Ranbir Kapoor's endearing portrayal of a deaf and mute boy in Anurag Basu's "Barfi!" has left the viewers, critics and the box office wearing a big smile. The movie, appreciated for its picturesque cinematography, has collected Rs.34.6 crore in its opening weekend.
The romantic comedy, released Friday, also features actress Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz, who have delivered excellent performances as an autistic girl, and a rich Bengali girl, respectively.
The film, made at a budget of Rs.30 crore, talks about love beyond language and disability. With this theme, it managed to mint Rs.9.20 crore on its opening day, Rs.11.50 crore on the second day and Rs.13.5 crore Sunday.
"'Barfi' has done remarkable business. The film gathered steam with each passing day, rising to the maximum on Saturday and Sunday. It was released in less than 700 cinema halls in India, a tiny release as compared to the biggies. Occupancy at multiplexes was fantastic," tweeted film critic Taran Adarsh.
In the overseas market, "Barfi!" crossed the Rs.2 million-mark over the weekend, making it Ranbir's highest grosser overseas, ahead of "Raajneeti" and "Rockstar".
Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur says the response to 'Barfi!' has been "completely overwhelming".
"These are the moments that filmmakers, artists, technicians and producers live for. The love and appreciation that is being showered on the film from audiences and critics in India and around the world is unprecedented," said Kapur, managing director, Studios, Disney UTV.
The movie has been widely appreciated by the film fraternity too. Karan Johar has gone to the extent of saying that Basu's "genius" makes him feel "talentless".
"It's a big moment for Anurag, the cast, the crew, and for all of us at Disney UTV. This is a film we have supported and nurtured from its very inception, and it gives us a tremendous sense of satisfaction to have our creative instincts backed by the audience," said Kapur.
"Barfi!" had a tremendous buzz around it since the beginning, and with innovative promotions, the team had the audience waiting for it eagerly.
Anant Verma, director and business head, DT Cinemas, reveals the film had a rush for advance bookings from Sep 12.
"The response to the film has been excellent. It had advance bookings from Wednesday and also had many corporate bookings. There was a tremendous increase in footfall after Friday, and it is word-of-mouth publicity that worked in favour of the film," Verma told IANS.
Verma expects weekdays to have decent occupancy too.
Gaurav Verma, director, India theatrical distribution, Studios, Disney UTV, said: "'Barfi!' has once again proved that an effective marketing and distribution with a great content can ensure that a film attracts audiences into theatres.
"We had the right strategy and identified the right cinemas for a content as unique as 'Barfi!' and simultaneously ensured that it's available to all. The result is there for all to see from the overwhelming and unprecedented response that we have received from across the country."