Kabir Singh has hit the bullseye at the box office, making an estimated Rs 70 crore over its opening weekend. The Shahid Kapoor-Kiara Advani starrer came in for heavy criticism in some sections of the media for its positive portrayal of a medical student who forces himself on his love interest and then takes complete control of her life. When she leaves him, he mopes and mourns and names his pet dog after her.

Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s version of the self-destructive Devdas type was originally made in Telugu in 2017 as Arjun Reddy. The success of Arjun Reddy led to remakes in Hindi and Tamil. While Vanga handled the frame-by-frame Hindi version, the Tamil film, Adithya Varma, has been directed by Gireesaaya and will be released shortly.

Kabir Singh was released on a little over 3,100 screens in India, and has become “the third-highest opening day earner of the year so far after Salman Khan’s Bharat (Rs 41.50 crore) and Akshay Kumar’s Kesari (Rs 20.40 crore)”, Mint said. “However, both the films were holiday releases and had hiked ticket rates, unlike Kabir Singh.” At Rs 20 crore, Kabir Singh surpassed the opening-day collections of Kalank (Rs 18.45 crore) and Gully Boy (Rs 19.26 crore), the report added.

Among film industry watchers, Kabir Singh had been on track for a huge opening weekend ever since its trailer was launched in mid-May. The love-and-angst combination had already worked in Telugu, the trailer promised a raw and muscular exploration of heartbreak, and the leads were personable. Kabir Singh appeared to be in the league of such male-driven films as Rockstar (2011), Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011) and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018): it promised to delve into the psyche of a young man who suffered for love and survived the ordeal, and do so without making concessions to the female point of view (on matters of consent, for instance).

Kabir Singh delivered on all the expectations. and proved that if it bleeds, it leads, not only in journalism but also in the movies.

Bekhayali, Kabir Singh (2019).

While several reviews criticised the movie’s blinkered tribute to machismo, others praised Shahid Kapoor’s performance and the director’s handling of the subject. Kabir Singh is well on course to emerge as one of the biggest hits in Kapoor’s career, and will help the 38-year-old actor overcome the indifferent reception of his recent movies Rangoon (2017) and Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018).

Kabir Singh has also emerged as an alternative to Bharat, the Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer that was released on June 5. Ali Abbas Zafar’s movie has earned an estimated Rs 197 crore since its release.

Also read:

‘Kabir Singh’ movie review: ‘Arjun Reddy’ recycled with all the highs (and lows) of the original

Sandeep Reddy Vanga on the hero of ‘Kabir Singh’ and ‘Arjun Reddy’: ‘His anger comes from me’

Find somebody to look at you the way women look at Arjun Reddy

‘Kabir Singh’ music review: Likeable ballads in a booster shot of saccharine rock