Made for a niche audience, Shahid Kapoor-starrer 'Udta Punjab' wasn't really expected to garner big numbers at the box office. And as it hit theatres on Friday, the collections were more or less in line with the predictions. However, with a strong word-of-mouth buzz, the numbers soared over the weekend, helping the film become the fifth highest opening weekend grosser of 2016.
Shahid Kapoor in 'Udta Punjab'
Says trade analyst Amod Mehra, "The trade was expecting the huge free publicity (courtesy the controversy over censorship) that was bestowed on 'Udta Punjab' to help the film garner a huge opening. But, it opened to average response on Friday with North India bringing in maximum revenue. The collections improved over the weekend and the film managed to register a respectable weekend. Made at a modest budget, 'Udta Punjab' should be able to sail through to the safety mark comfortably."
According to trade sources, the numbers made for Shahid's career best weekend. So far, the record was held by his 2013 film, 'R... Rajkumar', which had minted Rs 30.7 crore in the first three days of release. 'Udta Punjab' also stars Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor Khan. "The film is doing very well in multiplexes across big cities and the best numbers have come in from Punjab and Delhi," says trade expert Taran Adarsh.
Last Friday's other Hindi release, Nagesh Kukunoor's 'Dhanak' had to content itself with critical acclaim as 'Udta Punjab' clearly stole the show. Among Hollywood releases, 'Finding Dory', a sequel to 'Finding Nemo' (2003) was received well by the audience.
(Opening weekend figures)