New Delhi : As expected, Salman Khan’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” — the superstar’s Eid offering to his fans — went houseful in theatres pan-India when it released on Friday, said trade experts. The movie on Indo-Pakistan relations has been termed the actor’s “best” by B-Town.

Even as several fans of Salman — whose name is lovingly suffixed by ‘Bhai’ — flocked to theatres for the ‘first day, first show’ mania, B-Town celebrities, who had already seen the entertainer at a preview, gave it a thumbs up.

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan” — which is the 49-year-old’s first release since he was sentenced to five years in jail in the infamous 2002 hit-and-run case in May — is receiving “terrific” response, and the footfalls are only likely to grow in the opening weekend.

“Salman’s films have always been superhit. The first show at our cinemas started at around 12 p.m. to 12.30 p.m. and all our theatres were pre-booked 100 percent. All the shows are going houseful and same is expected over the weekend. The film should come out as a blockbuster pan-India, Piyush Raizada, director, Delite Cinemas, told IANS.

Having released with approximately 4,500 prints across India, it seems that the “Dabangg” Khan has once again managed to spin his magic on the pious occasion of Eid, which falls on Saturday.

Deepak Sharma, COO, PVR Cinemas told IANS: “It has attracted more than 80 percent occupancy, and 20 to 25 percent seats were pre-booked. Starting from the first show at around 10 a.m., the response has been huge in every state.

“We have not received the total collection yet, but the film is doing really well. Also, the advance booking is great for the whole weekend. It looks that the film will complete Rs.100 crore in first weekend itself.”

Kabir Khan-directed “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, which also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, narrates the story of a Hindu man on a mission to take a young Pakistani girl, who is dumb and mute, back to her country. It chronicles his adventures and experiences faced during his road trip. 

Since its first look was released, the craze of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” was palpable. The buzz was fuelled by stars like Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, who publicised the film on Twitter. These apart, many other B-Town celebs including Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor, Randeep Hooda Jacqueline Fernandez and Sonakshi Sinha too praised the movie and called it a “must watch”.

According to trade analyst Komal Nahta, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” witnessed “packed shows” at various theatres in cities like Jaipur, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Ahmedabad.

“Waiting for Eid ka chand? But Eid has already arrived at the b.o. #BajrangiBhaijaan takes a fantabulous opening all over. Unprecedented rush. It’s #BajrangiBhaijaan mania everywhere. Crowds going berserk. Scene outside Raj Mandir and Cinepolis cinemas in Jaipur is crazy,” Nahta posted on Twitter.

Another trade guru Taran Adarsh tweeted: “And #BajrangiBhaijaan ROARS from morning shows onwards. Packed houses/House Full boards greet the new Salman starrer. Trade jubilant.”

As predicted by most trade pundits, the film is likely to break the dry spell that the Hindi film industry has witnessed in 2015 so far.

Trade experts believe it would be no surprise if the film even crosses the Rs.300 crore mark.

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