The industry and trade is in a celebratory mood ever since Gangubai Kathiawadi was released in cinemas on February 25, 2022. Everyone knew that this Alia Bhatt-starrer would embark upon a fine opening as the trailer had generated considerable buzz. However, the manner in which the shows started going full across the country surprised one and all. It ended up collecting a huge Rs. 10.50 crores on the first day. It thus became the second biggest female-centric opener ever. The first film in this category, Veere Di Wedding (2018), starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor, had an opening of Rs. 10.70 crore. It was the pre-pandemic time when cinemas were running with no restrictions. Had Gangubai Kathiawadi been released in better times or if Maharashtra and other states were running at 100% occupancy, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directorial would have surely had first-day collections of Rs. 11 crore plus.Alia Bhatt, like Pushpa, is not a flower but FIRE! Gangubai Kathiawadi’s SUPER-success has BOOSTED her stardom
Gangubai Kathiawadi then grew from strength to strength as more and more centres picked up while the ones, which were strong on Friday, did even better on the weekend. Bollywood Hungama had reported that some theatres had to hold a show at 1:00 am to keep up with the demand. With Saturday collections amounting to Rs. 13.32 crore and Sunday collections totaling Rs. 15.30 crore, the film ended up accumulating Rs. 39.12 crore in three days. Gangubai Kathiawadi ended up having the second-highest weekend of all time for a female-centric film. In the list of top 10 such films, Alia Bhatt has as many as three films. Dear Zindagi (2016) starred Shah Rukh Khan but it was advertised as an Alia Bhatt film as SRK had a supporting role. This slice-of-life drama’s weekend collections were Rs. 32.50 crore. Raazi (2018), meanwhile, was sold on the strength of Alia Bhatt and its collections were Rs. 32.93 crore.
Several male actors have the ability to pull audiences to cinemas on the first day, even if the reviews or word of mouth are not out. Unfortunately, actresses even today sometimes struggle to get an initial. However, Alia Bhatt is a rare actress who has achieved such popularity that audiences are ready to come to cinemas in hordes just for her. We don’t deny that Sanjay Leela Bhansali-factor also played a part. However, the chances of Gangubai Kathiawadi opening at Rs. 10.50 crore would have been very unlikely if some other actress was cast in place of Alia.
10 years ago, Alia Bhatt made a stunning debut in Student Of The Year (2012). She faced ridicule at that point as she was dubbed ‘talent-less’ and moreover, her faux pas on ‘Koffee With Karan’ added to the trolling. However, she silenced one and all with her performance in her second film - Imtiaz Ali’s Highway (2014). It proved that she’s not just eye candy in films and that she can set the screen on fire with her performance. She continued to deliver many more fine performances. Raazi was a significant point in her career as she took a female-centric film into the Rs. 100 crore club.
Alia Bhatt was already a big star but Gangubai Kathiawadi’s super-success has just boosted her stardom. And age is on her side; she’s not even 29 yet. Hence, there’s absolutely no doubt that from here, her stardom and popularity are surely going to grow with each passing film.
To quote a dialogue from Pushpa, Alia Bhatt is not a flower, she’s FIRE!
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