Despite grappling with demonetisation, the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal promises to take Bollywood out of the rut that it found itself in after notebandi kicked in. Most pundits kept their fingers crossed as Bollywood business had been badly hit post the drive, leading them to predict low revenues for Dangal.
Although the economy and the industry have been going through a significant downturn in the aftermath of the noteban drive, Dangal has seen stupendous success at the box office. The Christmas release could witness several previous records tumbling in its wake.
With the cash registers ringing incessantly, Dangal promises to land in the Rs 300-crore club soon. Industry insiders also predict the movie could be India’s first Rs 400-crore film. Besides, it has earned rave reviews and standing ovation from the audience for the actor.
What is most satisfying is that Aamir Khan has once again established the supremacy of content. A good storyline aided with good acting can still get the crowds to move. Mr Perfectionist has been known for providing thought-provoking content as opposed to the run-of-the-mill song-and-dance Bollywood formula. Apart from this year’s Christmas release, earlier also Aamir Khan provided excellent content through movies such 3 Idiots and PK.
What else can explain these figures: Rs 42.35 crore raked in on Sunday, taking the first weekend’s total to a staggering Rs 106.95 crore. This is the most humongous opening weekend for an Aamir Khan-starrer.
According to reports, the Sunday collection is the highest one-day collection for any movie. The flick, which also has in its cast Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sakshi Tanwar and Sanya Malhotra, has broken the first weekend record of the Salman Khan-starrer Sultan which had raked in Rs 39 crore in one day.
Today, trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted: "Dangal hits century, crosses Rs 100 crore mark. Suday's business was humongous. Smashing records and setting new benchmarks."
The Haryana-set film is a sports biopic of grappler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who aspired his daughters against all odds to win the gold medal for India. One of his daughters eventually fulfilled his aspirations during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
There has been overwhelming response in north India. Haryana has already declared Dangal tax-free; most states could follow, motivating people hit by the cash crush to go to the theatres.
The film has already earned Mr Perfectionist universal acclaim, with Aamir Khan setting new standards for sports biopics in the country. Bollywood can take heart from the success of Nitesh Tiwari-directed Dangal in an otherwise rough year.
But beyond everything else, Aamir Khan has demonstrated one thing: demonetisation or not, good content would always have audiences pouring in.