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SRK’s ‘Happy New Year’ sees a bumper opening, nets Rs 45 cr on Day 1

MUMBAI: It really was the brightest Diwali for Shah Rukh Khan as his latest release, ‘Happy New Year’, has seen the biggest opening at the box office.

The multi-starrer heist film, which was released on 24 October, did a net collection of Rs 42.6 crore (Rs 426 million) at the domestic box office. Combined with its Tamil (Rs 92 lakh, or Rs 9.2 million) and Telugu versions (Rs 1.43 crore, or Rs 14.3 million), the total net collection for the film stood at a whopping Rs 44.97 crore (Rs 449.7 million) on the first day itself.

Happy New Year

                                                      A still from ‘Happy New Year’

Directed by Farah Khan and produced by SRK’s Red Chillies Entertainment, the three-hour extravaganza opened to mixed reviews with many critics calling it a ‘perfect family entertainer’ to a ‘predictable’ and ‘forced comedy’ to ‘bad copy of ‘Ocean’s Eleven”.

However, the film has definitely set the box office on fire by breaking all existing opening day records. Early reports suggest that on Saturday the film collected another Rs 38 crore (Rs 380 million), taking the first two days’ collection to about Rs 83 crore (Rs 830 million). It is still holding strong on Sunday and is expected to cross Rs 100 crore mark.

Interestingly enough, the SRK-, Deepika Padukone-, Abhishek Bachchan-, Sonu Sood-, Boman Irani- and Jackie Shroff-starrer has raced ahead of the last top one day grosser, ‘Dhoom 3’, by a large margin.

Last year, Aamir Khan-, Abhishek Bachchan- and Katrina Kaif-starrer ‘Dhoom 3’ had collected Rs 36 crore (Rs 360 million) on Day 1. Prior to that, SRK’s ‘Chennai Express’ was the record holder with net collection of Rs 33.10 crore (Rs 331 million).

Other films which crossed the Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million) mark on the first day include Salman Khan’s ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ (Rs 32.92 crore) and Ajay Devgn’s ‘Singham Returns’ (Rs 32 crore).

HNY’s plot tells of Charlie (SRK) who wants to take revenge on Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff) for betraying Charlie’s father (Anupam Kher).

According to film critic Rajeev Masand, “The screenplay itself is painfully predictable, and the heist plan is explained repeatedly in a long-drawn detail, just in case we’re dummies. Logic is sacrificed at the altar of convenience in this script, and an overall feeling of been-there-seen-that hangs over the film.”

As per Anupama Chopra, “In ‘Happy New Year’, the desire to entertain overshadows everything else—script, characters, coherence, narrative logic.”