At Cinemax India, Chennai Express received 80 – 90 per cent average occupancy in its opening weekend, with the paid preview being almost full. “We also had some other films playing like B.A. Pass and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, but due to Chennai Express they only received 25-30 per cent occupancy at pan-India Cinemax outlets,” says Girish Wankhede, Head Marketing for Cinemax and PVR (West).
Indian and international markets
Being set in the backdrop of Chennai, the SRK starrer has been affected a bit in the Northern regions of India. “People expected it to be huge in North, but since it has a influence of South, it saw slight disappointment from the North regions,” explains Singh. But, the South oriented content and no new releases in South called for a great response from the Southern regions. “Usually in South, Bollywood films get only one screen out of the six, the rest are reserved for the local language movies. Since no new South films released last week, Chennai Express could make most of it,” he further added.
Meanwhile, at the domestic box-office, the movie is said to be breaking records. As per Singh, this venture has broken records of highest collection through paid previews. Chennai Express is also being called as the fastest ever film to cross Rs.100 crore mark in just 3.5 days by making record breaking collections on its first, second and third day each.
In terms of foreign collections the film, which was released at 700 screens made a total of Rs. 36 crore gross (between Thursday-Saturday) breaking records of the preview, opening and second day collections set by other Bollywood releases.
Other source of income
Apart from the box office, as per the industry sources, the movie garnered Rs.48 crore through the sale of its satellite rights, which were sold to &Pictures. The UTV Motion Pictures venture also made a whopping Rs.30 crore through 18 brand tie-ups.
This week sees the release of Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan starrer Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaraa. At the time of going to press, theatre owners were looking at cashing out on Chennai Express rather than the new release. “We are going to rely on the Shah Rukh Khan film, which is doing fabulous business. We might try and accommodate Once Upon A Time... by giving it one show, rest of the shows will be given to the already hit film,” says