‘Bodyguard’ breaks Hindi records

Salman Khan starrer cumes $22.9 million

LONDON — Writer-director Siddique’s “Bodyguard,” starring Bollywood box office darling Salman Khan, is rewriting Hindi-language cinema records.

Pic opened worldwide on Aug. 31 during the Eid holiday frame and straightaway broke the record for opening day collections in India, taking Rupees 215.1 million ($4.6 million). 2010’s “Dabangg,” also starring Khan, which opened with $3.1 million, held the record previously.

Over the first seven days, “Bodyguard” collected $22.9 million in India, breaking the seven-day record held by “Dabangg” with $17.6 million.

Collections have been robust overseas as well, with the film entering the U.K. weekend charts at No. 5, collecting $1.3 million, making it the second highest Bollywood bow in the country after 2010’s “My Name Is Khan” that took $1.5 million.

In the U.S., “Bodyguard” opened at No. 22 in the Labor Day frame and grossed $1.3 million.

Pic has taken $1.96 million in the U.A.E. and more than $1 million from the rest of the world.

The film is Khan’s third straight hit in the Eid frame after “Dabangg” and 2009’s “Wanted.” Pic was budgeted at $16.7 million, including P&A, and was co-produced and distributed by Reliance Entertainment.

‘Bodyguard’ is a true four quadrant tentpole riding on Salman’s enduring star power and heightened audience expectations on Salman’s Eid hat-trick. The film also targeted family audiences whose patronage invariably ensured record-breaking grosses across the world,” Reliance chief operating officer Mahesh Ramanathan told Variety.

Siddique made the Malayalam-language “Bodyguard” in 2010, and remade it in Tamil as “Kaavalan,” before the Hindi version. “Ganga,” its Telugu-language remake, is being prepped now.