Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Kapoor's latest film Panipat is likely to cross the Rs 25-crore mark today. The film has fared poorly at the box office and despite big starcast, it has seen a low turnout. Though final numbers for Wednesday are yet to come out, film trade analysts expect Panipat's overall collection to cross Rs 25-crore mark, which is half the total earnings of Pati Patni Aur Woh, a film starring Kartik Aryan, Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Pandey. It was also released along with Panipat last Friday.
Period drama Panipat, which has been directed by Oscar-nominated director Ashutosh Gowariker, has made roughly Rs 23 crore in the last five days till Tuesday. Released on December 6, the film collected Rs 4.12 crore on Friday and Rs 5.78 crore on Saturday. The film's earning spiked to Rs 7.78 crore on Sunday, but registered low weekdays collection at Rs 2.59 crore on Monday and Rs 2.5 crore on Tuesday. Film Panipat chronicles the story of 'Third Battle of Panipat' fought between the Maratha empire and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761.
The film has also drawn flak from Jat groups in Haryana and Rajasthan, primarily over the portrayal of legendary Jat ruler Maharaja Surajmal. In view of this, the film's screening has been discontinued in nearly half of the theatres in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has also urged the Censor Board to take note of allegations. Political leaders including state Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh, Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje have also criticised the film's portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal. In the film, the character of Maharaja Surajmal of Bharatpur has been reportedly shown as a greedy emperor, who wanted to conquer the Red Fort of Agra. He apparently denied help to the Maratha army, one of the factors leading to the Marathas' eventual defeat.
In Panipat, Arjun Kapoor plays the role of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Maratha army in the third battle of Panipat. Sanjay Dutt is seen as Ahmad Shah Abdali. Abdali is regarded as the founder of Afghanistan. Kriti Sanon is seen as Parvati Bai, the second wife of Sadashiv Rao Bhau. Due to protests, the film is seen a complete washout across Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and east Punjab. It is unlikely that Panipat's collection would improve in the coming days due to a stiff competition from Kartik Aryan starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, which has minted nearly Rs 45 crore till now in India.