The official Twitter handle of INOX Movies tweeted late on Monday night, “India goes berserk! A whopping 2.75 lakh #Pathaan tickets sold till weekend across all INOX cinemas in India!” The theatre chain has already declared the Shah Rukh Khan starrer “the biggest action blockbuster of 2023”.
Tickets for the movie, which releases today in more than 4,000 screens across India, are selling for Rs 2,000-plus at some theatres in the national capital.
Hopes are indeed high. Experts project the film to have strong opening day net box office (BO) collection of around Rs 40 crore, based on “compelling advances”.
Over the first weekend they expect the BO collection of the YRF film — which releases in three languages of Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu — to touch Rs 110 crore without much trouble and even beat Ranbir Kapoor
By early morning of January 24, the Siddharth Anand directorial had sold 4.19 lakh tickets for Day 1 across the three national chains of PVR
According to Adarsh, the pecking order with respect to Day 1 ticket sales is like this: Baahubali2 (Hindi) 6.50 lakh; KGF2 (Hindi) 5.15 lakh; War 4.10 lakh; Thugs of Hindostan 3.46 lakh.
“Lifetime BO (net) collection may be in a wide range of Rs 250 crore, likely breaching the upper end of our estimate, if positive reviews and ‘word of mouth’ publicity ensue,” as per a report by Elara Capital.
Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR, says, “We have close to 5 lakh admissions for the first long weekend of the movie releasing. This will be the first SRK film that will open at 6 am in PVR cinemas. We are seeing an increasing preference to watch this movie in our premium formats like IMAX, ICE, 4DX and P [XL] and also in the south market with its dubbed versions in Tamil and Telugu.”
Brahmastra had crossed the Rs 150 crore mark in gross box office collection worldwide in the first two days of its release. Pathaan’s global ambitions are not small either. The film will release in more than 100 countries, the highest for any Indian film ever. In Germany, the film has already earned Euro 150,000 with its advance booking leaving behind the lifetime collection of KGF: Chapter 2 in that country — that of Euro 144,000 (Rs 1.2 crore).
According to the Elara Capital report, January 2023 has been dismal so far as no film has done well on the BO, except for some regional movies such as Vaaris and Tunival that reported steady performances in the South.
With few large-scale regional/English films showing signs of strong collection in the Hindi speaking markets, the dependence is high on pure Hindi content. “We maintain our estimate that Hindi BO may recover by 80-85% of pre-Covid level BO revenue in Q4FY23,” the report says.
Agrees Dutta: “While regional movies performed exceptionally well post pandemic, under-performance of Hindi films due to multiple factors did impact the industry level collections. The trend is likely to change with a robust pipeline of Hindi Movies in 2023.”