Airlift has managed to score a mighty Week One of around 84 crore* at the Box Office. Now this is a terrific start indeed for the film which was being seen as a niche affair en route release. In fact, even on its release, though critical acclaim was coming from all quarters and audience word of mouth was stupendous as well, it was still believed that the film would primarily manage to cater to multiplexes in big cities. However, everything changed when the film saw thunderous business coming its way on Sunday, and then the Republic Day. With massive moolah being earned on both these days, the film was on steady path.

With this, the film has now earned the status of Akshay Kumar’s BIGGEST Week One ever, hence going well past Rowdy Rathore [79 crore]. In fact the film is the fifth highest Week One scorer in last six months, ever since the release of Bajrangi Bhaijaan in July 2015.

Here is the list:

Bajrangi Bhaijaan184.62 crore

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo172.82 crore

Dilwale102.65 crore

Bajirao Mastani86.15 crore

Airlift84 crore*

Point to be noted is that for every film apart from Airlift, the budget is at least 100 crore (without including the fee of the lead actors). However, Airlift has been made at a modest budget of around 30 crore (without including Akshay Kumar’s fee). That makes the opening of Airlift look far bigger in all dimensions.

From being a niche affair, the film has now gained the status of ‘family affair’, which means there are good numbers on the cards for the second weekend as well. There are at least 70%-80% shows retained from Week 1 which demonstrates good confidence that exhibitors continue to have in the film. The film is set to score 100 crore by Sunday and would comfortably go past Akshay Kumar’s Housefull 2 [114 crore] and Holiday [112.65 crore] before the end of second week.

*Final numbers awaited

Note: All collections as per production and distributor sources

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder

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