Bollywood audiences have embraced the love and family themes of Salman Khan’s latest blockbuster. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, from Fox International Productions and Fox Star Studios, was poised to do record-breaking business, as I reported last week. And so it has. The reteaming of Khan with director Sooraj R. Barjatya grossed an incredible $31M from 4,801 screens in seven markets which lands it at No. 2 for the international weekend across all titles. That doesn’t happen very often.
The film opened at the beginning of the lucrative Diwali holiday frame. In India, its first day did not beat the record set by Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year in the same period last year. But it smashed the record for the biggest Bollywood opening of all time, taking $27M over the four-day weekend. That puts the movie in the coveted 100 crore ($15M) club which it joined after just three days. It is one of four films to cross the benchmark in such a short time; those four include Khan’s own Bhajrangi Bhaijaan from earlier this year.
Elsewhere, the UK had the biggest opening weekend of all time for a Bollywood title earning $1.5M which was good for the No. 4 spot. In the U.S., the FSS is $2.4M in 286 cinemas. The cume since Thursday is $2.79M. This is the 4th biggest Bollywood opening of all-time in North America and the largest ever for distributor FIP.
Khan now boasts the most 100+ crore grossers of any Bollywood actor at nine films total. One of the industry’s top grossers, he last excelled in July release Bajrangi Bhaijaan which became the No. 2 Hindi movie of all time in India ($48.2M) and grossed over $8M in the U.S.
The opening of PRDP bodes well for the romance drama that co-stars Sonam Kapoor. Khan plays Prem, the same moniker he’s had in each of his films with Barjatya, albeit a different charcter. The story sees Khan as a happy-go-lucky guy who is enchanted by the simplicity of Princess Maithili. He also plays the prince. The film follows his quest and “represents the unconditional love that all families must have for each other,” according to the production notes.
The next frame is unchallenged in the Bollywood space and some have been predicting locally that this Khan could overtake Aamir Khan’s PK – the top grosser of all time.