Mumbai: August 11-13 was the “busiest single weekend” since cinema halls opened after the Covid pandemic with Sunny Deol’s “Gadar 2” making Rs 134.88 crore and Akshay Kumar’s “OMG 2” following with a haul of Rs 43.11 crore.
According to the Producers Guild of India (PGI) and Multiplex Association of India (MAI), the two new Hindi film releases along with Rajinikanth’s Tamil movie “Jailer” and Chiranjeevi’s Telugu title “Bhola Shankar” drew “over 2.10 crore moviegoers to theatres across the country.
This is also the “highest combined admissions record in the last 10 year history”, the two organisations said in a joint statement on Monday.
The films earned a combined gross box office collection of over Rs 390 crore over the weekend across all India theatres, it added.
“Gadar 2”, a sequel to Deol’s 2001 blockbuster “Gadar: Ek Prem Katha”, released on August 11 and collected Rs 83.18 crore in the first two days of its release. On Sunday, the film registered a surge of over 20 per cent.
“With each passing day, its dominance has only grown stronger, culminating in a staggering day three collection of Rs 51.70 crore net, amassing a colossal total of Rs 134.88 crore net,” the “Gadar 2” producers said in a press note.
The film, in which Deol reprises his role of Tara Singh, has created a “non-solo, non-holiday release’s fastest 100-crore milestone”, the makers added.
“OMG 2”, starring Pankaj Tripathi alongside Kumar, is billed as a spiritual sequel of 2012’s “OMG – Oh My God!”. The film, which also released on August 11, minted Rs 25.56 crore on the first two days.
On Sunday, the film witnessed a surge, minting Rs 17.55 crore to end its opening week at Rs 43.11 crore.
Mainstream storytelling executed in the right way has led to new box office records, said PGI president Shibasish Sarkar.
“A massive achievement like this is a result of an incredible filmmaking team, with cast and crew coming together to create a truly special movie-going experience. The turnout at theatres has infused a new energy in our industry, audiences are responding in numbers we have not seen for a very long time, even the early morning shows are getting sold out. This weekend has been a wonderful experience for people who love the mainstream Indian films,” he added.
Kama Gianchandani, president of MAI, termed the weekend “historic”.
“It proves once again that India loves going to the movies to see great films. This weekend is also an undeniable demonstration of Cinemas being the ultimate place to be part of a shared experience.
“Cinemas across the country would like to thank and congratulate our filmmakers and studios for pushing the boundaries to deliver unforgettable storytelling. This weekend shows that movies and cinemas are back in a big, big way. We look forward to this momentum continuing in the rest of 2023,” Gianchandani said.
Box office figures of “Jailer” and “Bhola Shankar” have not been disclosed by the producers.
“Jailer”, directed by Nelson and also featuring Vinayakan and Ramya Krishnan, enjoyed an extended opening weekend as it released on August 10.
Chiranjeevi’s “Bhola Shankar” is a remake of Tamil superstar Ajith’s “Vedalam”. The Meher Ramesh directorial also stars Tamannaah Bhatia and Keerthy Suresh.
The film earned Rs 33 crore in worldwide gross on day one, production banner AK Entertainment had tweeted on August 12.
Movie halls across the country shut down in March 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit India. They opened towards the end of 2021 but had to close whenever Covid cases spiked. They finally opened in March of 2022.