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Pathaan party starts with a bang

Fully booked halls greet SRK’s return

Snehal Sengupta, Priyanka Roy , Sudeshna Banerjee | Published 26.01.23, 07:31 AM
Fans celebrate the release of Pathaan near Menoka cinema on Wednesday.

Fans celebrate the release of Pathaan near Menoka cinema on Wednesday.

Picture by Pradip Sanyal

The Pathaan party started bright and early on Wednesday with fans from nearly all age groups making their way into cinemas to catch superstar Shah Rukh Khan back in action on the big screen after four years. 

In Kolkata, Pathaan — propped by SRK in an allout action avatar, Deepika Padukone bringing in star power and a scene-stealing cameo from Salman Khan, apart from jaw-dropping action set pieces — opened big and grew huge, with shows at both standalone cinemas and multiplexes fully booked over the next few days.


On Wednesday, fans — especially in front of single-screen theatres — gave King Khan a welcome back befitting a king. Fans danced with banners, cut cakes, burst crackers and walked in with posters for shows as early as 8am. 

At Menoka cinema near Rabindra Sarovar, at least 70 members of SRK Warriors Kolkata, clad in white t-shirts emblazoned with a photograph of the superstar and Pathan written boldly on them, performed a small puja in front of an SRK cutout before bursting party smoke bombs and fireworks.

The stretch of the road resembled an open-air party space before the fans walked in to catch the first show of the day. 

Sourav Das, a member of the fan club, said they had been waiting for the film with bated breath and had got the t-shirts printed well in advance. 

“We booked tickets in bulk.... The entire theatre, with cheering and whistling, had an electric feel,” Das said.

SRK fans, under The King’s Club banner, celebrated the release at three halls — Inox Metro at Esplanade, PVR Avani in Howrah and Menoka. The biggest gathering — of 43 members — was at Menoka, where a horse-drawn carriage brought in a lifesize cut-out of Shah Rukh Khan which was garlanded ahead of the noon show.

At Inox Metro, fan club members cut a 3.5lb cake made of the letters of the film’s name. Some members joined even from the Ahmedabad branch of the club.

Crowds of families, friends and couples thronged multiplexes and single-screen cinemas alike throughout the day, with the packed early morning shows setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Masud Mistry, a commerce student at Calcutta University, was there with friends at Cinepolis in Acropolis Mall. He told Metro that he loved the film and Shah Rukh Khan’s new look so much that he has decided to work out from Friday.

“I didn’t have any inclination to work out but this film has changed everything,” Mistry said.

In Salt Lake, the RDB Boulevard ran houseful shows throughout the day.

Software engineer Komal Sharma said she screamed her lungs out several times while watching the film. “The SRK-Deepika pair were sizzling. I have decided to watch it again on Thursday with another group of friends and have decided to bring my mother to watch it on Sunday,” Sharma said.

Pramod Maloo, who runs a digital marketing company in Calcutta, said he had bought 100 tickets at a Sector V multiplex. “I am planning to take my family members and all my business associates to the show,” he said.

On Wednesday, such was the response from early morning shows that the number of shows worldwide was increased by 300, taking the screen count total to a whopping 8,000. 

According to trade analyst Komal Nahta, till early evening on release day, the three leading multiplex chains in India — INOX, PVR and Cinepolis — alone had earned more than Rs 22 crore across the country, with the action-packed spectacle easily eyeing a first-day total of anything between Rs 45 crore and Rs 50 crore.

Apart from Kannada film KGF: Chapter 2, which released in multiple languages and hence had the opportunity to pack in a large number of shows on release day, the record for the highest Day I total for a Bollywood film lies with Hrithik Roshan’s War. That film was produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Siddharth Anand, who have once again joined forces for.

Last updated on 26.01.23, 07:31 AM

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