Box Office: Akshay Kumar's Kesari crosses 100 crore!
The Akshay Kumar war drama on the Battle of Saragarhi has conquered the box office after winning audiences’ hearts across the country
It’s happened in less than a week! Akshay Kumar’s emotionally stirring period war drama Kesari that released on April 21, has crossed the Rs. 100 crore mark at the box office. This is the highest Week 1 collection of any Bollywood film in 2019. The film that’s based on the historic Battle of Saragarhi in which 21 Sikhs of the British India Army grittily defended their fort against 10,000 Afghan invaders on September 12, 1897, has won hearts and now also conquered the box office. The film opened on a festive holiday, Holi, when the country was celebrating at home and did not step out till early evening. “So, technically, the Rs. 21.6 crore figure for Day 1 was just half a day’s collection,” said one trade expert. “Majority of the theatres were closed in the morning and afternoon for Holi.” The film then picked up over the weekend. The opening was special for Akshay because it was the second best start in his career. Gold, which accumulated Rs. 25.25 crore last year, was the first. It was an Independence Day release which saw huge competition in Satyameva Jayate.
A still from Kesari
Akshay has had two other films going past the Rs. 20 crore mark on Day 1 and these were 2.0 (Hindi, Rs. 20.25 crore) and Singh Is Blling (Rs. 20.67 crore). The former though it opened on a regular Friday had several advantages. It was a sequel co-starring the legendary Rajnikanth and also the biggest and costliest Indian film ever made. Singh Is Blling released on Gandhi Jayanti. Compared to them, Kesari was Akshay’s bigger challenge because the film rested on his broad shoulders and had no draw of a heroine or other actors in the supporting cast. But
Karan Johar of Dharma Production saw that Kesari released at 3,600 screens in India and 600 worldwide.
Trade experts laud Akshay’s drawing power at the theatres. While other films feared the adverse impact that the start of the IPL T20 cricket tournament would have on cinema attendances, Akshay and the strong patriotic story behind Kesari saw the film determinedly march towards the Rs. 100 crore mark in seven days. Trade sources predict that the film will gain further ground this weekend with Bollywood not having any major releases this Friday.
A still of Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra from their film Kesari
Astro numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani believes the number 21 has proved to be fortuitous for Akshay. If the date (March 21) and number of Sikhs (21) involved in the military action was a coincidence, then the Day 1 collection of Kesari came as another pleasant surprise for Akshay: the film made Rs. 21.6 crore. And this was hailed by the box office as a big achievement, indeed. According to Jumaani, 3-6-9 are a family of numbers and Akshay (No. 9, his birthday being 9/9) released glimpses, teasers and posters of Kesari on dates like February 12 (3), the trailer on February 21 (3) and the film on March 21 (3), all of which worked in his favour.
Thursday: 21.05 crore
Friday: 16.75 crore
Saturday: 18.75 crore
Sunday: 21.5 crore
Monday: 8.25 crore
Tuesday: 7.2 crore
Wednesday: 6.5 crore
Total: 100 crore nett