Kangana Ranaut’s period drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has earned Rs 42.55 crore during its opening weekend, according to figures shared by producers Kamal Jain, Kairos Kontent and Zee Studios. Co-directed by Ranaut and Krish, the biopic is based on Rani Lakshmibai’s resistance to British rule in the mid-1800s.
Manikarnika was released on January 25 across an estimated 3,000 screens. Buoyed by its patriotic theme and praise for Ranaut’s performance, the movie earned a reported Rs 8.75 crore on its opening day.
The controversy over the sidelining of the original director, Krish, was resurrected after the film’s release. In an interview to the website Spotboye, Krish alleged that Ranaut “wanted everything to herself”, was “rude all the time” and compelled actor Sonu Sood to leave the production by slashing his role.
The other major release of January 25, Abhijit Panse’s Thackeray, has earned an estimated 20.25 crore over the opening weekend (Rs 12 crore for the Hindi version and Rs 8.25 crore for the Marathi production). The hagiography of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role.
Both films faced a contest from Aditya Dhar’s Uri: The Surgical Strike, which continues to reel in moviegoers days after its January 11 release. The movie mopped up nearly Rs 24 crore during its third weekend, taking its box office haul to close to Rs 158 crore.
Uri stars Vicky Kaushal as an Indian Army major who leads a military operation against terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Paresh Rawal plays a character modelled on National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and Rajit Kapur plays a version of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.