Rajinikanth’s Kabali breaking box-office records from day one

Rajinikanth's Kabali breaking box-office records from day one
A poster of ‘Kabali’

Rajinikanth’s ‘Kabali’ may have opened to mix reviews, but as often is the case with the superstar’s films, reviews have little impact on box-office collections.

The Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte starrer released worldwide across 6,500 screen this Friday. While critics rated the film anywhere between 2 to 4 stars, fans were largely impervious to the ratings.

The film witnessed almost 90 percent occupancy across South India, whereas the Hindi version, which released across the rest of the country, saw anywhere between 40 to 60 percent occupancy.

According to film distributor Raj Bansal, ‘Kabali’ went on to make Rs 42 crores on day one, beating the collection of Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’. With a collection of Rs 36.5 crores on day one, the Salman starrer had claimed the biggest opening of 2016.

With ‘Kabali’, Thailava also broke his own box-office record, which stood at Rs 37 crores earlier.

But, the film fell short of breaking the all time day one collection record, which is still held by Shah Rukh Khan’s 2014 release ‘Happy New Year’. The SRK starrer had collected Rs 44.97 crores on opening day.

The film also managed to break the record for the biggest day one collection in Tamul Nadu, raking in Rs 21.5 crores from the state alone. According to locals, the film’s tickets were sold in black for as high as Rs 5000 for the first show.

However, contrary to most reports, the film’s producer S Thanu claimed that ‘Kabali’ raked in Rs 250 crores on Friday itself. A statement issued by the makers read, “In India, the film has earned Rs 250 crores, which includes Rs 100 crore from Tamil Nadu and Rs 150 crore from places outside the state in India.”

Although, according to an industry insider, the maker’s box-office collection claim seems highly exaggerated. “While Kabali did release in 2000 more screens that ‘Sultan’, the ticket prices in South India are half than that of North India. So even if we consider the best case scenario, the Rajinikanth starrer could not have made more than Rs 100 crores on day one. A Rs 250 crores day one collection seems highly unlikely,” he added.

Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh also stated that the film has become a worldwide phenomenon, tweeting, “If this is not EARTH-SHATTERING, what is? #Kabali [Tamil+Telugu] opening in intl markets: Malaysia: No 1 USA-Canada: No 3 UK: No 10 @Rentrak.”

Kabali has also managed to break the the opening day collection records of Salman’s ‘Sultan’ and Aamir’s ‘PK’ in the US. The film released across 400 screens in US and Canada.

The film’s distributor, Fox Star India, believes that the Rajinikanth phenomenon managed to live up to the hype. It’s CEO, Vijay Singh, told Economic Times, “Kabali has lived up to the high expectation and opened to packed houses across India. It was expected to garner an earth shattering opening in the southern markets and it is indeed phenomenal due to the star power of Rajinikanth.”

Since the film’s weekend shows are pre-booked across a majority of theaters, trade analysts are confident that the film will break the Rs 100 crores mark by this weekend.

Box-office collection aside, the film, which was made on a budget of Rs 100 crore, has already earned about Rs 225 crores from the sale of theatrical, audio and satellite rights.

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