"all evening and night shows were virtually jam-packed"
Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan has become the biggest Bollywood opener ever, grossing Rs. 53 Crore (£5.2 million) on its first day in India, across different languages.
Directed by Siddharth Anand, the film was released in 8,000 screens worldwide.
The box office collection has surpassed the expectations of trade analysts, who had predicted a Rs. 40 Crore (£3.9 million) opening.
Their early estimates also put the first-weekend gross in the domestic market at Rs. 200 Crore (£19.8 million). Worldwide, it is estimated to reach Rs. 300 Crore (£29.7 million).
Following its Rs. 53 Crore opening, Pathaan becomes the biggest Bollywood opener, overtaking Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, which earned Rs. 50 Crore (£5 million) on its first day.
Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi said: “Pathaan is a (rare movie) that has actually risen by the time the first show ended.
“In fact, by the second half, all evening and night shows were virtually jam-packed across the country, to their full capacity.
“It is a historic return, not just for Shah Rukh Khan, but for the Hindi film fraternity and the Yash Raj films in general.
“The entire entertainment industry is jubilant and in a celebratory mood.
“Hoping that the collections go upwards and onwards today, on the Republic Day holiday. Fingers crossed, really hope to see people come to theatres and create a historic extended weekend record for the film.”
Producer and film business analyst Girish Johar also said:
“No one anticipated this kind of business. With a gross total of Rs. 53 Crore for the opening day, Pathaan certainly had the best opening collection since the pandemic.
“Scoring a half-century on a non-holiday is certainly a record start.”
Pathaan has received praise from fellow celebrities.
Karan Johar said the film grossed Rs. 100 Crore (£9.9 million) worldwide and called Shah Rukh Khan the “GOAT”.
Kangana Ranaut hailed the film, saying:
“Pathaan is doing very well. I feel films like this should definitely work.”
“Hindi cinema has been lagging behind other film industries, and we are all trying to finally bring back the business in our own little way.”
Cinemas across India have seen fans celebrating and dancing to the film’s songs.
On January 25, 2023, Yash Raj Films added extra screenings at 12:30 am after receiving a tremendous response.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh also said at least 300 shows were added right after the first show to meet the public demand.
The response comes after days of protests against the film and calls to boycott its release.
A few theatres in cities such as Indore and Faridabad faced protests and violence against Pathaan.