Despite all controversies and hurdles, Padmaavat has managed to break records and crossed the 100-crore mark on Sunday. Had the film released all over India, the earnings would have been higher. According to trade, the film would have easily crossed Rs 150 crore earning in the first weekend if it was a normal release.
The film opened to full-house on Thursday and Friday but due to mixed reviews, the viewership fell on Saturday. However, the response on Sunday made up for it and the film crossed the 100-crore mark.
Bollywood leading trade analyst Taran Adarsh in a tweet wrote, “Protests, disturbances, no screening in few states. Yet Padmaavat does EXCELLENT business in its extended weekend. The film lost out on substantial business [approx INR 35 cr/37 cr], but the superb trending in other circuits helped put up a MAJESTIC total.”
Protests… Disturbances… No screening in few states… Yet, #Padmaavat does EXCELLENT biz in its extended weekend… The film lost out on substantial biz [approx ₹ 35 cr / ₹ 37 cr], but the SUPERB trending in other circuits helped put up a MAJESTIC total…
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 29, 2018
He added, “Looking at the overall scenario, #Padmaavat has put up FANTASTIC numbers in its extended weekend. Crosses INR 100 crore mark. Wednesday [limited previews] 5 cr, Thu 19 cr, Fri 32 cr, Sat 27 cr, Sun 31 cr. Total: ₹ 114 crore India business.”
Looking at the overall scenario, #Padmaavat has put up FANTASTIC numbers in its extended weekend… Crosses ₹ 100 cr mark… Wed [limited previews] 5 cr, Thu 19 cr, Fri 32 cr, Sat 27 cr, Sun 31 cr. Total: ₹ 114 cr. India biz. ???
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 29, 2018
Made at an estimated budget of Rs 180 crore, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus was expected to be one of the biggest releases of 2017. However, the almost year-long protest often turned violent, and a delay at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) postponed the film to January. Even when it hit theatres on January 25, most theatres in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh did not screen the film fearing further violent incidents.
The lead actors of the period drama including Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor have been expressing their happiness and their film journey on various occasions.
Speaking on the box-office performance and outstanding figures Deepika said, “At this point, I am not thinking about the last three months. The last three days have been so overwhelming that nothing else matters. I am in a mood to celebrate. I am grateful for all the love and support.”
Deepika who is also being lauded for her brilliant performance said that this role was the most difficult in her decade-long career. “This role of a queen had no crutches like she doesn’t have a sword, she doesn’t get on a horse or go on the battlefield, but there is sheer inner strength and resilience which I had to show through my eyes.”
Meanwhile, Ranveer Singh also said that this role was a challenging one since he has never essayed the role of an anti-hero before. However, he was extremely happy that his gamble paid off and “such validation also gives me the confidence to take bigger risks, challenge stereotypes and push the envelope further.”
Shahid Kapoor said that he took up the role after placing blind trust in Bhansali and the film left him “deeply satisfied.”
Swara Bhasker’s open letter
Padmaavat drew ire from various feminists including Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar. In a long letter to the filmmaker Bhansali, Swara accused the film of making her feel “reduced to a vagina”. She took particular offence to the film’s purported finale, in which Deepika Padukone’s Rani Padmavati commits herself to fire to protect her honour.
She also added, “I felt like all the ‘minor’ achievements that women and women’s movements have made over the years – like the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to education, equal pay for equal work, maternity leave, the Vishakha judgment, the right to adopt children… All of it was pointless; because we were back to basics.”
However, Deepika Padukone claimed that the film “looks at the power of women”.
“It looks at the power of women. Today again we are standing up for ourselves with dignity… I find her journey so relevant today,” Deepika said about her character.
Meanwhile, Shahid on the letter said that he has not read it entirely, adding, “I do not know what her issue is, maybe whatever issue she has is with Sanjay sir.”
He further said, “I would say that this time is not for such things, Padmaavat has been representing the whole film industry. It is also representing freedom of expression and freedom of speech. It has been really difficult to make this film reach the audience. When the entire film fraternity is standing with us, in such a situation this open letter looks a bit awkward. But she has written about her personal opinion, and everyone has the right to have one.”
Director Rohit Shetty also shared his thoughts on the letter and requested everyone to let the film “breathe.”
He said, “I’d like to request everyone to let Padmaavat run in peace considering the amount of trouble and struggles the film has gone through.”
He further added, “The film has released and is doing phenomenal business after all the hassle and trouble the entire production has faced especially Sanjay, Deepika, Ranveer and TV 18. So let their movie run in peace.”
Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali also spoke about the letter, which according to him is nothing more than “each to his own” kind of deal.
“I haven’t read the letter of Swara to Sanjay Bhansali, but I know about it. See when a film is delayed, it doesn’t feel right. There is nothing in Padmaavat which requires any protest but each to his own,” he said.