MUMBAI—Actress Deepika Padukone, who was threatened with beheading over her latest film "Padmaavat," is happy and proud as the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial has raked in Rs 83 crore net in India in three days.
"Padmaavat" registered Rs 5 crore net on Jan. 24 (paid previews), Rs 19 crore net on opening day on Jan. 25 followed by Rs 32 crore net on Jan. 26 and Rs 27 crore on Jan. 27, according to producers Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures.
"I cannot even begin to express how happy and proud this makes me feel! Thank you for all the love," Padukone, who has delivered blockbusters like "Om Shanti Om," "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani," "Chennai Express," "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela" and "Piku," tweeted.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta found the figures to be "stupendous considering that the film has not opened in 35 percent of India".
"The film is destined to be a big hit. If normalcy returns soon in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the film can cross Rs 300 crore in India. If the film doesn't release in the three or four states where it is banned, it will remain at Rs 240 crore or Rs 250 crore," he added.
Earlier, Deepika Padukone had said that she is not someone who has ever been excited so much about box office numbers but "I have to say that this time I am. I think it's going to be earth-shattering."
The magnum opus, based on 16th-century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi's "Padmavat," also stars Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.
Andhare tweeted: "'Padmaavat' overseas beats 'Tiger Zinda Hai' and 'Dangal' in the US, New Zealand and Germany ... beats 'Baahubali' in Australia. Beats in million of hearts across the world, when will it beat in Gujarat?"
Talking about the mixed reviews, trade analyst Atul Mohan told IANS: "Reviewers should keep in mind the difficulties that Sanjay Leela Bhansali went through while making the film. Under such tremendous pressure, he made the film, so critics should give it to him for that. However, I think common people would watch the film at least once, if not for anything else, at least for the visual experience."
"Having said that, I am afraid if the repeat viewing is even happening or not because of its length. The business of a film also grows due to repeat viewing on weekdays."
“Padmaavat,” produced by Sudhanshu Vats, Ajit Andhare and Bhansali, released ahead of Republic Day, amid protests from the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, which claims the movie distorts facts.
Deepika Padukone, who faced threats over the film said she remained confident throughout the row due to the upbringing she got from her parents, who were full of pride after watching the movie.
"My parents are immensely proud. I saw that pride on their face. Mom and dad made a video call after their screening finished late at night and I was in my pajamas and going to bed. So for them, they just saw the film and then me. So, their expression was like, 'Is she our daughter?' I saw their expression, and they were both brimming and glowing with pride," she said at a select media meet over a Marwari thali here on Jan. 27.
The film went through a lot of turmoil as Karni Sena objected to its making and release over alleged misinterpretation of the Rajput community's history.
However, Padukone exuded confidence at any press conference of public interaction she attended, thereby dealing with the situation gracefully.
Where does she gather the confidence from?
"You know, my parents never once had asked me if they should come and live with me during that whole phase because they were confident about the fact that I can handle this. That is my spirit, that is how we (my sister and I) have been brought up. We have learned that what is right is right, what is wrong is wrong," said the actress, daughter of former badminton player Prakash Padukone.
Padukone plays Rani Padmavati in "Padmaavat." "Playing the character fascinated me about how her personality is very relevant in the present time. She is like me – a strong, intelligent and elegant woman. And when I played her on-screen, I saw a little bit of myself there. But her character was so deep; she is a queen who doesn't speak very much but conveys everything in her way. That was a challenge to play," she said.
While drawing out the difference between Rani Padmavati and Mastani of "Bajirao Mastani," the 32-year-old actress said: "She is not a warrior like Mastani, so she is not picking up the sword and fighting, but her silent strength leads her to the right direction to deal with the toughest situation.”
"She is a queen, and under any situation, she never lost her poise, her elegant and calm self. But I feel she is a warrior in her way."
With "Padmaavat," Deepika Padukone has clocked a trilogy of films with Bhansali after "Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela" and "Bajirao Mastani."
Not one to usually keep a track of the number game, she said: "This time, I am talking about it because I feel a sense of responsibility. The character Padmavati is so strong and inspirational that it touches your heart.
"When I was working on the film, I did not expect this kind of appreciation. Of course, we knew that it is going to be a very special film as it's my third film with Sanjay.
"There was an apprehension due to that as well... That how differently he can present me, but now after the release of the film, there is a feeling of sheer blessing. I think I am very fortunate," said an overwhelmed Deepika Padukone.