Vijay smashes Lovely record

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By PRIYANKA ROY AND SATISH NANDGAONKAR
  • Published 28.01.12
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Jan. 27: Vijay Dinanath Chauhan has bested Lovely Singh at the box office.

Hrithik Roshan’s Agneepath notched up record box-office collections on Republic Day, racing past Salman Khan’s Bodyguard to become the highest Bollywood grosser on the first day of release.

If Bodyguard had smashed every box-office record in sight to earn Rs 21 crore on Day One, the Karan Johar-produced Agneepath pocketed Rs 23 crore on Thursday.

“The opening day figures have been unprecedented. If the collections on the first day are any indication, then Agneepath should easily have a Rs 75-crore weekend,” said Mumbai-based trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Bodyguard — which eventually grossed Rs 140 crores — crossed the Rs 100-crore barrier within eight days of release. According to trade pundits, Agneepath may break that record in five days.

“If Bodyguard had the advantage of an Id release last August, Agneepath has capitalised on its January 26 release. Everyone expected the opening to be huge, but the figures have surpassed expectations,” said Adarsh.

Though initial reports suggested the first day collections were Rs 25 crore, revised figures pegged it at Rs 23 crore.

In Calcutta, the 2012 remake of the 1990 revenge saga that flopped on release but became a cult classic over the years drew record crowds on Republic Day.

At Fame (South City), half of the 19 Agneepath shows ran to full houses. “If the first day was big, the weekend is poised to be bigger since we have a few bulk bookings lined up,” said a Fame Cinemas official.

Of the Rs 23 crore that Agneepath has earned nationwide on Day One, Rs 92 lakh has come from the Bengal circuit alone. “The figures are even more commendable given that we released Agneepath in 118 theatres whereas Bodyguard had opened at 250 theatres,” said Debashish Dey of Aum Moviez, the regional distributors of Agneepath.

So, what worked for the Agneepath remake? The sheer brand value of Amitabh Bachchan’s Agneepath, said Adarsh. In the 1990 film, Bachchan had tried a The Godfather-like experiment with his baritone and mouthed his dialogues in a changed voice, similar to what Marlon Brando did in the Francis Ford Coppola series.

Hrithik tweeted: “WOW!!!! THANK u THANK u THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! Agneepath 1st day — 25cr!!!!… I feel like I can FLY now!!!… I have the fuel now to make KRRISH Explode!!!!! And EXpLODE we will!!!!”