan’s funky shades from Dabangg have become a favourite among celebs, with stars such as Riteish Deshmukh and fans tweeting pictures of themselves wearing the glasses. The word 'Dabangg' has also caught on, with several people adding it to their names on Facebook. Riteish, too, is now calling himself Dabangg Deshmukh.

Top five opening day records
Dabangg, September 2010: R14.50 crores
3 Idiots, December 2009: R13 crores
Raajneeti (June)/Kites (May), 2010: R10.50 crores
Housefull, April 2010: R9.50 crores
Ghajini, December 2008: R9 crores

First Published: Sep 12, 2010 17:06 IST