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The 19th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War, has become the highest opening day-grosser when it comes to Hollywood films in India. It netted a whopping 31 crore (40.13 crore gross) in box office collections, comfortably beating the previous record of Rs 12 crore held by Furious 7. The film got as many as 2,000 screens across India.
Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh called it a 'wave'. "Baaghi 2 made 25.1 crores on its opening day. Even Padmaavat which benefitted from a Thursday release made only 19 crore (if you include the Wednesday premiere, it made 24 crores), in comparison. Infinity War has just set a new benchmark for Hollywood films in India," he said.
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It is to be noted that Baaghi 2 opened in 3,500 screens, almost twice as many as Avengers got. The Anthony and Joe Russo-directed flick also ranks among the top ten highest opening days of all time in India, alongside blockbusters like Happy New Year (Rs44.97 crore), Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (Rs41 crore), Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Rs40.35 crore), Sultan(Rs36.54 crore) and Dhoom 3 (Rs36.22 crore). Avengers: Infinity War stands eighth on this list.
Hollywood blockbusters have hitherto not even touched the Rs15 crore mark on their opening day in India. Disney’s The Jungle Book, which remains the highest grossing Hollywood film in India, made Rs10.09 crore in 2016.
"Avengers: Infinity War has been one of the most anticipated films of this year and the response from Indian fans has truly been unprecedented. With an epic storyline, larger-than-life characters and our localisation efforts, the film is setting a milestone in the cinematic universe," said Bikram Duggal, executive director, head of studios and chief marketing officer, Disney India.
Online ticketing site BookMyShow said it had clocked advance sales of a million tickets by Thursday, the highest-ever for a Hollywood film in India and the second highest after war epic, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. It is to be noted that the film's advance booking had opened by last Sunday.
In Tamil Nadu, which is recovering from a 48-day theatre strike, the film has come as a much-needed boost to the theatre, bringing audiences back. The film has released in nearly 200 screens in Tamil Nadu in English and Tamil. As many as 35 films were on the backburner and the loss is pegged at close to 120 crores. Rajinikanth’s Kaala which was scheduled to release on April 27 was expected to be the antidote but the film got pushed to June 7.
GK Cinemas, one of the theatres has released the film in Tamil, is running to full houses. The theatre's spokesperson said, "This is bigger than even what Baahubali was. We think this film will run for at least another 3-4 weeks and might recoup a significant portion of our loss suffered due to the recent strike."
A source from Sathyam Cinemas said, "This is our biggest opening in 2018 and we are sold out for the entire weekend."
Rajendra Jyala, CSO of Inox Cinemas, attributed part of the success to the long weekend. "May 1 being a holiday has helped. The film is completely booked out from Friday through Tuesday, and across the country, we have released in English and Hindi majorly and I can say this is the second highest opening we have received for any film after Baahubali. I can confirm this is the highest for a Hollywood film."
It is to be noted that Baahubali also got the same release slot last year and went on to smash records. With such a response, we can expect more records to be broken by Avengers: Infinity War which has been released across the country in English (53% of total box office collections), Hindi (39%), Tamil (6%) and Telugu (2%). Internationally, it is predicted that the film will make over $500 million in the opening weekend and has already raked in more than $100 million.
Update: Avengers: Infinity War continues to dominate the Indian box-office, with day two also proving to be the biggest day for any Hollywood film in India. The film has taken a monstrous 80cr opening in two days.