Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Chennai Express’ Full Steam Ahead at B.O

Shalini Dore

Shah Rukh Khan’s holiday release “Chennai Express” is  breaking records for Bollywood films with a worldwide box office cume of nearly $50 million.

The Disney UTV-distribbed film has grossed$49,717,701 since its Aug. 8 release. Banking on Indian holidays that have come one after the other — Eid, Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan — the Rohit Shetty-directed pic has been a huge hit in India, where so far it has grossed $36.4 million; in North America, it has hit $4 million; the U.K. has contributed $2.3 million; and the Middle East has come in with $3.4 million.

The pic has had one of the widest releases, about 3,500 screens in India and about 700 screens elsewhere, of any Bollywood film. In India, cinemagoers were offered one free ticket for every two sold.  For the Hindi film industry, which had been in the doldrums in recent months, this is a shot in the arm.

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