Shah Rukh Khan’s new blockbuster Pathan has gained the upper hand over boycott calls and protests from fringe groups. The orange bikini that Deepika Padukone wears in a scene has made it to the final cut of the film, ANI news agency reports. The outfit – particularly the color – sparked complaints from several right-wing groups with protests and poster burnings in parts of the country. The Censor Board recommended revisions and in the final version the outfit does not appear in the Besharam called song that caused so much outrage, but in a subsequent scene.
Protests snowballed after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra objected Besharam called when it came out in December. The depressingly familiar threats to block screening and boycott calls followed, but seem to have collapsed Pathanfirst day numbers are piling up. In massive advance bookings, 5.5 lakh tickets were sold for Day 1 – the second highest for any Hindi or Hindi dubbed movie Baahubali: the conclusion. Pathan opened in over 100 countries with the highest number of screens of any Hindi film – 8,000. According to trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Another first: 300 shows were added by exhibitors after the first screening on Wednesday morning.
Early reports of box office collections were encouraging. Box Office India described the earnings so far as a “bumper opening”. Taran Adarsh reported collections of just over Rs 20 crore by national chains at 3pm on Wednesday.
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 25, 2023
Pathandirected by Siddharth Anand, occupies the expansive spy universe of Yash Raj Films in which Salman Khan’s Tiger movies and War also exist. In his first starring role since 2018 ZeroShah Rukh Khan plays the titular Pathan, a RAW agent who takes on a terror threat from terrorist leader Jim, played by John Abraham. Deepika Padukone also plays a spy and works with Pathan. Dimple Kapadia and Ashutosh Rana also star.
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Fans celebrate the release of Pathaan outside the theaters in Delhi