Can Salman's 'Tubelight' become box office's 'Sultan?

Can Salman's 'Tubelight' become box office's 'Sultan?

For fans, Eid is synonymous with a Salman Khan release and the actor's latest offering is "Tubelight", which opened to mixed reviews in around 4,400 screens across India today.

The movie's tagline 'Kya Tumhe Yakeen Hai? (Do you have faith?) resonates closely with Salman's fans who have made his movies critic-proof by thronging to cinema halls in huge numbers, film after film.

Kabir Khan, who has previously given blockbuster hits like "Ek Tha Tiger" and "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" with Salman, has also helmed "Tubelight", an official adaptation of English film "Little Boy".

Kabir has once again touched upon his favourite topic of cross-border relationship after "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" by setting "Tubelight" against the backdrop of India-China War of 1962.

While Salman's last year's Eid release "Sultan" created magic at the box office and the actor's performance received surprisingly good reviews from critics, the initial response to "Tubelight" by critics has not been that warm.

However, there are hopes that Salman's fans will accept the 'Eidi' from him as warmly as they do every year during this holiday season.

"Occupancy for today ranges anywhere from 35 per cent to even 75-80 per cent. One disadvantage the film is facing is that, it released in the last week of Ramzan, so the mass audience of Salman Khan is not coming to watch the film," trade analyst Akshaye Rathi told PTI.

He said that the opening day collection would be around Rs 25 crore, which is less for a Salman Khan-starrer as all his previous films -- "Sultan", "Bajrangi..." and "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" crossed the Rs 40 crore-mark.

"The response so far has been mixed but family audiences are coming in. A spike is expected on Monday as Eid is a big holiday," Rathi added.

"Tubelight" also stars Sohail Khan, Om Puri, Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and child actor Matin Rey Tangu.

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