Sanjay Leela Bhansali's movie based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi's poem released amid violent protests a day before Republic Day. The protestors, primarily the Rajput Karni Sena, wreaked havoc across multiple states, and damaged properties while asking for a ban on the movie. Security was tightened across multiple theatres where the movie was being shown, while a lot of them refused to run the movie. Nevertheless, according to reports, the movie saw occupancy of 50-60 per cent.
Although not record-breaking, the movie saw an encouraging collection of Rs 18 crore on its opening day, according to a report by Box Office India. It must be mentioned here that its opening day was Thursday, with a long weekend ahead. Moreover, the protests put a dampener on its opening weekend.
The collections are expected to rise over the long weekend, also because there would be tighter security on Republic Day.
Padmaavat has received mostly positive response from film critics, while Bollywood has come out to unanimously praise the movie.
A spectacle beyond belief! Only SLB Sir could have given us a film like #Padmaavat Hats off to the entire team for this gem! @RanveerOfficial your brilliance is unmatchable 🙏🙏 @deepikapadukone the restraint,the gravitas, those eyes 👌🏽👌🏽 @shahidkapoor every bit a King! ✨- Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09) January 26, 2018
#Padmaavat is a cinematic experience that cannot be missed. #SanjayLeelaBansali weaves his magic yet again. @RanveerOfficial wow wow @shahidkapoor powerrrrrrrr @deepikapadukone Rani ko 🙏. Don't miss it- Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) January 26, 2018
So so SO proud of these 3 supremely talented individuals who i have the privilege of calling my friends. @RanveerOfficial, @shahidkapoor and @deepikapadukone... still reeling from #padmaavat, unable to express in words! More power to you all!- Sonakshi Sinha (@sonakshisinha) January 26, 2018
Extraordinary!👍 pic.twitter.com/WqLIP4o5Fq- Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) January 26, 2018
The Karni Sena, on the other hand, has not stopped its protests. From attacking school buses with children, burning buses to offering roses and urging people not to watch the movie, the fringe group has been relentless.
According to reports, the fringe group has now said that they will make a movie on Sanjay Leela Bhansali's mother and call it Leela Ki Leela. Apparently they have already started writing a script and would be directed by Arvind Vyas.
"Bhansali has insulted our mother Padmavati, but we will ensure that he feels proud of the film, we make. As our country gives right to expression to everyone, we will ensure that this right is used to its fullest," the district president of Karni Sena, Govind Singh Khangarot, said in a press conference at Chittorgarh.
It remains to be seen if the movie will outlast these protests.