Salman film “Ek Tha Tiger” biggest hit since “3 Idiots”

(Reuters) – Salman Khan continues to bring in the big bucks for Bollywood. “Ek Tha Tiger”, the actor’s latest film, has netted over 2 billion rupees in global ticket sales, making it India’s biggest box-office hit after “3 Idiots”.

The film, starring the 46-year-old action hero as a secret agent, opened to mixed reviews on Aug 15 but Khan’s mass appeal has ensured audiences flocked to cinemas.

The formula of releasing films around Eid al-Fitr also seems to be helping — “Dabangg” and “Bodyguard” were blockbusters, as was Khan’s 2009 film “Wanted”.

“Ek Tha Tiger” reached the billion-rupee milestone in just five days although ticket sales did appear to taper off after the Eid holiday.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh called the film an “all time blockbuster” on Monday, posting on Twitter that the combined domestic and international business of the film stood at 210 crore rupees (2.1 billion rupees).

Domestic receipts for “Ek Tha Tiger” have already crossed 1.7 billion rupees, making it Khan’s biggest career hit. His previous best “Bodyguard” hauled in 1.48 billion rupees in domestic ticket sales while box-office leader “3 Idiots” had grossed over 2 billion rupees in India.

Trade analyst Vajir Singh said second week collections for “Ek Tha Tiger” stood at 194 million rupees, slightly lower than the 234 million rupees Khan’s 2010 hit “Dabangg” had pulled in during its second weekend.

Single-screen cinemas, which account for most of the tickets sold in India, also saw a drop in audiences, although the week’s new release “Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi” wasn’t expected to affect ticket sales for “Ek Tha Tiger”.

“Yes, second week will always be slow compared to the first week, but this film is still doing well,” said R R Vidhani, who owns one of Mumbai’s oldest single-screen cinemas. “The crowds love Salman Khan.”

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