Laal Singh Chaddha box office collection day 1: Aamir Khan-starrer tanks with one-fifth of Thugs of Hindostan’s opening

It was a poor opening day at the box office for Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, the epic remake of Hollywood hit Forrest Gump that released on Thursday amid calls for a boycott. According to early estimates, the film edged out fellow Independence Day weekend release Raksha Bandhan, but only just. Box Office India says that Laal Singh Chaddha made Rs 10.75 crore on its opening day, which was described in the report as ‘shocking’. Bollywood Hungama said this will be the lowest opening for Aamir Khan in the past 13 years.

By comparison, Aamir’s Thugs of Hindostan — considered one of the most infamous flops in Hindi box office history — made Rs 52 crore on its opening day, setting a record (that has since been broken). If estimates hold, Laal Singh Chaddha will register the third-biggest opening day for a Hindi film in 2022, behind Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (Rs 14.1 crore), Bachchhan Paandey (Rs 13.2 crore), and ahead of Samrat Prithviraj (Rs 10.7 crore), Gangubai Kathiawadi (Rs 10.5 crore) and Shamshera (Rs 10.2 crore). As you can see, even a slight deviation could result in Laal Singh Chaddha’s position being greatly affected. The final box office numbers are awaited.

A top five opening day doesn’t guarantee a hit either. Of these five films, only two are considered hits — Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Gangubai Kathiawadi — while the rest are actually major bombs. Laal Singh Chaddha, according to BOI, is performing similarly to December’s large-scale sports drama 83, which made around Rs 14 crore, but underperformed at the box office because of a new wave of the pandemic.

The fact that Laal Singh Chaddha outperformed Akshay’s Raksha Bandhan isn’t much to celebrate about, considering that the film was made on a bigger budget, over three years, and across scores of locations. Raksha Bandhan was one of the many Akshay Kumar projects that were completed over the pandemic with breakneck speed.

The reviews haven’t been glowing either. The Indian Express’ Shubhra Gupta gave the film 2 stars, and wrote, “It’s not just the pace of the film which is the trouble. It is also, centrally and crucially, Sardar Laal Singh Chaddha himself, as played by Aamir Khan.” In a recent appearance on Koffee with Karan, Aamir had admitted that he is very stressed out about the film. “We are excited that we have made a good film, lekin agar film logon ko pasand nahin aayi, bahut dil toot jaayega (If people don’t like it, we will be heartbroken).”

Both Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan arrive at a particularly thorny period for Bollywood, with multiple high-profile releases already having failed at the box office. Both the films also faced a section of social media’s boycott calls, which both Aamir and Akshay have addressed.  “If I have hurt anyone by any means, I regret it. I don’t want to hurt anyone. If someone doesn’t want to watch the film, I’d respect their sentiment,” Aamir had told media. As per reports, the film faced protests at some locations in India.

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