New Delhi: The chaos caused by Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat continued this month. While films that had deferred their release to avoid clashing with the period saga finally saw the light of the day, the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer spilled over from the previous month to dominate February as well, minting Rs286.24 crore at last count.

Meanwhile, the two films previously affected—Akshay Kumar’s Padman and Neeraj Pandey-directed Aiyaary—hit screens too, earning Rs78.95 crore and Rs16.99 crore, respectively. The dark horse of the month, however, at least among Hindi films, was director Luv Ranjan’s comedy Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, which has earned Rs41.08 crore by now.

“Given that it boasted of no big names in the star cast, the film has certainly sprung up a pleasant surprise with its numbers," said film trade and business expert Girish Johar. “I think its youthful element and peppy vibe worked for it."

Padman, experts like Johar and Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer-cinemas at online ticketing site BookMyShow, agree, handled a bold subject with sensitivity. While the collections may fall slightly short of what is ordinarily expected of Akshay Kumar, the film has made a mark in its own niche genre.

Good news also came from Marvel’s superhero film Black Panther, which has collected Rs38.28 crore.

“Black Panther took the country by storm. It was the best performing Hollywood film of this year, did admirable business and sustained its strong box office performance as it went into the second week," Saksena said.

The same wasn’t entirely true for other Hollywood offerings like science fiction action film Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris and Oscar nominees like Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Or regional offerings like Aapla Manus, Gulabjaam and GujjuBhai- Most Wanted.

There is much to look forward to in March. Hollywood offerings include vigilante action film Death Wish, spy thriller Red Sparrow, action adventure Tomb Raider and science fiction action film Pacific Rim Uprising.

“There are two women-centric films to look out for in March—Pari, starring Anushka Sharma, and Hichki, starring Rani Mukherji. Also, Raid, starring Ajay Devgan, and Baaghi 2 at the end of the month are there to ensure that the quarter will end on a high note," Saksena said.

All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama

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