Will ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ notch up Bollywood’s highest opening day?

 Whether Yash Raj Films’ gamble on its Rs 200 crore magnum opus Thugs of Hindostan pays off will be known when it releases for Diwali on Wednesday. But trade experts estimate a Rs 50 crore opening day figure for the film given the extended festive weekend and the mammoth expectations from the film that brings together actors Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan for the first time. If that happens, it will be the highest first day figure for a Hindi film so far. The current record for the highest opening day collections for a Hindi film are held by Shah Rukh Khan’s 2014 comedy Happy New Year, also a Diwali release that had made Rs 44.97 crore.

To be sure, SS Rajamouli’s war epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion had made Rs 121crore on its first day when released in 2017 but the film had released in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam besides Hindi.

Trade website Box Office India said the theatre strike in Madhya Pradesh being called off will now ensure a clean pan-India release for the film that is likely to notch up a screen count of 5,000. It is likely to surpass the opening day collections of the other two recent blockbusters, Salman Khan’s Tiger Zinda Hai and Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanju that made Rs 34.12 crore and Rs 34.19 crore respectively.

The Diwali weekend, the website says, will ensure at least Rs 10 crore from Delhi and the north Indian circuit where single screens are likely to run to packed houses. Khan has major fan following in Mysore, Tamil Nadu and Kerala which should also throw up good numbers.

To take the cinematic experience one step further, Yash Raj has decided to release the film in IMAX and 4DX, premium movie-viewing formats in the country. While refraining from an aggressive promotional campaign, the studio has tied up with navigation app Google Maps where Khan’s character Firangi will help commuters with directions.

In a strategic effort to push for a pan-Indian audience on the lines of Baahubali 2, Yash Raj is releasing the film in dubbed Tamil and Telugu versions, besides promoting the trailer of the film in these languages.

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