Despite protests and an unofficial ban in some states, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat crossed the prized Rs 100 crore mark in its opening weekend in India, according to the film’s producers, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.
Released in 4,000 screens across the country, barring most cinemas in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, the film earned Rs 19 crores on its opening day on Thursday, Rs 32 crore on Friday, Rs 27 crores on Saturday and Rs 31 crores on Sunday, said the producer. The movie has raked in Rs 114 crore so far.
The film, released in 2D and 3D IMAX versions in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, has also performed well in the overseas market, cashing in an estimated Rs 22 crores in North America (the United States of America and Canada) until Saturday. It now holds the record for the highest single-day earning for a Bollywood movie in North America, surpassing Aamir Khan’s PK and Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan, according to reports.
Previously titled Padmavati, the period drama recreates the siege of Chittor by Delhi Sultanate ruler Allauddin Khilji (played Ranveer Singh) who is driven by lust for its queen, Padmavati (Deepika Padukone). The film is an adaptation of Malik Mohammed Jayasi’s 16th century epic poem Padmavat.
After being held up for almost two months by violent protests and threats from the Rajput Karni Sena, which believes that the movie insults the community’s legendary queen, the film was released on January 25. Protests and violence marked the run up to the movie’s release in several states.
Banned in Malaysia
However, the movie has now been banned from releasing in Malaysia, Variety reported. Lembaga Penapis Filem, Malaysia’s censor board, did not clear Padmaavat for release in theatres but cited no reason for the ban. However the local media quoted its chairman Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz as saying, “The storyline of the film touches on the sensitivities of Islam. That in itself is a matter of grave concern in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country.”
The distributor of Padmaavat in Malaysia is likely to appeal against the board’s decision before a Film Appeals Committee on January 30, said the publication.
Last year, Malaysia had banned Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast because of a sub-plot exploring homosexuality, which is illegal in the country. However, the board eventually granted it a PG-13 certificate. The country had also initiated legal proceedings against filmmaker Lena Hendry for holding a private screening of the documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka.