Meenakshi Verma Ambwani
NEW DELHI: It’s a merry Christmas for Aamir Khan indeed. His movie Ghajini is set to become the highest grosser of the year. The remake of a South
Indian flick is estimated to have garnered gross worldwide revenues of Rs 30-32 crore on Christmas day, leaving Shah Rukh Khan’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Akshay Kumar’s Singh is Kinng behind.
The build-up from its paid previews and opening on a long weekend helped the movie garner higher occupancy levels than other big grossers of 2008. A paid preview is a movie screening at select places before its formal opening at premium charges. Ghajini had over 660 paid previews on Wednesday, pocketing Rs 7 crore in the process. Usually, paid previews only have 100 shows.
Says trade analyst Taran Adarsh: “As numbers come in from various territories, it looks like Ghajini’s going to be the biggest hit for the industry this year. It’s doing much better than Singh is Kinng, Golmaal Returns and one can’t even compare Rab Ne... with Ghajini’s numbers.” The box office revenues in the next three days could help the remake of a South Indian movie.
Yash Raj Films’ Rab Ne..., which made Rs 60 crore worldwide in the first three days of release, is estimated to have opening revenues of about Rs 10-11 crore. The year’s top grosser Singh is Kinng, which earned over Rs 45 crore during the opening weekend, made Rs 13-14 crore on day one.
Multiplex players agree they have never seen such a huge response for any movie as all the shows are already sold out. “Occupancies on Christmas day was 95% across all our multiplexes and the number of shows will be increased on Friday. All our shows are booked for the weekend,” said Inox Leisure COO Alok Tandon.
Movie distribution firm Indian Film Company senior V-P Priti Sahani said: “It’s difficult to give a gross figure as numbers are still trickling in from various territories, but we have received an unprecedented response for the movie not only from multiplexes and single screens but also from smaller towns.” The movie is being distributed by Indian Film Company in India and Big Pictures in overseas territories with a total of 1,450 prints.