It was but expected. A rousing reception to Housefull 3 in theatres across the country has lifted Bollywood to a record cash bonanza at the box office this year. The multi-starrer romantic comedy has minted Rs 53.31 crore in its opening weekend — the highest for 2016 so far — surpassing Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan (Rs 52.35 crore) and Akshay Kumar-starrer Airlift (Rs 44.30 crore).

Housefull 3A still from 'Housefull3'

Contrary to popular belief that leave-your-brains-at-home films like Housefull 3 work only with the single screen audience, the light-hearted comedy attracted huge footfalls even in multiplexes, say trade pundits.

Sources close to the producers claimed that the Sajid-Farhad film has already breached the Rs 100-crore mark worldwide in gross figures. Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Jacqueline Fernandez, Lisa Haydon and Nargis Fakhri are part of the main cast.

“The first big release post the IPL season has always found the audience returning to theatres in big numbers. And that’s why Housefull 3 was released on a record 3,700 screens. The film opened to decent numbers, but by Sunday, the collections registered a phenomenal jump. With the holy month of Ramzan beginning today, Housefull 3 has to maintain respectable numbers henceforth to be declared a hit,” says trade guru Amod Mehra.

While the opening shows on Friday received just about a lukewarm response, evening and night shows ran almost houseful. “The business witnessed an upswing on Saturday and was exceptional on Sunday as it cemented its position across plexes and single screens. It scored big in the international market as well, collecting Rs 26.77 crore in three days,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Rs 53.31 cr
Opening weekend figures of Housefull 3