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NEW DELHI – Disney-UTV saw a blistering opening weekend for its tentpole release Chennai Express starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. The Rohit Shetty-directed comedy caper became the fastest film to gross the coveted one billion rupee ($17 million) mark at the Indian box office, according to Disney-UTV, while setting a slew of other records.
Chennai Express collected 67.5 million rupees from its paid previews last Thursday ahead of its release on the Eid holiday weekend beginning Aug. 9. The film set a record for the highest opening day take at $5.4 million (331.2 million rupees) and reached $17 million (1.04 billion rupees) by Sunday.
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The film also opened strongly overseas, grossing a total of $8.25 million, setting a record for the highest opening weekend overseas for an Indian film. The film performed exceptionally in the Middle East, grossing $2.1 million, while initial figures from the U.S. indicated a $2.3 million figure — the highest opening for an Indian film in that market.
Combining both its India and overseas take, the film grossed a total of over $25 million in its opening weekend.
Disney-UTV opened the film on 3,700 screens, considered the widest ever for an Indian film.
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“Chennai Express has shown amazing sustenance following its opening day record opening and maintained it on the second and third day as well, which shows how well it is being accepted and loved by audiences. This is the only reason why it has successfully created a new benchmark at the box office and will continue to do so,” said Disney-UTV director, India theatrical distribution, Gaurav Verma.
“In many cinema chains we’ve added shows and the movie was moved to additional screens and to the highest capacity screens. This has been a massive opening to a huge release,” added Disney-UTV executive director, international distribution, Amrita Pandey.
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