Recently, the much-awaited film Pathaan, starring Shah Rukh Khan, is having a golden run at the box office. The blockbuster took an earth-shattering opening and on top of that, it got a clean three-week run in cinemas. This was a rare phenomenon as usually, even the biggest of films get only two weeks of uninterrupted run in theatres. Hence, it’ll be a surprise for readers to know that Jodhaa Akbar (2008), which had released 15 years ago, played in cinemas with negligible completion for as many as 6 weeks! In other words, from February 15, 2008, to March 20, 2008, the period drama was the only major film running in theatres!
15 Years of Jodhaa Akbar: The Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer was a RARE film to face ZERO competition for 6 weeks at the box office
Jodhaa Akbar got a release in around 1000 screens. Due to its long length (around 210 minutes) and lesser screens at that time, the shows were limited and moreover, the film didn’t get a release in states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand. As a result, its opening of Rs. 3.81 crores was probably below expectations. However, the word of mouth was positive and moreover, it had a dream run with no competition. It ended its first week with collections amounting to Rs. 21.83 crores. The film collected Rs. 13.16 crores and Rs. 8.60 crores in Weeks 2 and 3 respectively.
In the fourth week, a film named Black & White (2008) did release, on March 7. Directed by Subhash Ghai, it starred Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Shah, and Aditi Sharma. But it was a small, niche film and didn’t pose a competition as such. Jodhaa Akbar in Week 4 faced a normal drop and collected Rs. 5.02 crores. In its fifth week, there was again no release and this is when the movie earned Rs. 4.14 crores.
It was only in the sixth week that a major film arrived in cinemas, Race (2008). It had an ensemble cast comprising Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. As expected, Jodhaa Akbar faced a major drop that week, collecting Rs. 1.69 crores.
But Jodhaa Akbar continued to play in cinemas and ended its domestic lifetime run with Rs. 56.04 crores. It might seem underwhelming but one needs to consider that this was a time when historicals were considered a risky proposition. The last big period film before Jodhaa Akbar, J P Dutta’s Umrao Jaan (2006), had bombed. Also, Jodhaa Akbar had released in the pre-Bajirao Mastani (2015), Baahubali (2015), Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020), Padmaavat (2018) etc. era. Hence, for it to even cross the Rs. 50 crore mark way back in 2008, that too with no show in a few states, was a feat.
Interestingly, three years later, a similar phenomenon was repeated with Tanu Weds Manu (2011). The R Madhavan-Kangana Ranaut starrer was released on February 25, 2011. Believe it or not, it faced no competition at all in the month of March, possibly because the ICC Cricket World Cup was going on. Just like Jodhaa Akbar, it also faced competition directly in Week 6 in cinemas with the releases of Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Game and Jackky Bhagnani-Arshad Warsi-Riteish Deshmukh starrer FALTU.
More Pages: Jodhaa Akbar Box Office Collection , Jodhaa Akbar Movie Review
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