Ra.One's Rs 170 cr collections talk and opinions walk

Eros International's Ra.One, co-produced by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment in association with Winford Productions released across theatres worldwide on 26 October. The film met with an unprecedented response, both good and bad, from the audience. While some loved the film, some hated it as proved by the verbosity on the Internet, BlackBerry messenger jokes, social networking updates and text message forwards. Anyone who praised Ra.One was considered demented and a paid hack of SRK.

It is always the audience that makes or breaks a film, never written opinions or reviews. If that were the case, every film would be a super hit or a super flop at the mercy of a reviewer's keyboard.

But now, the figures for the film's box office collections have come in and they show the film has done phenomenal business worldwide. Ra.One broke all box office records for any Hindi film till date, with the biggest ever gross opening weekend (first five days of release) collections of 170 crore worldwide. According to Eros International's press circular, the number makes the film a historical win at the box office and has created a record for:

The film's success was imperative for SRK to consolidate his position as King Khan.

1. The highest single-day collections.
2. The highest Diwali-day collections.
3. The highest weekend collections.
4. The highest first weekend overseas collections in the history of Indian cinema.

The hype and buzz around the Diwali release was massive and it held fort at the box office with a weekend gross collection of Rs 137.25 crore in India and Rs 32.75 crore overseas, as sent out by Eros International. Since its release, Ra.One has created history by breaking regional, national and international box office records.

All this while, SRK was travelling halfway around the world, showing the film to his foreign audiences in Dubai, London and Toronto. There have been numerous comparisons of the collections of Ra.One with Salman Khan's Eid blockbuster, Bodyguard, given it was the last big release that did exceedingly well at the box office. Trade expert and film reviewer Komal Nahta, who also hosts Bollywood Business on Zee Café, says, "While Bodyguard had a 5-day weekend of Rs 86.10 crore (all-India net collections), Ra.One totalled Rs 91 – 92 crore in its first five days, from all the versions (Hindi, dubbed Tamil and dubbed Telugu). The superhero film made Rs 18 crore on Wednesday, Rs 25.10 crore on Thursday (record), and Rs 16 crore each on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the Shah Rukh Khan starrer added another Rs 16 – 17 crore to its kitty.

The comparative day-by-day collections of Ra.One and Bodyguard are given below. The question now is: will the total business of Ra.One overtake that of Bodyguard?

5-day comparative figures of Ra.One and Bodyguard:

Movie
(in Cr)
Opening dayDay 2Day3Day 4Day 55-day total
Ra.One1825.1016161691.10
Bodyguard2117.5013.2514.8519.5086.10

Note: All figures are net all-India collections.

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Ra.One opened across more than 4,000 plus screens worldwide (3,100 plus screens in India and 904 prints internationally, including 3D, Tamil and Telugu) and is the biggest Hindi grosser in south markets too.

The film's success was imperative for SRK to consolidate his position as King Khan given Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots (December 2009) and Salman Khan's Dabanng (September 2010)changed the game for the Khan trio. The crores that 3 Idiots and Dabanng made at the box office made them benchmarks in the business and by that parameter, SRK's Ra.One was not only under immense pressure to perform at the box office, but to also make big bucks, given its large scale production values and expense.

Nandu Ahuja, Senior VP, Distribution, Eros International Media Ltd said, "Ra. One released to packed houses across the country on Diwali day and has already created history by taking over the mantle of the biggest domestic earner so far. The film continues to be on its record breaking spree with several new achievements since its release. It has touched the highest individual collection in circuits such as Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan. We see repeat viewings of the movie with the 3-D version being equally sought after. With the Bakrid holiday also coming up next week with no other major film releasing, we are anticipating the film to continue doing great business."

It looks like SRK's birthday which falls on 2 November will be a happy one indeed.