Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan crosses Rs 20 crore in advance … – India Today

By Latha Srinivasan: Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback film, Pathaan, is set for a blockbuster opening not just in the Hindi-speaking markets but also in South India. After a four-year hiatus, King Khan returns on screen with this Yash Raj-production starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, directed by Siddharth Anand.
While there was a controversy when the initial teaser and Besharam song were released, the advance ticket sales have been happening at a brisk pace in India and abroad. Fans and the audience are eagerly looking forward to seeing SRK in this action-packed entertainer where he plays a RAW agent. So far, the highest ticket sales in advance booking has come from Ranbir Kapoor’s Brahmastra, which hit Rs 19.66 crore. The SRK film is reportedly set to cross the Rs 20 crore-mark on January 23 in advance sales and this without the star promoting the film!
Ticket sales have been booming on online ticketing platforms and, yes, a million tickets have already been sold! Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas, BookMyShow, told IndiaToday.in, “After a long four-year wait, Shah Rukh Khan is all set for an electrifying comeback with Pathaan jet-setting on advance sales. The much-awaited action-thriller has crossed 1 million tickets in advance sales on BookMyShow already. Advance sales for Pathaan have been opening up in phases with over 3500 screens available on the platform so far, even as a surge in demand has led select cinemas across India to open up early morning shows for the film.”

Interestingly, this is the first Shah Rukh Khan film to release at 6 am and for the Hindi market, this could be a trendsetter. In South India, the movies of all the top stars – especially in Tamil and Telugu – usually release at 5 am on the first day. This is a trend that has been followed for decades. Two Telugu films – Chiranjeevi’s Waltair Veerayya and Balakrishna’s Veera Simha Reddy – released at 5 am during Sankranti. Both these films were blockbusters, as were the Tamil Pongal releases, Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith Kumar’s Thunivu.
READ I The King is back. SRK's Pathaan feels like a blockbuster even before release
“We have a phenomenal opening of Pathaan with advances of close to 5 lac admissions for the first long weekend of the movie releasing on January 25. This will be the first SRK film that will open at 6 am in PVR cinemas,” stated Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Limited, to IndiaToday.in.

Watch Pathaan trailer

Pathaan will also be releasing in Telugu and Tamil and South India has contributed immensely to the ticket sales of the film too. As per Bookmyshow, the Telugu version of Pathaan has the highest advance ticket sales next to Hindi and this is only increasing each day. 30 per cent of the advance ticket sales have come from South India and this is a phenomenal number. This shows that fans in the southern states too have been eagerly waiting for this film. Controversy or not, they want to catch Pathaan on the big screen.
Ashish Saksena explained, “The Hindi version of the film is expectedly leading the charts in sales, closely followed by Telugu and Tamil. The response across India has been phenomenal, with cinephiles choosing a cinematic experience as they opt for varied formats including 2D, IMAX and 4DX across cities. South India has been particularly impressive, showcasing an upward trajectory with Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru contributing almost 30 per cent of the overall advance sales so far. As the pace of ticket sales picks up further closer to the movie’s release date, we are confident that Pathaan is set to take the box office by storm!”
PVR Cinemas have multiple formats on offer for the audience and fans seem to be booking the premium formats extensively as well. “A movie truly made for the big screen experience, we are seeing an increasing preference to watch this movie in our premium formats like IMAX, ICE, 4DX and P [XL]. In addition to South India where the movie is being released in Tamil and Telugu, it has opened really well in Kerala in its original language of Hindi. Overall, it has been an absolutely encouraging response to out-of-home entertainment experience to families for this mega blockbuster movie,” added Sanjeev Kumar Bijli.

At Woodlands Theatre in Chennai, a giant cutout of Shah Rukh Khan has been erected by fans and it looks like the theatre will witness record crowds on the opening day, similar to an Ajith or Vijay film.

With Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru all geared up for the release of Pathaan, fans are celebrating Shah Rukh Khan. In a recent social media interaction with fans, SRK was asked if he'd see the Telugu version of Pathaan in Andhra Pradesh or Telangana. Shah Rukh happily replied, "Yeah if Ram Charan takes me!!" This tweet went viral and the audience is hoping that SRK would come and watch the Telugu version of the film as well.
Now, the audience is looking forward to 6 am on January 25 when the first show starts and they see SRK back on the big screen.

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