Continuing its record-breaking run at the box office, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer Chennai Express has achieved yet another milestone - the fastest Rs 100-crore movie in the history of Bollywood. According to the production house, the movie notched Rs 100.4 crore (gross collection) the first weekend itself, surpassing Salman Khan's Ek Tha Tiger, which reached Rs 100 crore in five days. However, trade analysts warn collections may fall in the coming days as the word-of-mouth publicity on the movie is not very positive and other movies are set to be released.
According to trade sources, the collections after deducting entertainment tax are in the range of Rs 93 to 94 crore. The movie collected Rs 6.75 crore in paid previews on Thursday (August 8), Rs 33.12 crore on the opening day (Friday), Rs 28.05 crore on Saturday and Rs 32.5 on Sunday.
The Disney UTV Studios and Red Chillies Entertainment co-production has staked its claim to a string of records. It went on to become the highest grosser in paid previews, beating the record of the Aamir Khan-starrer 3 Idiots, produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. It then beat Yash Raj Films' Ek Tha Tiger's record for opening day collection (Rs 32.92 crore).
The next record to watch for will be the all-time collections clocked, which currently rest with 3 Idiots at Rs 369 crore (gross collection).
Internationally, too, the movie is doing very well. After clocking in breaking paid preview figures, the movie maintained momentum on Friday and Saturday to bring the three-day paid preview (Thursday to Saturday) to nearly Rs 36 crore.
Chennai Express collected a total of Rs 2.6 crore on the opening day in the UK, Rs 4.2 crore in the US, Rs 3.6 crore in the Gulf region and Rs 48 lakh in Pakistan.
The test now, though, is to see how the movie performs during the week. With the long weekend over and word of mouth for the movie not being very positive, collections could dip.
According to independent trade analyst and distributor (Delhi and Uttar Pradesh region) Shaaminder Malik: "The movie is already showing a dip of 50 per cent or more in collections on Monday. This is mainly due to two reasons - the hype around the movie has subsided and the audience feedback for the movie is not all that positive. As far as the north is concerned, the extensive use of Tamil and lack of subtitles has been a big blow to the film."
In Malik's opinion, the film may see drastically reduced bookings in the north over the next few days and the release of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara may just make things worse for Chennai Express. "There is growing curiosity for the movie as its release date draws closer and if Once Upon a Time... clicks, it will be tough for Chennai Express to sustain, at least in the north."
Asked about the pan-India Monday box office collections, Suniel Wadhwa, an independent distributor and box office analyst, says: "Monday is always acid test for most movies, and after a long extended week, it's always crucial to see the sustenance of the movie. Looking to trend, single screens are hovering in and around 60-65 per cent for noon and matinee shows and multiplexes 40-45 per cent, which means a drop of 50 per cent average."
Chennai Express got a very good opening partly because of the long Eid weekend, which is now over. Also, it was the widest release for any movie in the country ever with close to 3,700 screens. With Balaji Motion Pictures Ltd's Once Upon A Time... releasing on August 15, Chennai Express may face tough competition in the coming weeks.
According to trade sources, the movie has incurred a cost of around Rs 115 crore for production and another Rs 25 crore for prints and promotion. After distributor's share and taxes, Chennai Express is expected to rake in Rs 95 to 100 crore for its lifetime collection in the domestic market and nearly Rs 35 to 40 crore overseas.
Add to this, the satellite rights at Rs 48 crore (sold to Zee Entertainment
Enterprises Ltd), music rights sold to T-series for an estimated Rs 7 to 8 crore and revenue through branding in the range of Rs 30 crore, the film is expected to earn approximately Rs 216 to 226 crore, resulting in a profit of nearly Rs 48 to 58 crore for the producers.