3 Idiots set to be Bollywood’s biggest grosser

3-idiots-2009Three idiots is on its way to becoming the biggest Bollywood blockbuster yet, surpassing the lifetime theatre ticket collections of the big-league Ghajini, Gadar, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, two leading film trade analysts said.

The Vidhu Vinod Chopra-produced film has grossed Rs 175 crore worldwide within a week of its release. Ghajini and Gadar are estimated to have collected Rs 225 crore and Rs 175 crore till date, and Three Idiots is slated to surpass these figures before the end of the second week of the release, a trade analyst said.

Although the two blockbusters of the mid-1990s, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun are considered to have made as much of an impact at the box office as Gadar and Ghajini, the last two grossed much more in revenues. This is because prices of cinema tickets have gone up manifold in the past 15 years.

Film trade analyst Komal Nahata said Three Idiots could safely be called the movie of the decade.
Taran Adarsh, another film trade analyst, wrote in his website: “Three Idiots’ numbers are bigger than the lifetime gross of most biggies.”

Film distributor Sanjay Ghai, who looks after big movie territories of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, said this is the most-watched movie they would ever have seen in their lifetime. “If Ghajini was watched by over 4 crore people to make it a hit, this movie would have been watched by 7-8 crore people by the time it ends its run.

I believe it is the best movie we have seen in a long time in terms of gross revenues,” Mr Ghai said. He said no movie can become a blockbuster without a repeat audience and added, “We have seen queues outside theatres like this after a long time.”

Buoyed by the response, Reliance Big Pictures, which is distributing the movie in collaboration with the producers, is adding new centres where the movie could not be released in the first week.

“While multiplexes are increasing the number of shows over the second weekend, we are adding about 125 centres that will help reach out to additional single screen theatres,” said Reliance Big Pictures distribution head Kamal Gianchandani.

In India, the movie was released with 1,550 prints in over 1,760 screens and 342 prints. Worldwide, it was released in over 366 screens across 40 countries.

According to producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the movie is going strong overseas. The collection figures coming in from the US, Canada and Australia indicate that Three Idiots has already had the biggest opening weekend ever for a Hindi film in these markets.
Multiplex operators also expect to generate more money to square up a year marred by a tussle with producers over revenue sharing. “We are showing 10-20 shows per day depending on the city.

The revenues have been very steady through the entire first week and with no big releases on the New Year weekend, we believe the movie would continue to rake it in,” said PVR Cinemas president Pramod Arora.

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