30 Jan 2023, 13:17

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Pathaan' smashes Indian box office records

  MUMBAI, Jan 30, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Superstar Shah Rukh Khan's new film
"Pathaan" has smashed Indian box office records following its release last
week, bringing hope to Bollywood after a spate of weak showings.

"Pathaan" recorded the highest-ever box office collections for a Hindi film
for its opening and second day in India, and raked in 2.5 billion rupees ($30
million) in its first five days, trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted Sunday.

Its international ticket sales soared past one billion rupees ($13.7 million)
in just three days, according to Yash Raj Films, which produced the movie.

It comes after glitzy Hindi-language Bollywood films struggled at the box
office following the reopening of Indian cinemas about a year ago after a
pandemic hiatus.

"The unprecedented celebratory success of 'Pathaan' I think speaks volumes
about where we are headed as the Hindi movie industry," movie theatre chain
owner Akshaye Rathi told AFP on Monday.

"Here we are back to the old school way of celebrating cinema in theatres as
a community viewing experience."

The release of "Pathaan", 57-year-old Khan's first movie in four years, had
been highly anticipated.

Khan, popularly known as "King Khan", has a huge fan following around the
world. The film also features Bollywood heart-throb Deepika Padukone and
action hero John Abraham.

Videos shared on social media showed fans in Indian cinemas dancing and
cheering during the film.

In recent months, "Pathaan" and other Bollywood films -- particularly those
starring actors from India's Muslim minority such as Khan -- have been
criticised by Hindu right-wingers on social media, with activists calling for

Hardline Hindu groups had called for "Pathaan" to be banned because Padukone
wore a saffron-coloured bikini -- a colour associated with their religion --
in one of the film's songs.

Last year, films from southern India, such as Telugu-language "RRR",
dominated box office takings.

"RRR" has also been feted internationally, winning a Golden Globe for best
song and scoring an Oscar nomination in the same category.

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