It's Eid on Wednesday, 6 July, and there's a Salman Khan film releasing (Sultan). The buzz is real.
Salman Khan’s upcoming Sultan is widely tipped to draw major business in Pakistan despite facing competition from four Hollywood and two Pakistani films at the box office during the Eid week.
Trade gurus are of the view that Ali Abbas Zafar’s film will become the most profitable movie and might even break the record of last year’s Pakistani hit, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani.
According to film exhibitor Nadeem Mandviwala, all the shows of Sultan on the first five days have already been sold out in Pakistani cinemas.
The four Hollywood films which are releasing with Sultan on Eid are — Finding Dory, Ice Age: Collision Course, The Legend of Tarzan and The Secret Life of Pets. Urdu films — Sawal Saat Sau Crore Ka and Blind Love — are also in the race.
Sultan is being released in around 75 screens in 55 cinemas, a number slightly lower than that of Bajrangi Bhaijaan that released on 80 screens. However, it is not likely to affect the business by a large percentage. Salman’s films have done well in the last couple of years with Bajrangi Bhaijaan raking in a whopping Rs 45 million during the first three Eid holidays, and in 2014, Kick earning Rs 57.8 million.
Meanwhile, trade analysts have predicted that Sultan will touch 150 crores in merely 5 days.
"Salman Khan + Yash Raj Films + Eid release. It can’t get bigger than that. Over the years, Salman’s box office status has multiplied manifold and every film of his generates tremendous curiosity," said trade exerpt Amul Mohan, as reported Indian Express, while Taran Adarsh said, "It’s a bit too early to predict if Sultan will surpass the business of his previous films. But the fact is that the advance booking has been fantastic and it being a five-day weekend, the film is expected to shatter records".
Sultan is being released in 4,200 screens in India and 1,200 screens in the rest of the world, reports Forbes. Most trade analysts have predicted that the opening day can gather close to 45 crores in the box office, and a lifetime collection of up to 300 crores.
Director of the film Ali Abbas Zafar told India Today in this interview, "The only thing I learned from Sultan was that there is no substitute for experience. It is something you have acquired through time. The persona of Sultan is very close to the identity that Salman Khan holds in personal and professional life. Sultan is a very earnest and honest character. He also has the flamboyance of Salman. Just like Don could only be done by Amitabh Bachchan and Fan was only for SRK, Sultan was meant for Salman."
(With inputs from PTI)