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Akshay Kumar maintains record, hits bulls eye with ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-08-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: There is a reason why he’s known as the most bankable star in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar has not let his fans or the trade down with the collections of his recent film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which made a massive Rs83.45 crore over the four-day Independence Day weekend. In fact, the satirical comedy also beat Kumar’s recent releases like Jolly LLB 2, which made Rs77.71 crore by the end of its first week, and crime thriller Rustom, which collected Rs50.42 crore in its opening weekend last year.

The Shree Narayan Singh-directed film made Rs14.59 crore in its overseas collections by Monday.

“After an above average start on Friday, the film grew by word-of-mouth praise Saturday onwards and has done extraordinarily well among both class and mass audiences,” said film distributor Brijesh Tandon who operates in the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh circuit, adding that a 40-50% occupancy on the first day averaged out to 70-80% by the second day bringing much cheer for distributors and exhibitors.

The Viacom18 Motion Pictures production had restricted its ticket prices to the mid-level range at about Rs250 even in the plush multiplexes. Riding on a marketing campaign inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat concept, it makes for Kumar’s sixth hit in a row after Subhash Kapoor’s courtroom drama Jolly LLB 2, which released earlier this year (Rs117 crore), crime thriller Rustom (Rs127.49 crore) that also won him a National Award, multi-starrer comedy Housefull 3 (Rs109.14 crore), historical drama Airlift (Rs128.1 crore) and action comedy Singh Is Bliing (Rs89.95 crore).

“He’s growing with each film and this is likely to be one of his biggest-ever, surpassing even the likes of Rowdy Rathore (that had earned Rs133.25 crore in 2012),” said film trade and business expert Girish Johar, who predicts a Rs90 crore-plus first week for the movie. “The Rs100 crore figures he manages for nearly three to four films every year easily make him the most bankable actor for exhibitors and distributors.”

Johar added that even a Rs100 crore figure is impressive today, probably considering the underwhelming collections of two big-ticket festive weekend releases lately—Salman Khan’s Eid war drama Tubelight and Shah Rukh Khan’s Rakshabandhan romantic drama Jab Harry Met Sejal—both of which failed to meet expectations with lifetime earnings of Rs119.26 crore and Rs62.60 crore, respectively.

“Toilet Ek Prem Katha has been a huge relief for the trade after the dull business by the two big festive releases. It’s a content-driven film that audiences have lapped up completely,” Tandon said.

All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama.

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