Exactly 10 years ago, viewers were celebrating not just India’s 65th Independence Day on this day but also gearing up to watch Ek Tha Tiger. Starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, this Kabir Khan-directed film and Yash Raj Films (YRF) production arrived in cinemas on August 15, 2012. It was an Eid release though Eid fell on the sixth day (Monday, August 20). Hence, its first five days fell in the pre-Eid period. Yet, it managed to collect Rs. 100.16 crores before Eid holiday, a feat not broken by any Eid release after Ek Tha Tiger. It was also the fastest Rs. 100 crores grosser ever, achieving this feat in just 5 days.
10 Years Of Ek Tha Tiger: Exhibitors recall the CRAZE generated by the Salman Khan-starrer in cinema; say “Before Ek Tha Tiger, this kind of craze was last seen in Gadar”
The film worked big time due to its plot, style, international-level action and scale, super-hit songs and of course, Salman Khan’s starry presence. The teaser and trailer were so exhilarating that people were quite desperate to see the movie. No wonder, the film was able to such great numbers even in pre-Eid period. Post-Eid, it continued its dream run and ended with a lifetime of Rs. 198.78 crores.
As Ek Tha Tiger completes 10 years ago, we decided to speak to exhibitors to find out about the craze that Ek Tha Tiger had generated in their theatres. Akshaye Rathi, director, Saroj Screens, said, “The craze was unprecedented. I distinctly remember going to one of our cinemas on the day of release. We had held a 6:00 am show owing to the public demand. We had to start the show at 5:30 am as it had become full that early. Poora pagalpan hua tha uss time pe. At that point time, it was the grandest and the biggest Salman Khan actioner in terms of scale.”
Raj Bansal, the owner of Entertainment Paradise in Jaipur, went down memory lane as he narrated, “Pagalpan tha. Before Ek Tha Tiger, this kind of craze was last seen in Gadar, which came 11 years before Salman Khan-starrer’s release.”
He continued, “We couldn’t hear anything. Itni seetiyaan aur taaliyaan baj rahi thi. Viewers were dancing. The madness was of another level. Inside the auditorium, all seats were filled and there was a lot of excitement. And outside too, there’s a huge crowd waiting to go inside. Log film dekh ke dance karte hue aur masti karte hue nikal rahe the. As an exhibitor, you feel so happy and proud to release such a film!”
Satadeep Saha, CEO of SSR Cinemas Pvt Ltd, reminisced, “The trailer of the film was fantastic and helped the film fetch a record opening. I had seen the film on the first day and had called the distributor at Yash Raj and told that ‘Picture dekh ke maza aa gaya’. All shows were house full on the first day in our theatre. It was an Eid release. At that time, Salman Khan’s films on the festival would do bumper business. So, we knew that shows House Full hone hi hai.”
He continued, “The movie was a fabulous entertainer. Spy thrillers are common now but at that time, it was one of the first such films in Bollywood. That added to the fun. The audience enjoyed the action and music. Also, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s chemistry was much appreciated.”
Rashmikant Bhalodia, the owner of Galaxy cinema in Rajkot said, “That era belonged to Salman Khan. Hence, the excitement had touched the skies for Ek Tha Tiger. Every show in the first few days had sold out in advance. I remember that maximum tickets were sold through online booking, which had just picked up at that point.”
Until a few years ago, Book My Show in its About Me section had famously mentioned that Ek Tha Tiger was the first film to sell a record number of tickets on their ticketing app.
Vishek Chauhan, owner of Roopbani Cinema in Bihar, remarked, “It was the first film to take a Rs. 30 crores plus opening. It was probably the first Salman Khan film which had taken an extraordinary start in multiplexes. This is because unlike his other hits at that time, this was a little upmarket kind of a film and he played a sophisticated character. Hence not just single-screens but even multiplexes were on fire.”
Ek Tha Tiger’s success prompted the makers to come up with Tiger Zinda Hai (2017). It was also a blockbuster, collecting a huge Rs. 339.16 crores. Next year, Tiger 3 is all set to release on Eid 2023 and it has already started generating buzz. What has also enhanced the hype is Emraan Hashmi’s casting as the antagonist. Moreover, Shah Rukh Khan appears in a cameo, reprising his role of Pathaan.
When asked if Tiger 3 has managed to create sufficient craze, Akshaye Rathi replied, “Absolutely. After all, Ek Tha Tiger was among Salman Khan’s biggest hits, not in terms of numbers but for the fact that it appealed to every demographic. It was a superb film. It was also among Salman Khan’s best works apart from Sultan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tiger Zinda Hai in the last 10 years.”
Raj Bansal also said that he has high hopes for Tiger 3, “No matter how much you boycott or spread negativity, the film will still work. Hindi cinema’s bad luck is that koi achhi picture nahi aayi. Jis din acchi picture aayegi, yeh boycott waale fail ho jaayenge. If you ask who is the number 1 actor in today’s time, I’ll say that it is Salman Khan who’s ruling the industry.”
Satadeep Saha, meanwhile, exulted, “Tiger 3 has a big chance obviously. But there’s too much negativity. Calls are being made to boycott Pathaan. If this goes on, then it’ll be a problem (during the release of Tiger 3). We have grown up watching Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. It’s not right to boycott them, based on their religion. How does it matter which religion they belong to?”
Rashmikant Bhalodia however made it clear that he’s not sure about Tiger 3’s prospects, “Nothing can be said in today’s time. The public has become very smart. Look how they rejected Laal Singh Chaddha.”
While exhibitors had a smile on their faces while talking of Ek Tha Tiger, they, at the same time, also felt dejected with the box office scenario at present. Vishek Chauhan sighed, “Ek Tha Tiger ka zamana kuch aur tha. Tab dhande hua karte the.” He signed off by saying, “Itihaas hi reh gaya hai Bollywood ke paas. Bhavishya mein toh andhkaar hai aisa lag raha hai.”
More Pages: Ek Tha Tiger Box Office Collection , Ek Tha Tiger Movie Review
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