A still from Tubelight
MID-DAY (June 22, 2017)

Even as Salman Khan has dismissed conversation around the chances that his upcoming film, Tubelight, will garner bigger box-office numbers than S S Rajamouli's fantasy, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, his team is leaving no stone unturned to sell the Kabir Khan-directed project. The Indo-China war drama is set to spread its wings wide in the overseas market with a  1,200-screen release, the widest for any Khan-starrer till date. Amar Butala, COO of Salman Khan Films, confirmed the news to mid-day.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh is not surprised. “Salman is taking big steps with each of his films. His last two releases, Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Sultan (2016), were phenomenal hits in the overseas market. Tubelight is in the same bracket.”

Earlier this month, Salman hit headlines for managing to grab a billboard at the prime New York Times Square for Tubelight, something only few in the industry manage. A trade insider says, “The overseas market welcomes Shah Rukh Khan’s films and content-driven films. After Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Salman has established himself as a competitor in the content driven space.” The presence of the Chinese star Zhu Zhu in the film is being seen as an added advantage. Trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “With a Chinese actress in the lead, the film should get the widest release in China.”

Trade pundits estimate Tubelight to bag Rs 27-30 crore on day one in the domestic market. Distributor and exhibitor Rajesh Thadani says, “The film will make Rs 30 crore plus on day one since it has a non-holiday release, but I expect it to cross over Rs 40 crore on Eid.”

Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan released in around 800 screens in the overseas market, while Sultan grabbed 1,000 screens.