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Despite Controversies, Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan Sells 2.5 Lakh Tickets In Advance Booking

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The advance bookings for Bollywood’s upcoming film, Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone along with John Abraham in the lead, were said to open on January 20 (Friday). However, the bookings opened one day before its designated date and the film has already sold over one lakh tickets in all major cinema chains in India. The film is set to release on January 25. According to trade experts, Pathaan is predicted to have an opening collection of Rs. 35-40 crore. It is likely to make Rs. 150-200 crore across India and Rs. 300 crore worldwide in its first weekend.

Atul Mohan, an Indian trade analyst, stated that a total of 90,000 tickets were sold on the first day of the advance booking. On January 19 (Thursday), Indian cinemas PVR sold 35,000 tickets, INOX sold 30,000 and Cinepolis sold 25,000 till 9 pm. He told an Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, “The trend is that the advance bookings are at highest on the first day, and then it peaks on the day before the release. We can safely say that the shows are good. Four out of five screens are being given to Pathaan at most properties like Cinepolis, PVR and INOX etc.”

The film has sold tickets worth Rs. 15 crores, according to reports.

Akshaye Rathi, a Film exhibitor, assumes Pathaan will score between Rs. 150 to Rs. 200 crores over the first weekend. The film is likely to add better numbers as it will get a five-day weekend.

He said, “Advance bookings were meant to be open on the 20th of January but with anticipation, it opened on Thursday and the premium formats such as IMAX opened a day before. We are hoping that the movie will open with good numbers.”

Akshaye, referring to the projections of the film’s opening collection, said, “Purely by the trajectory of the traction that the film has got, and the fact that it will be a working weekday (on the day of Pathaan release), it could be ₹35 crores or even beyond that. The trends are pretty encouraging everywhere (tier 1 as well as tier 2 cities). Also, this is a five-day weekend, we could see anywhere between ₹150 crore to ₹200 crore weekend collection.”

“Box office is very dynamic and the numbers for advance booking for day one and the first half of day two – all languages and all formats- are very good. It is contrary to how films scored last year, it is heartening. The film has already crossed 2.5 lakh ticket sales. I see the film making anywhere between ₹37- ₹40 crores on day one. If everything is on track and the film is what the audience expects it to be, Pathaan may safely gross ₹300 crores worldwide by the end of the first weekend. In India, it can do ₹175- ₹200 crore”, said Producer and film business analyst Girish Johar.

The hike in ticket prices for Pathaan is partly credited to its huge collection. Another major reason can be the return of Shah Rukh Khan to the screen after a gap of five years. His last film was Anand L Rai’s Zero, in 2018. With actors like Dimple Kapadia and Ashutosh Rana alongside the lead roles, Pathaan has an attractive cast to pull the audience.

Pathaan ‘controversy’

The film Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand, has been a topic for discussion since the release of the first song ‘Besharam Rang’. A section of people across India disapproves and criticises the video of the song for its costumes and colours, referring to the saffron swimsuit worn by actress Deepika Padukone.

Jagadguru Paramhans Acharya Maharaja, in Ayodhya,  is a city situated on the banks of holy river Saryu in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, performed the last rites of Shah Rukh Khan as an act of protest against his film. The song, Besharam Rang, features actors Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan that are seen romancing and dancing in front of the sea wearing a saffron-coloured bikini, which has been widely viewed as disrespectful to the colour, simply meaning to be shameless.  The song was filmed on a beach in Spain.

Shah Rukh Khan commented on the much-talked song. According to him, someone like Deepika can easily pull off a song like Besharam Rang. When asked to share his view on Deepika’s role in the film, he said, “You need someone of the stature of Deepika to be able to pull off a song sequence like Besharam Rang and then you know, to be able to do action, where she takes a guy and pulls him right over herself and beats him, she’s tough enough to do that too. That kind of combination could have only been achieved with someone like Deepika. It’s quite a layered character for an action film heroine so to say.”

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