Rajkumar Hirani’s latest directorial venture Sanju has given actor Ranbir Kapoor the biggest opener of his career, at Rs 347.5 million.
The biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt’s life released on June 29, and raced to the top of the list of big openers this year, beating Padmaavat, Avengers: Infinity War and Race 3 in the process.
Starring a cornucopia of actors from Kapoor in the titular role, to Vicky Kaushal, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Anushka Sharma, among others, the film opened to mostly positive reviews. It was released in close to 4,000 screens across the country, and another 100 screens abroad (traditional territories like the UK, the US and West Asia).
By opening at Rs 347.5 million, the film has notched up quite a few milestones. It is not only the biggest opener of the year and of Kapoor’s career, but also the highest opener among films not starring one of the Khans in the lead. The film was made at an estimated Rs 1 billion, and has been co-produced by Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Fox Star Studios.
With a healthy opening day collection despite the lack of a holiday or a long weekend, the movie is expected to cross the Rs 1-billion mark in the first week, and should be able to break even at the domestic box office during its lifetime. Experts predict the film’s lifetime collection in India to reach Rs 2.25-2.50 billion.
The film has an almost clear run at the box office, with the next major title releasing on July 13 — Marvel’s Ant–Man and The Wasp, the second movie in the Antman franchise under the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
While the first film in the franchise did not release amidst much anticipation owing to the fact that the superhero was little known in the country, the sequel is the first MCU movie to release after Infinity War and is expected to grab eyeballs from fans of the Avengers franchise. Having said that, Sanju and the superhero flick can co-exist at the movies, giving the Bollywood biopic a longer lifetime at the box office.