Mumbai: Salman Khan- Anushka Sharma's much-awaited film 'Sultan' has finally hit the screens and has managed to rake in over Rs 40 crore on the first day of its release (July 6). With Eid being celebrated on Thursday, the theatres are likely to stay full today as well.
Several industry experts have predicted that the film will do a business of Rs 150 crore over the five-day weekend. The much awaited Eid release of the year features Salman as a Haryanvi wrestler.
"The film is doing extra ordinary business across the country. The opening is like hurricane. Everyone is loving it, be it the story, the songs and Salman of course is a treat to watch in 'Sultan'," distributor Akshay Rathi told PTI.
"The film is doing exceptionally well in North India like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab," he said.
Rathi predicted that the sports drama film will do Rs 150 crore business. "Today I think it will collect Rs 35 crore. Tomorrow is Eid and then there is extended weekend so it will be somewhere around Rs 130-150 crore," he added.
Another film distributor, Rajesh Thadani said, "The film has opened really well as expected. It will make record breaking collection in its weekend which will be around Rs 150 crore."
Both Rathi and Thadani feel even though "Sultan" leaked online, it will not affect the business of the "Dabangg" star's film.
Manoj Desai, executive director, Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir Cinema, says the audience's reactions to the film have been electrifying, but noted that as Eid is tomorrow, the collections have been affected.
"The word-of-mouth for the film is exceptional. Our 1000-seater theatres are almost full, people are clapping and whistling. But since Eid is tomorrow, it has affected the business. Other than that, everything is going great for the film," Desai said.
The Ali Abbas Zafar-directed film has opened well at single screens and multiplexes, with ticket pricing at Desai's theatre properties being at Rs 100-120, while that at the multiplexes it ranges anywhere from Rs 300 to above Rs 500.
Last year, Salman struck gold at the box office with "Bajrangi Bhaijaan". The 50-year-old star has several blockbusters in his kitty which released around Eid, like "Wanted", "Dabangg", "Bodyguard, "Ek Tha Tiger" and "Kick".
Trade analyst Komal Nahta says "Sultan" will emerge as the biggest hit of Salman and find a comfortable spot in the top three highest earning films in the history. "In the next five days, it should clock Rs 175 crore, minimum. It will definitely be one of the biggest hits of Indian cinema. There was 'PK', 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' and now 'Sultan'. Even the advance booking is outstanding, it is the best ever so far," he said.
Nahta, however, also noted that the opening might be affected due to a cancelled Eid holiday. "It could have taken an opening of Rs 43-45 crore easily, but since today is not Eid, and the holiday has been cancelled, the expected opening should be around Rs 35-38 crore. It is a phenomenal number," he said....