Helmer Rajkumar Hirani’s “3 Idiots” has become the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, collecting $52 million worldwide in just 10 days.
It’s good news for the pic, which is weathering a spat between the producers and author Chetan Bhagat, on whose “Five Point Someone” the film is based, plus a spate of hazing and suicides alleged to have been prompted by film’s subject.
Bhagat was paid $23,862 and listed in the end credits as agreed with production company Vinod Chopra Films, but he contends that the “original story by” attribution to Hirani and Abhijat Joshi in the opening credits negates his.
Meanwhile, Mumbai police are investigating whether incidents of 18 students arrested over the weekend for hazing in a local medical college and Monday’s suicide of a 12-year-old boy with failing grades, who had seen “3 Idiots” twice, is connected to the film. The government is reviewing “3 Idiots” to decide whether to delete scenes.
That hasn’t deterred Gemini Films Circuit from acquiring Tamil- and Telugu-language remake rights for $2.1 million.