‘Dangal’ wrestles demonetisation to shine at box office

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khans sports drama film “Dangal”, whose box office potential could have been affected due to the after-effects of the Indian government’s demonetisation move, has received an “extra-ordinary response” and is hitting the right chord among the audiences worldwide, say trade experts.

Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, “Dangal”, which released on Friday, is based on a true story and chronicles the empowering journey of a father who trains his daughters in wrestling.

The pull in the story also lies in the fact that it’s a real life tale of Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former national champion who, much to the disapproval of his wife and his whole village, trained his daughters Geeta and Babita to wrestle.

Ever since the government announced its decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, footfalls at the ticket counters had witnessed a decrease. But “Dangal” has managed to get “respite for the industry”, said trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

“Let’s begin the day with some heartening news… ‘Dangal’ morning shows open to packed houses… Respite for the industry, finally,” Adarsh posted on Twitter on Friday.

“”Dangal’ advance booking is terrific. Armed with tremendous critical acclaim and awesome word of mouth. This movie will be a game changer,” he added.

According to trade expert Komal Nahta, “Dangal” will be the biggest blockbuster of Indian cinema.

“‘Dangal’ off to grand start. History about to be written at box office. Indications are it will be biggest blockbuster of Indian cinema so far,” Nahta tweeted.

Delhi-based film distributor Joginder Mahajan said that “Dangal” has got “big relief” for single screen owners across India who were looking to shutting down their cinemas.

“‘Dangal’ is receiving an extra-ordinary response and is poised to break all the records. For a long time, there was no good film released at the box office. That’s why the response was negative. The film is getting around 70 per cent occupancy pan-India and is likely to collect over Rs 30 crore on opening day,” Mahajan told IANS.

He added: “The film is going strong in both multiplex and single screens as after a long time a family entertainer has come.

“What is good is that single screens in Delhi like Delite Cinemas, Shiela Cinema and Liberty have witnessed houseful shows after a very long time. They must have got a big relief considering the situation they are going through.”

Not only in India, “Dangal” is receiving an enormous response overseas too.

Disney India, which is backing the film, said in a statement that North America opened night shows of the film on Wednesday and collected $325,000, while in the Gulf region, the film released in 95 screens and is estimated to have collected $685,000 with some screens yet to report.


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