My Name plays on but Idiots shifts bar

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By SAMYABRATA RAY GOSWAMI
  • Published 24.02.10
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Mumbai, Feb. 23: The numbers are still being crunched but the verdict appears to be out: Rancho is far ahead of Rizwan.

In its second week, Shah Rukh Khan’s My Name is Khan, dogged by pre-release controversies which many now say helped the film get the huge initial, is finding it difficult to meet the standard set by rival Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots.

The latest figures suggest that the total domestic and international collections of MNIK are likely to touch Rs 160-175 crore, which, distributors pointed out, was a substantial amount. 3 Idiots, which earned Rs 385 crore, raised the bar to an extent which others could find hard to emulate.

MNIK, in which SRK plays Rizwan Khan, a victim of religious hostility in post-9/11 America, raked in Rs 150 crore globally at the end of the first 10 days.

In contrast, 3 Idiots — in which Aamir played a classroom genius called Rancho — notched up Rs 240 crore in the same period.

Exhibitors pointed out that 3 Idiots continued to lord over multiplex show listings even after the first two weeks of its release.

On the other hand, My Name is Khan will have to vacate prime slots to the Farhan Akhtar-Deepika Padukone flick Karthik Calling Karthik when it releases this Friday.

Karthik… will be released on the same day as the Amitabh Bachchan-Ben Kingsley thriller Teen Patti. Both are expected to generate big footfalls at the plexes. My Name is Khan collections are trickling and theatre occupancy is as low as 25 per cent, so we will move it to free prime slots for Karthik…” said Vishal Kapoor, chief operating officer of Cinemax, a plex chain in Mumbai.

According to figures published by the online trade tracker boxofficeindia.com, My Name is Khan, which collected a little over Rs 46 crore in the first week across India, is expected to rake in Rs 16-17 crore in the second week taking the total domestic net collection to about Rs 62-63 crore.

3 Idiots, the biggest Indian grosser so far, netted Rs 79 crore in the first week and another Rs 55 crore in the second week in the domestic circuit.

“In all, My Name is Khan’s lifetime collections in the Indian market may total around Rs 70 crore. If they are lucky, they can hitch it up to Rs 75 crore, the figure that every Bollywood superhit aspires for,” said trade expert Komal Nahata.

For single-screen theatres in Mumbai at least, this is the final week for MNIK. “It will be curtains for My Name is Khan in single-screen theatres,” said a PVR executive.

So, even if it makes it to the coveted Rs 75 crore mark in the domestic market, MNIK will still lag behind Shah Rukh’s last big release, Om Shanti Om (2007), which grossed Rs 79 crore.

If it does make the grade, it will be pegged at the sixth spot among all top Bollywood grossers, without adjusting for inflation.