Yash Raj Films’ much-anticipated “Paathan”, Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback film, is releasing in over 100 countries worldwide, making it one of the widest openings for a Bollywood film.
Also starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, and directed by Siddharth Anand, “Pathan” is part of producer Aditya Chopra’s Spy Universe, which also includes the “Tiger” franchise starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif and “War” starring Hrithik Roshan. and Tiger Shroff.
In 2022, the Bollywood film “Vikram Vedha”, starring Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte, was released in more than 100 countries.
“Pathan” faced a storm in December 2022, when members of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party objected to a song in the film and the film was subsequently censored. However, the film received an indirect boost in recent days when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked party workers not to make “unnecessary comments” about the film.
Bollywood’s theatrical business, which was battered by a spate of flops in 2022, also got a boost with 25 single-screen cinemas across north and west India that were closed due to the impact of COVID-19, resuming on screens with “Paathan.”
India’s leading multiplex chains also recorded strong advance bookings, with PVR selling around 500,000 tickets and Inox selling around 275,000. The film is opening in over 4000 screens across India.
Box office analyst Ilara Capital is forecasting collections of INR400 million ($5 million) in India alone, based on “significant progress” and lifetime business of INR2-2.5 billion ($25-30 billion) in the country, “if positive reviews and word-of-mouth publicity.”
“Pathan” releases in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on January 25 26th January is a public holiday in India for Republic Day.
Khan is known as one of the best romantic stars of Bollywood. However, his last few films underperformed at the box office and his most recent release as a solo hero was “Zero” in 2018. He has since done cameos in “Lal Singh Chadda” and “Brahmastra Part One: Shiva”. 2022.
Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Limited, said: “We have had a phenomenal opening for ‘Paathan’ with an advance of around 5 lakhs. [500,000] The film’s first long weekend entry is to release on 25th January. This will be the first SRK film to open at 6 am on PVR Cinemas. A movie truly made for the big screen experience, we are seeing increasing preference for viewing this movie in our premium formats such as IMAX, ICE, 4DX and P [XL]. Apart from South India where the movie is releasing in Tamil and Telugu, it has opened really well in its original language Hindi in Kerala. Overall, it has been an absolutely encouraging response to this mega blockbuster movie for families to experience out-of-home entertainment.”
Nelson D’Souza, VP, International Distribution, Yash Raj Films, said: “We are very excited about ‘Pathaan’ and what it can collect from overseas territories. It should be able to bring cheer to the theatrical distribution business earlier in the year.”