Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju is expected to hit ₹200 crore mark, giving a much needed boost to Ranbir Kapoor’s career

Even before Sanju’s first week in cinemas is up, the film will surely cross the ₹200-crore mark. In just five days, the collections have amounted to ₹184.58 crore net. With half of 2018 behind us, Rajkumar Hirani’s latest has already become the second highest grosser of the year, only behind Padmaavat. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, which trumps Sanju in scale and budgets (of ₹150 crore), made ₹282 crore net in its entire lifetime that dragged on for more than four weeks in theatres. Hirani’s film on the other hand has collected more than half that amount in just one week. The film is also Kapoor’s biggest yet of his career. The last time he’d tasted such success was back in 2013 with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani that ended up making ₹177.99 crore net. Since then, the now 35-year-old actor’s has had more misses than hits with films like Bombay Velvet (2015) and Jagga Jasoos (2017) than tanked royally at the box office. “No one has built stardom with just one film, you need three to four hits back to back,” says Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax Media, a firm specialising in trade insights. “And nobody doubts that [Kapoor] is a good actor.”

Released to 4,200 screens across the country and made on a reported budget of ₹100 crore — with Hirani serving as producer and director, it’s been hard to arrive at an accurate figure — Sanju has been performing well across the board. While ticket sales skyrocketed in multiplexes even before the film’s release, single screens and non-urban theatres slowly caught up after the first weekend. “The biggest factor that’s worked is the novelty of the concept,” says Kapoor referring to Sanju being the biopic of a contemporary person who’s well-known. M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story was the only other example of such a biopic, but Sanju’s emotional premise far outweighs Dhoni’s sports journey. “You don’t often see actors morph into [people] and the audiences have taken very well to the idea that you can play someone who is very well known,” says Kapoor.

With no big releases slotted for the next week, Sanju’s second week in theatres is expected to be as smooth sailing as the first. Up next, there’s Diljit Dosanjh’s Soorma along with Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp both releasing on July 13. As of now, trade analysts, Kapoor included, are very confident about Sanju crossing ₹300 crore net. The film might just even beat Aamir Khan’s Dangal’s ₹374 crore net if the box office gods permit it.

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