Mumbai: Akshay Kumar-starrer historical drama "Kesari" has scored the biggest opening weekend collection for a Bollywood film in 2019 in India by raking in Rs 78.07 crore in four days since its release on March 21, according to trade experts.
The film minted Rs 21.06 crore on its opening day, followed by Rs 16.75 crore, Rs 18.75 crore and Rs 21.5 crore on subsequent days, totalling Rs 78.07 crore, according to the makers of the film.
The figure surpasses the opening weekend collection of Ranveer Singh's "Gully Boy", which had made Rs 72. 45 crore.
Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted that "Kesari" has set multiple benchmarks with its earnings.
"Highest Day 1 of 2019 (so far): Rs 21.06 crore; Crossed Rs 50 crore: Day 3; Crossed Rs 75 crore: Day 4; Highest opening weekend of 2019 (so far): Rs 78.07 crore," Adarsh tweeted, adding that it's an "impressive" total.
Directed by Anurag Singh, "Kesari" is based on the historic Battle of Saragarhi in 1897.
The movie, which depicts the bravery of 21 Sikhs of the 36th Sikh Regiment (now the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment) of British India defending an army post against more than 10,000 Afghan and Orakzai tribesmen, has worked well especially in India's northern belt.
"North circuits are superb... While the four-day total is good, the business on Saturday and Sunday should have been higher since the word of mouth is excellent.
"A section of the industry feels IPL 2019 curtailed the growth of 'Kesari' on Saturday evening and Sunday... Two days that could have made a big difference to the extended weekend total... Weekdays pivotal... Strong numbers and solid trending (Monday to Thursday) are a must," he wrote further.
According to trade expert Girish Johar, the film had an advantage of an extended four-day weekend owing to Holi, and so it has made Rs 75 crore in its opening weekend.
He concurred that the weekdays now are crucial for the film's course at the box office.
The makers of the film, which also stars Parineeti Chopra, are ecstatic with the response.
Karan Johar, whose Dharma Productions has backed the film, celebrated the opening day collection with a tweet: "A smashing weekend at the box office. 'Kesari' marches on."