Pathaan clocks highest opening for a Hindi film

The dubbed Tamil and Telugu versions of the Siddharth Anand-directed action drama have made an additional 2 crore collection

Lata Jha
Updated26 Jan 2023
The release of Pathaan has come as a ray of hope for struggling theatre owners
The release of Pathaan has come as a ray of hope for struggling theatre owners(Photo: PTI)

Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan broke records on its opening day, earning 55 crore in India on Wednesday, the highest by any Hindi film on the opening day. The Siddharth Anand-directed action drama, which faced charges of hurting religious sentiments before theatrical release, trumped boycott calls by various Hindu outfits to set new records across India.

First-day earnings of Pathaan are higher than KGF: Chapter 2 ( 53.95 crore), a Kannada action drama that, with its dubbed version, now ranks second in the list of all-time top Hindi language opening days. Action dramas War and Thugs of Hindostan that had made 53.35 crore and 52.25 crore in 2019 and 2018, respectively, both produced by Yash Raj Films (YRF), now rank third and fourth on the list. YRF has also produced Pathaan.

Graphic: Mint

The dubbed Tamil and Telugu versions of Pathaan made an additional 2 crore upon release on Wednesday. The film is also the highest first-day grosser for Khan, Deepika Padukone as well as YRF. Having released on 8,000 screens worldwide, including 5,500 in India and 2,500 overseas, Khan’s film saw shows being added late Wednesday night to meet rising demand.

Further, at $4.5 million, the film has registered the biggest opening day for a Hindi film in overseas markets. This includes $1.60 million in the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Gulf, $1.50 million in North America, $650,000 in the UK and Europe and $750,000 in the rest of the world. With a first-day gross of 106 crore ($12.77 million) worldwide, Pathaan has become the first Hindi film to collect more than 100 crore in gross earnings globally in a single day.

Trade website Box Office India said the film is performing exceedingly well in Hindi-speaking markets such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra but has also broken records in south India, with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana markets leading the race. Records of KGF 2 have been broken in east India, which was an impressive performer in the region.

“For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non-holiday just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never-seen-before-experience that entertains them thoroughly,” Akshaye Widhani, chief executive of YRF said in a statement.

The release of Pathaan has come as a ray of hope for struggling theatre owners, particularly in the Hindi-speaking belt, many of whom have been hit hard by the pandemic and are considering shutting down operations. Around 1,500 single-screen cinemas are estimated to have shut during the pandemic, worsening India’s theatrical screen count.

Pathaan also marks the return of Khan to the big screen after more than four years, post box office disasters such as Zero ( 88.74 crore), Jab Harry Met Sejal ( 62 crore) and Fan ( 84.03 crore). Calling the action drama just the kind of commercial entertainer audiences were starved of, trade experts said stars such as Khan already have well-established fan bases and only need to keep feeding them the right products. “It’s all about the kind of film they give to audiences. If they are shown in the avatar people want to see them in, nothing can stop them,” independent Bihar-based exhibitor Vishek Chauhan said.

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