The mixed critical reception to Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kabali certainly hasn’t affected its box office business any.
With most shows in the film’s first week sold out at the theatres, that Kabali would score a great box office opening wasn’t in doubt.
Still, when the numbers began to roll in, there was a sense of shock at the phenomenal amounts of money Kabali had managed to collect.
After the numbers for its opening weekend collections have been tabulated, Kabali’s box office earnings from Friday, 22 July (when it released) to Sunday, 24 July, amount to a cool Rs 110 crore.
With its opening weekend collection, Kabali has now beaten Sultan — the most recent box office behemoth — which had earned Rs 100 crore in three days. Other films that have repeated the feat? Happy New Year, Dhoom 3, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo.
Kabali released in the original Tamil and dubbed versions in Telugu and Hindi in nearly 3,500 screens across the country. As per trade sources, the film’s net box office collections would be roughly Rs 47 cr from Tamil Nadu, Rs 20 cr from the states of Andhra and Telangana, Rs 16 cr from Karnataka, Rs 8 cr from Kerala and Rs 19 cr from the rest of India (Hindi+Tamil versions). That comes to a total of Rs 110 cr from India theatricals.
The box office numbers from Tamil Nadu, of course, have been the hugest. The 47-crore opening weekend collection is the highest ever, for any film in the state. Kabali has been exempted from entertainment tax here, and there were many allegations that outside of Chennai city, tickets were sold from Rs 300 to 500 over the weekend. Most screens had six-seven shows on the opening day, to meet the demand for tickets.
In Tamil Nadu there is a government cap on ticket prices, with Chennai multiplexes allowed the highest rate of Rs 120; it varies in other places. It is not easy to track the exact box-office numbers in the state, and the figures reported may not be fully accurate.
One thing that can be said is that Kabali has taken a much bigger all-India opening day collections than Rajinikanth’s all-time super hit Enthiran (Robot). But it is early days yet, when it comes to saying whether or not Kabali will break Enthiran’s record of being Rajinikanth’s highest earning film.
And this is where those adverse film reviews may play spoilsport.