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Box office: Kangana Ranaut's Manikarnika enjoys a good opening weekend at Rs40 crore nett


Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has surpassed Ranaut's own Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015) as the highest opening weekend for a film led by a female protagonist.

Mayur Lookhar

The opening figure was below par (Rs7.75 crore nett), but Kangana Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi bagged a good Rs17.75 crore nett on its second day.  The Sunday collection saw a slight drop as Manikarnika made Rs14.75 crore nett to post Rs40.25 crore nett in its opening weekend, as reported by Boxofficeindia.com.

“After a slow start, Manikarnika has done very well over the weekend. However, Monday will be the key as if it doesn’t do well that day, then there could be trouble for the film given its high budget,” said trade analyst Amod Mehra.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has surpassed Ranaut's own Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015) as the highest opening weekend for a film led by a female protagonist. Tanu Weds Manu Returns was released in 2,150 screens and it had collected Rs37.58 crore nett in its first weekend. Made at an estimated budget of Rs39 crore, Tanu Weds Manu had amassed Rs148.84 crore nett in domestic business, and grossed Rs243 crore worldwide.

Manikarnika review: Kangana Ranaut's rebel queen makes a dent but takes too long to arrive

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is based on the life of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and is directed by Krish and Ranaut. It has been produced by Kairos Kontent, Zee Studios and Nishant Pitti.

At the time of publishing this report, the opening weekend collections of Nawazuddin Siddqui-starrer Thackeray wasn't out, but according to film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, the bilingual film has collected around Rs24 crore nett (Hindi and Marathi).

Based on the life of the late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, that film was released in 1,200 screens in India. Produced and distributed by Viaom18 Motion Pictures, the biopic is made at an estimated budget of Rs30 crore.

“It was a terrific weekend for Manikarnika, and Thackeray as well. It is truly the power of good content. Manikarnika has done a weekend business of about Rs41 crore nett, while I think Thackeray closed the weekend at around Rs24 crore nett,” said Rathi.

Thackeray review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui roars in this rushed biopic

Rahi felt that both new releases did well not necessarily because of its lead actors, but more because of good content and the iconic real-life characters that they played.

“Neither films have stars who have a draw on their own popularity, merit. A Kangana is as good as the quality of her film," said Rathi.

"Thackeray is a movie in which a star is a man who passed away some years ago - Balasaheb Thackeray. So the people who are coming to watch the film, it is for Balasaheb Thackeray. Of course, Nawazuddin has performed phenomenally well to get into the skin of the character, but it is exactly like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016). Back then people came to watch the story of Dhoni and not the actor [Sushant Singh Rajput] who played the role,” added Rathi.