Phantom has taken a better opening than expected. Films with terror theme haven’t traditionally seen a thunderous opening as seen in D-Day (3 crore), New York (5.6 crore), Haider (6.14 crore), Baby (9.33 crore) or Agent Vinod (9.5 crore). However, since then, the actor has seen quite a few of his films crash at the box office, or not opened well at all. Hence, despite the fact that Phantom had Kabir Khan (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) at the helm of affairs and Sajid Nadiadwala (with four back to back successes behind him) backing it as a producer, expectations were in check.

Katrina Kaif and saif Ali Khan in a still from 'Phantom'
Katrina Kaif and saif Ali Khan in a still from ‘Phantom’

However, there was a surprise in the morning shows itself when the film did manage to see around 25%-35% occupancy. With the word of mouth pouring in and decent to very good reviews coming its way, the film started escalating as the day passed. As the word spread that the Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif film did have ample entertainment quotient to it, night shows were even better. As a result, the film managed to nett 8.46 crores on Friday, which is reasonably good since the film has now managed to gain a start from where it can consolidate further.

This is also the best solo start that Saif Ali Khan has fetched for himself four years since 2011 release Cocktail (11 crore). Ever since then, his Bullett Raja (7.5 crore) and Happy Ending (4 crore) couldn’t see much going for them. However, a start like Phantom is respectable enough, which should be a sigh of relief for all involved with it.

Since today is the festive occasion of Raksha Bandhan, the film has an advantage of seeing further escalation in collections.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder

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