When filming began almost a year ago, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus, Padmavati, was expected to be the biggest, most successful release of 2017. But an unforeseen rage against the film from several fringe organisations delayed the film’s release to January 25, 2018, forced Bhansali to change its name to Padmaavat and effectively banned the film in as many as four states.

Even Bollywood gurus were less than hopeful that the film would register healthy footfall upon its eventual release amid the fear of violence. However, none of this spelt doom for the film’s success. Padmaavat, made on a budget of Rs 180 crore, has raked in Rs 56 crore in just three days since of release.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted second day figures on Saturday. “#Padmaavat has a HUMONGOUS Day 2... Had it been a smooth release [some states are not screening the film], the all-India biz would’ve touched Rs 40 cr... Wed 5 cr, Thu 19 cr, Fri 32 cr. Total: Rs 56 cr. India biz… SUPERB!,” he wrote in his tweet.

The film’s lead star, Deepika Padukone also reacted to the box office numbers with a ‘boom.’ “It’s never happened before...I cannot even begin to express how happy & proud this makes me feel!!!Thank You for all the love,” she wrote in another tweet.

Padmaavat, which stars Deepika as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji, tells the story of the latter’s conquest of Chittor upon falling for the queen’s beauty. The film received tremendous flak due to rumours of a dream sequence between the sultan and the queen, ‘misrepresentation of history’ and ‘disrespect towards the Rajput community’.

Outfits such as the Karni Sena and the All India Brajmandal Kshatriya Rajput Mahasabha put bounties on the actor and director’s heads and asked for a nationwide ban on the film. Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh state governments had also installed a ban on the film until the Supreme Court called it illegal in a ruling. Even then, theatre associations refused to screen the film in the four states.

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