After a record breaking Friday, a few cynics felt that ‘Dabangg’ would fall on Saturday and Sunday. When that didn’t happen, all eyes were on to see how the weekdays would perform. Those in favour of a film bringing happiness to the industry cheered for ‘Dabangg’ but some prayed silently for this Salman Khan starrer to go downhill after the initial euphoria settled down. As it turned out, ‘Dabangg’ continued to be super strong on week days as well and in the process went on to not just continue to entice audience but also create a record.
A total of 81 crores meant that the first week count (including the Thursday previews) of ‘3 Idiots’ i.e. 80 crores, was left behind by a close margin. While this has been a huge total by itself, what makes it further remarkable is the fact that a major contribution has been made by single screens theaters here which is Salman’s target audience. While ‘3 Idiots’ was made for multiplex audience and ticket rates were also jacked up, this was not the case with ‘Dabangg’. This further translates into the fact that viewer-ship of ‘Dabangg’ has been considerably higher than ‘3 Idiots’, hence putting a stamp on Salman’s super-stardom.
In fact, I remember that after the release of ‘3 Idiots’, I had asked a question in this very column – ‘Is there any competition for Aamir Khan? Can only Aamir beat Aamir at not just the box office but also where quality of cinema is concerned?’ Well, as is obvious now, anything is possible. Though ‘3 Idiots’ looked unbeatable once, the unthinkable has happened within a year. The only movie in near future that seems most likely to cover a greater distance is ‘Tees Maar Khan’. Will it manage to top 80 crores in the very first week? Let’s wait and watch.
As for ‘Dabangg’ topping ‘3 Idiots’ when it comes to the lifetime total of 200 crores plus, it is not happening by any means. While ‘3 Idiots’ had crossed 50 crores in its second week, ‘Dabangg’ would be settling at around 30-35 crores crores since the repeat audience would now mainly come from single screens. Still, ‘Dabangg’ is all set to be the second highest grosser ever by eclipsing the 115 crores lifetime total of ‘Ghajini’.
– Sampurn Wire