Shah Rukh Khan's Chennai Express: Biggest hit of 2013

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SummaryChennai Express crosses 100 crore mark in the opening weekend itself.

Chennai Express

Budget of the film: Rs.75 cr

Opening Weekend:Rs.100.42 cr

The Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone starrer Chennai Express has not only attained success at the Box-Office, but has also broken several records, set by other big Bollywood movies. Right from the day when the promos of the film were released, it generated buzz and curiosity among the viewers, so much that as soon as the film, made of Rs. 75 crore, released it crossed the 100 crore mark in nearly four days.

“It’s been an unprecedented and overwhelming response. Chennai Express has shown amazing sustenance post first day record opening and maintained it on second and third day which shows how well it is being accepted and loved by the audiences. This is the only reason why it has successfully created new benchmark at the box-office and will continue to do so”, said Gaurav Verma, Director, India Theatrical Distribution, Studios, Disney UTV.

On its opening day, the film which was released at 3500 screens across India collected Rs.33.12 crore on Friday,

Rs.28.05 crore on Saturday and Rs. 32.5 crore on Sunday. The film also had a paid preview on Thursday night through which it generated Rs. 6.75 crore, taking the total to Rs.100.42 crore.

“It has done fantastic business. Friday was terrific, but Saturday saw a 10 per cent drop, and then Sunday again, it was as good as Friday,” says Trade Analyst Amod Mehra. Interestingly, the movie did not suffer even a bit, considering a 30 to 40 per cent hike in its ticket prices as it was a mega festive release .

Single Screen performance

A mass oriented film, Chennai Express was bound to do great business in single screens across India. At Chitra, Mumbai, the film saw 100 per cent occupancy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “In fact people didn\'t mind to shed extra bugs to watch the film in advance, at its preview screenings on Thursdays, which received 95 per cent occupancy,” said Rakesh Sippy of Raksha Exhibitors Propreitor. At Regal, Mumbai too all the shows of Weekend 1 saw packed houses, but the preview (on Thursday) being a costly affair got only 50 per cent occupancy.

Multiplex scene

Though a no-brainer, the combination of Khan and Padukone attracted the classes to the multiplexes. “The SRK-Deepika -Rohit Shetty trio was appreciated by the multiplex crowd as well, and did a phenomenal performance at the BO,” says Vajir Singh, Editor of Box Office India.

At Cinemax India, Chennai Express received 80 – 90 per cent average occupancy in its opening weekend, with the paid preview being almost full. “We also had some other films playing like B.A. Pass and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, but due to Chennai Express they only received 25-30 per cent occupancy at pan-India Cinemax outlets,” says Girish Wankhede, Head Marketing for Cinemax and PVR (West).

Indian and international markets

Being set in the backdrop of Chennai, the SRK starrer has been affected a bit in the Northern regions of India. “People expected it to be huge in North, but since it has a influence of South, it saw slight disappointment from the North regions,” explains Singh. But, the South oriented content and no new releases in South called for a great response from the Southern regions. “Usually in South, Bollywood films get only one screen out of the six, the rest are reserved for the local language movies. Since no new South films released last week, Chennai Express could make most of it,” he further added.

Meanwhile, at the domestic box-office, the movie is said to be breaking records. As per Singh, this venture has broken records of highest collection through paid previews. Chennai Express is also being called as the fastest ever film to cross Rs.100 crore mark in just 3.5 days by making record breaking collections on its first, second and third day each.

In terms of foreign collections the film, which was released at 700 screens made a total of Rs. 36 crore gross (between Thursday-Saturday) breaking records of the preview, opening and second day collections set by other Bollywood releases.

Other source of income

Apart from the box office, as per the industry sources, the movie garnered Rs.48 crore through the sale of its satellite rights, which were sold to &Pictures. The UTV Motion Pictures venture also made a whopping Rs.30 crore through 18 brand tie-ups.

After effects

This week sees the release of Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan starrer Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaraa. At the time of going to press, theatre owners were looking at cashing out on Chennai Express rather than the new release. “We are going to rely on the Shah Rukh Khan film, which is doing fabulous business. We might try and accommodate Once Upon A Time... by giving it one show, rest of the shows will be given to the already hit film,” says Constancio Barbosa, Assistant Manager of Regal Cinema, Mumbai. Singh too echoes, “The first day collections of Once Upon A Time... will get affected, but since it\'s a fresh release, it might pick up later on.”

Breaking all records

*Rs.100.42 crore in three and a half days in India

*Released in 700 screens internationally, collected Rs.36 crore between Thursday and Saturday

*Satellite rights sold for Rs.48 crore

* Rs.30 crores collected through 18 brand tie-ups

Screen Forecast

Our verdict

In the issue dated August 9-15, 2013, Screen had predicted that the Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone\'s popular pairing combined with Rohit Shetty\'s brand of entertainment will help Chennai Express cross the Rs.100 crore mark during the first weekend itself. The forecast proved bang on as the movie in just 3.5 days made a collection of Rs.100.42 crores. Screen also predicted that the venture being family friendly would receive a good satellite price, which it did (Rs. 48 crores)! Now we should only wait and watch when the movie crosses the Rs.200 crore mark.

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