New Delhi: The long battle for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period saga Padmaavat seems to be paying off. Despite failing to premier in a few states, the film has crossed the Rs100 crore mark on its opening weekend, taking in Rs110 crore in box office collections in India alone.

Starting with Rs4.25 crore for paid previews late on Wednesday, the film netted Rs17.75 crore on Thursday and Rs31 crore, Rs27 crore and Rs30 crore on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

“It may have been a shaky start for the film but as of now, it’s doing phenomenally well," confirmed trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

However, this week will be crucial for the film, he added.

“There might be a dip in collections given that ticket prices are lowered during the week, the film is still not playing in a few states, and the long holiday weekend has just got over," Adarsh said.

Still, given the positive feedback for the film, trade experts expect it to touch the Rs200 crore mark in India by the end of its first week’s run (it opened on Thursday).

“A couple of locations in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh opened up on Sunday," said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema. He, however, added that theatre owners in Rajasthan have decided not to screen the movie.

Experts such as Mohan and Adarsh also point to the impressive performance of Padmaavat in overseas markets. At last count, the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer had made A$1,728,642 (Rs8.88 crore) in Australia, £846,024 (Rs7.59 crore) in the UK, NZ$ 419,161 (Rs1.95 crore) in New Zealand and $3,488,239 (Rs22.18 crore) in North America. In Australia, the film has already crossed the lifetime business of Bollywood blockbusters like Sultan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Bajirao Mastani. It has also notched up the highest single-day collection for a Hindi film in North America, where it made $1.84 million on Saturday.

“The Sanjay Leela Bhansali brand is huge overseas," Adarsh pointed out. “Plus, the curiosity level for the film is high and Paramount Pictures, the international distributors, who understand that market have given it an extensive release."

Paramount Pictures International and Viacom18 have had a strategic international alliance for the distribution of the former’s movies in India and the Indian subcontinent markets since 2011. Film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said Paramount has treated Padmaavat like a Hollywood film, going particularly aggressive because it knew the India market was going to be affected.

To be sure though, Viacom is taking advantage of the box office success of the film to maintain the buzz post-release in India too. Beginning with extensive media interactions, they are now releasing song videos, a strategy usually adopted pre-release.

“We are humbled by the response we have received for Padmaavat. The feedback for the film has been overwhelming and we are grateful to the government, state authorities, police and our fans for making the opening a stellar success," a Viacom18 spokesperson said.

All figures have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and Box Office India.

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