The craze for Dabangg is like nothing seen so far this year. Yes, the kind of euphoria being witnessed in the case of the Salman starrer has not been witnessed for months together. So what does this kind of craze for the film mean? Several things, actually:

One, ‘Dabangg’ will take a mind-boggling initial on Friday. That it is Eid will only add to the box-office revenue on the opening day.

Secondly, a lot of opening-day records are set to be broken. The police would have to be called in to control the crowds expected to throng the cinemas when the highly anticipated film opens.

Thirdly, unlike Salman’s last action film, Wanted, this action flick will open to bumper houses in the multiplexes too. The trade is convinced that single-screen cinemas will throw up supremely exciting figures for this film, but they aren’t sure about the cineplexes. But we are sure, the multiplexes will behave no differently from the single-screen cinemas. A lot of multiplexes will be forced to increase the number of shows of ‘Dabangg’ in the weekend in spite of the fact that they have already given the film a high number of shows daily.

The trade expects the first weekend’s net collections of ‘Dabangg’ to be in the region of Rs. 25 crore. The fact is, the figure could go up to Rs. 35 crore! Therefore, this would easily become the biggest opening ever for Salman. His earlier blockbuster like Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! doesn’t count here because it was released with as few as 29 prints in India in the opening week and six prints abroad. It was only gradually that the number of prints was increased till it touched the then magical figure of 523! Other films of Salman, released in the nineties and 2000’s also don’t compare favourably with ‘Dabangg’ because admission rates were never as high as they are today in multiplexes.

And what inspires us to make such predictions for a film we haven’t seen? Among other things, the film’s title ‘Dabangg’ means fearless. And we make these forecasts absolutely without fear or favour.

After all, the trailers of the Salman starrer and its super-hit music have already prompted lakhs of people to make up their minds to catch the film in the first weekend, no matter what!

By Komal Nahta

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