The other day, I was reminiscing the BO records created by Amitabh Bachchan‘s films in the 1970s and 1980s. I distinctly recall, the film industry was dumbstruck as record after record was shattered, with Sr Bachchan’s movies creating theatre, city and circuit records on Day 1, Day 3 and Week 1. The late Manmohan Desai — who delivered a string of hits with Big B then — described the Bachchan phenomenon aptly, when I interviewed him in 1981 [the very first interview of my career, in fact]: “Amit [Amitabh] is like Halley’s Comet that strikes once in 70 years.”
Similarly, Salman Khan is at the pinnacle of his career and it won’t be erroneous to state that he’s now ensconced on the throne that was once occupied by Bachchan Sr. With great power comes great responsibility, they say… Salman is well aware that he’s the darling of the masses and is concentrating on movies that have something extra to offer than the usual masala. At the same time, he’s ensuring that his legion of fans aren’t disappointed. The last decade has been of utmost significant in Salman’s career, since the actor has delivered a string of All Time Blockbusters [post DABANGG]. He is the Hit Machine. The Superstar. The Sultan of BO. The Pied Piper of Bollywood.
The BO performance of his new film SULTAN clearly indicates that ‘Salmania’ has gripped the nation. The 5-day business [Wednesday to Sunday] of his latest film reiterates the fact that there’s no star bigger than Salman today. That’s a fact, whether you like it or not.
Now let’s analyse the reasons why SULTAN worked tremendously well at the ticket windows. The hysteria that this film generated prior to its release can easily be attributed to Salman’s superstardom. The advance booking at plexes as well as single screens was terrific and the film, expectedly, opened to a mind boggling response on Wednesday [6 July]. Also, timing the release during the festive occasion of Eid meant SULTAN would reap a harvest at the BO initially. However, if the content matches the hype, it works as an icing on the cake and that’s a key reason why SULTAN is having a dream run in the domestic as well as international markets. The audience feedback is fantastic and YRF is laughing all the way to the bank.
The 5-day weekend concluded yesterday [Sunday] and it will be interesting to see how SULTAN fares on weekdays — from Monday to Thursday. As things stand today, Salman has two films in Rs 200 cr Club [KICK and PREM RATAN DHAN PAAYO] and one in Rs 300 cr Club [BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN]. SULTAN will easily cross Rs 200 cr mark in days to come, but will it cruise past Rs 300 cr mark? Most importantly, will it surpass the business of BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN and emerge Salman’s biggest hit? It’s a wait and watch situation right now!