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New Delhi: Rajinikanth-starrer Kabali netted box office collections of 110 crore over the weekend after its release in about 3,000-3,500 screens across the country according to independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai.

About 47 crore of this comes from Tamil Nadu alone, another 20 crore from Andhra Pradesh, 16 crore from Karnataka, 8 crore from Kerala and the remaining 19 crore from the rest of India, Pillai said.

The Tamil film’s opening weekend earnings are about 70 crore less than recent Hindi blockbuster Sultan. The gangster drama beat the opening day collections of the Salman Khan-starrer of 36.54 crore by minting about 48 crore, according to a news report by The Financial Express, but couldn’t trump its first weekend collections of over 180 crore.

“It won’t be fair to draw comparisons between Kabali and Sultan since they cater to audiences in different markets. In the Hindi market, Kabali has comparatively lesser screens and by the same logic, it has had a much wider release in the south compared to Sultan," said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, Cinemas, BookMyShow, the online ticketing site.

Sultan had released in 4,350 screens across India. Kabali is not just restricted by its regional language, which explains why most of its earnings come from Tamil Nadu, but unlike Sultan, which cashed in on a five-day Eid weekend, the Tamil movie hit the screens on a regular non-holiday season.

“An ongoing limitation that Kabali faces is the ticket price cap in Tamil Nadu where it has had a wide release. Even though the audience response has been hugely favourable, it will still have some effect on the overall revenue," Saksena said.

Unlike the north, where movie tickets may be sold at astronomical rates, theatres in Tamil Nadu cannot have ticket prices higher than 120.

Yet Kabali made 3.82 crore over the weekend in Chennai, which is the smallest territory in film trade in the state but showcased the Rajinikanth-starrer on 96.5% of its screens. Following government stipulation, ticket prices in the city did not cross the 120 mark.

“The film was always expected to be rock solid and strong in traditional markets which include the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and it has lived up to that," said Kamal Gianchandani, chief executive officer, PVR Pictures. “It has, however, exceeded expectations in non-traditional dubbed markets like the north, west, central and east which have also seen occupancy rates of 60-65%."

Kabali, released in about 1,000 screens, has made 19.15 crore across north India, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh. This is a huge leap from Rajinikanth’s previous blockbuster Enthiran (2010) directed by S. Shankar which was released in Hindi as Robot and had collected 7.74 crore in its opening weekend.

Kabali also had a flying start in overseas markets —making 23.49 crore from Thursday to Saturday in the US-Canada (Tamil and Telugu) market, and opening at the number one position in Malaysia and number ten in the UK. Enthiran, on the other hand, when released in the US, had made 6.81 crore from its Tamil version, 2.16 in Telugu and 73.58 lakh in Hindi.

News reports that circulated on Saturday of the Rajinikanth-starrer having minted 250 crore from nearly 10,000 screens across the globe were denied by trade analysts who said the figures were speculative. An industry expert, on condition of anonymity, said that such a figure was impossible for the film. Plus, the global screen count, including international markets like the US, UK and UAE, only stood around 4,000.

The Pa. Ranjith directorial venture that features Radhika Apte, Dhansika and Winston Chao, besides Rajinikanth, received mixed reactions from viewers and critics over the weekend.

“The film may have opened well but will not succeed in the long run. There will be a fall Monday onwards," Pillai said.

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