Filmmaker Karan Johars “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil“, which is surrounded by controversies due to the presence of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, minted over Rs 13 crore on its opening day despite protests.

Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, the film released on Friday, ahead of the festive occasion of Diwali which will be celebrated on Sunday across the country.

Released in around 3000 screens in India, it collected Rs 13.30 on its opening day.

“We are overwhelmed and humbled with the response. We congratulate Karan Johar, a master of making iconic romantic movies, for his biggest opening with ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. The film is about celebrating love this Diwali and it is receiving outstanding love from audiences,” Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, said in a statement.

Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions, said that they are thrilled and humbled with the love people are showering on “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”.

“It is a perfect Diwali entertainer and it has started on a very good note. The film has emerged as the biggest opener of Karan Johar which gives us twice the reason to celebrate.”

Activists of Bajrang Dal — the youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad — staged a demonstration outside a cinema hall in West Bengal’s Purulia district on Friday, protesting against the screening of film.

Even Hindu groups held demonstrations against “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” in many cities of Madhya Pradesh. However, theatres continued to show the movie which released on the occasion of Dhanteras.

“Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is bold and beautiful. It’s a comfortable winner at the box office,” trade expert Komal Nahta posted on Twitter on Saturday.

“Early estimates suggest Day One of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is Rs 13.30 crore. Very good, considering Friday was a dull (for box office) pre-Diwali day,” he added.

Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association Of India (COEAI) had earlier announced to stall the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” across single screens in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and parts of Karnataka. However, many single screen owners have released the film.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had also given a 48-hour ultimatum to all Pakistani cine and tele-artistes to quit India or face consequences in the wake of the September 18 terror attack. It left 19 Indian soldiers dead at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from COEAI, MNS had also announced that they won’t let any film featuring Pakistani artistes release in India, including “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”.

Following that, Karan along with Film and Television Producers Guild of India President, Mukesh Bhatt, met MNS President Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh after which the film finally got a green signal.

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