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Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan sees bumper Bollywood opening despite protests

Jan 25, 2023, 07:00 pm

Shah Rukh Khan's Hindi spy thriller opened to packed movie theatres in India on Wednesday in one of Bollywood's top openings on record, despite protests from some religious groups over scenes they deemed obscene.

The success of "Pathaan", where Khan plays a spy fighting a militant outfit, is crucial for the Indian film industry that has seen a spate of high-profile flops since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as Netflix and Amazon have provided varied, and much cheaper, content at home.

"It has seen a bumper opening, the second-best in Bollywood ever, even on a non-holiday, mid-week day, when audiences don't go to theatres," said Girish Johar, a producer and trade analyst who tracks box-office figures.

Movie critic Taran Adarsh said Pathaan, which marks Khan's return to the big screen after four years, sold about 556,000 tickets on the first day, just behind record-setter "Baahubali 2"'s 650,000 on the first day.

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