Despite an estimate €50 crore opening and sold out shows across the country, some are still skeptical about how Pathaan is being received by the public. Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan’s spy film starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, heard calls for a boycott and major controversy over one of the songs before its release. However, it seems that nothing has really affected opening day theater attendance numbers. (Also Read: Pathaan Estimated Box Office Day 1 Collection)
But even with great box office reports coming in, tweets showing empty movie theaters are popping up. “Is #Pathaan flop or hit? I got this clip from someone,” read a tweet showing a mostly empty theater. However, Pathaan did not act on the big screen. In response to him, many shared videos of people leaving their seats during the show and dancing in theaters to Jhoome Jo Pathaan or Besharam Rang. Check out a few:
A Twitter user also put together a series of videos of people in theaters dancing and honking. “Compare the audience’s response to Pathan in theaters with that of a recent state-promoted film; where the latter not only led to vile hate speech in the theaters, but was later used to provoke violence,” read a tweet accompanying a video. “The audience started dancing to the song #JhomeeJoPathaan in the cinema room. People are celebrating @iamsrk film after four years,” wrote another. “I saw some tweets claiming that theaters are empty and no one is watching #Pathaan,” read another tweet with a similar video.
Considering the huge response to the film, which opened on 5,000 screens covering major cities including Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, with shows at 6am and 7am, Yash Raj Films said it will reschedule a show after midnight at 12:30 p.m. had been added across the country. Wednesday. In addition, due to high demand, 300 additional screens have been added, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh. The film’s screen count now stands at 8,500 worldwide, he said.
The film, directed by Siddharth Anand, is battling calls for a boycott over the song Besharam Rang, which features Deepika Padukone in several costume changes, including a saffron bikini.
On the verge of making the biggest opening for a Hindi film ever, the film’s success played out in a montage of fan adoration. In Kolkata, the SRK Brigade celebrated the star by feeding chocolate cake to the film’s poster. In Guwahati, some poured milk over Pathaan’s billboards, recalling the frenzy that normally meets a Rajinikanth film.
As security ramped up in hallways in anticipation of protests, there were plenty of snapping selfies with giant posters and cutouts of the 56-year-old star.
(with input from PTI)