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Box office: Vicky Kaushal's Uri is 2019's first Rs100 crore Hindi blockbuster

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Remarkably, the action thriller recorded a higher collection on its second weekend than on its opening one.

Mayur Lookhar

Vicky Kaushal’s Uri: The Surgical Strike is the first blockbuster of 2019. Made at an estimated cost of Rs28 crore, the film has amassed Rs108.49 crore nett in domestic business so far.

What is remarkable is that Uri's box-office collection on the second weekend was bigger than on its opening weekend. Uri had made Rs35 crore nett on its first three days while it bagged Rs37.25 crore nett cumulatively on the first three days of its second week.

Uri made Rs7.75 crore nett on its second Friday, followed by Rs13 crore nett on Saturday and its highest single day collection of Rs16.25 crore nett on Sunday.

What worked so well for Uri? Trade analyst Vinod Mirani said, “Maybe nationalism is the flavour, with [prime minister] Narendra Modi around. A film on patriotism, nationalism is doing well. Earlier, we had Raazi (2018) and Parmanu (2018), both films did well."

Uri is a great boost to Vicky Kaushal’s career, as the actor gets his first Rs100 crore film playing solo lead. Kaushal had played a supporting role in the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Sanju (2018) which amassed Rs334 crore nett at the domestic box office. 

Uri’s smashing success bodes well for Kaushal's career. “When you start getting advertisements, it is a sign that the actor has arrived [on the big stage]," Mirani continued. "Please note, he was appreciated in Sanju. He was also appreciated in his earlier films [as solo lead] that didn’t do so well. With a film like Uri, the writer and director [Aditya Dhar] also deserves equal credit. The main thing is content and how it is treated.”

Kaushal took to Twitter to thank audiences. “Because in the end it’s your love that makes it all worth it," he wrote. "Thank you for embracing Uri: The Surgical Strike wholeheartedly.”

Yami Gautam, who plays a pivotal role in the film, was also delighted. “Very happy with the kind of response the film has earned and is continuing to have," she said in a statement. "I’m very grateful to the team behind the film. Everyone has truly worked very hard. It's amazing to have producers like Ronnie [Screwvala] who believe in their content and invest in people like us. I’m personally excited to have such a tremendous beginning to 2019 and I am certain to keep the audiences entertained further too.”

Uri was released on 2,200-plus screens across India, The film also bagged Rs14 crore for combined satellite and digital rights and Rs2 crore through music sales, all with Zee.

Uri is based on the army’s surgical strike on terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in response to a terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri district of Jammu & Kashmir.

Meanwhile, The Accidental Prime Minister, starring Anupam Kher, which was released alongside Uri, could make only Rs3.10 crore nett on its second weekend.

Directed by first-timer Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film, based on former prime minister Manmohan Singh's one-time media adviser Sanjaya Baru’s book of the same name, has so far made only Rs21.36 crore nett in domestic business.

The Accidental Prime Minister was made at an estimated budget of Rs30 crore and released on 1,200 screens across India. Kher played Manmohan Singh in the widely panned film while Akshaye Khanna essayed the role of the narrator Baru.