Shah Rukh Khan’s action thriller “Jawan” has shattered the star’s own Bollywood opening day record.
“Jawan” is produced by Gauri Khan and Gaurav Verma for Red Chillies Entertainment. It opened on Thursday and its Hindi-language version grossed $9.4 million in India, with a further $1.3 million from Tamil and Telugu-language dubbed versions, according to numbers provided to Variety by Red Chillies. Including overseas collections, “Jawan” enjoyed a $15.6 million opening day.
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Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan,” which released in January, was the previous record holder for a Hindi-language film, grossing $8.32 million in India and a further $4.5 million in overseas territories on its first day in cinemas, for a worldwide gross total of $12.7 million.
“Jawan” is directed by Atlee, who previously delivered a trio of Tamil-language blockbusters starring Vijay – “Theri” (2016), “Mersal” (2017) and “Bigil” (2019). The “Jawan” cast also includes Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Priyamani, Sanya Malhotra and Ridhi Dogra, with Deepika Padukone in a cameo.
“Jawan” features Khan in a dual role as a father and son who set out to rectify corruption in Indian society. The film is on the lines of several Tamil-language blockbusters tackling Indian societal ills by S. Shankar, who Atlee assisted before making his directorial debut with Fox Star Studios’ “Raja Rani” in 2013.
“The love and response of audiences on the first day of the release of ‘Jawan’ is overwhelming and sensational, and proves the significance and might of mass entertainers in the film industry. The Janmashtami holiday provided an additional thrust across the country. The action-packed spectacle has a truly national appeal with popular stars from the south, including Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi, along with an eclectic ensemble of stars, which is making the movie cater to a larger market with its Tamil and Telugu dubbed versions. With the movie also being screened in special formats like Imax, 4DX and Ice, audiences are enjoying the larger-than-life story telling in a more experiential manner,” said Gautam Dutta, co-CEO of India’s largest multiplex chain PVR Inox.
“The film has released at a time when the [Indian] industry is seeing its glorious days with consumers going out to cinemas in huge numbers. If the unprecedented audience response is anything to go by, we are confident that ‘Jawan’ would not only be the biggest film of this year, but would end up adding immense strength to the cinema ecosystem,” Dutta added.
The success of “Jawan” is the latest chapter in what has been a remarkable, and sudden, resurgence for the Hindi-language Bollywood box office, which had a poor 2022 when films from southern India were ascendant. Bollywood has roared back, beginning with “Pathaan” and hits also include “Gadar 2,” “The Kerala Story,” “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar,” “Zara Hatke Zara Bachke,” “Satyaprem Ki Katha” and “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.”
Films from the south also continue doing excellent business, led by Rajinikanth’s “Jailer” and Mani Ratnam’s “Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two.”
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