'Bodyguard' Sets Bollywood Box Office Record

Reliance Entertainment release nets highest opening day collection at over $4.5 million.

NEW DELHI – Bodyguard, starring superstar Salman Khan and actress Kareena Kapoor, has set a box office record netting the highest opening day take ever crossing 200 million rupees ($4.5 million).

A remake of a hit south Indian film directed by Siddique, the action-romantic caper was specially released on Wednesday timed with the festive Eid holiday extending into a long weekend.

With an estimated budget of 600 million, Bodyguard has been produced by Reel Life (a banner owned by Khan's brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri) with the film acquired by Reliance, which released it with 2,600 prints in India and another 325 in overseas markets.

Bodyguard further reinforces Khan's position as a top box-office draw following his 2010 release Dabangg, which collected 145 million rupees on its opening day. India's most commercially succcesful film so far, 2009's 3 Idiots starring superstar Aamir Khan (which went on to gross $100 million worldwide) took in 130 million rupees on its opening day, a figure matched by Salman Khan's earlier release this year, Ready.

Given its strong opening, Bodyguard is expected to match the first-week take of 3 Idiots (800 million rupees) and Dabangg (810 million rupees) with overseas diaspora audiences also contributing to the film's worldwide take.

The son of veteran scriptwriter Saleem Khan, the 45-year-old Khan is currently in the U.S. for medical treatment for a nerve disorder. With a career spanning over two decades, Khan's upcoming releases include Ek Tha Tiger (Once There Was A Tiger) in which he co-stars with top actress Katrina Kaif.

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