In December 2009, when 3 Idiots had netted Rs. 79.75 crore in the first week in all-India, it was felt that this record would take a long time to be broken or surpassed. For, ‘3 Idiots’ had broken the records of all films released before it at almost every cinema of every centre. Some felt, it would take two to three years for a film to match up to ‘3 Idiots’. Others put the figure at five years at least. But in just less than nine months came along Dabangg and smashed the record of ‘3 Idiots’! That’s the film industry for you – it can throw surprises any time. As against Rs. 79.75 crore collected by the Rajkumar Hirani film, ‘Dabangg’ has netted Rs. 80.05 crore. The Salman Khan starrer may have overtaken the Aamir Khan starrer by just Rs. 30 lakh but the fact is, the first week’s record of ‘3 Idiots’ was broken in less than a year. The first weekend of ‘Dabangg’ (Rs. 47 crore) was far ahead of 3 Idiots (Rs. 41 crore) but the Rs. 6 crore gap became smaller and smaller as the week came to a close. Which means, the collections of ‘Dabangg’ far exceeded those of ‘3 Idiots’ on the first three days of the release week but were less than those of the earlier record holder on days 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the week.
If one were to consider the performances of the two top grossers in the various circuits, it would emerge that 3 Idiots’ fared better than ‘Dabangg’ in Bombay, West Bengal, Nizam, Mysore and Tamilnadu-Kerala circuits whereas ‘Dabangg’ scored over ‘3 Idiots’ in Delhi-U.P., East Punjab, Bihar, C.P. Berar, C.I. and Rajasthan. Clearly, the action factor in ‘Dabangg’ did the trick in circuits where actions films fare better than other films!