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Salman Khan’s latest offering Dabangg 3 has collected an estimated Rs 78 crore at the box office in its opening weekend. However, trade experts believe that the ongoing protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have affected the earnings of the third film in Salman’s hit cop franchise.

Trade analyst Girish Wankhede told Mid-Day, “Salman has a huge fan base among the youth. But the political climate in the country is such that many don’t want to go to theatres and watch a film. This situation is completely unforeseen, and the makers will have to bear the loss.”

Starring Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar alongside Salman in lead roles, Dabangg 3 had a disappointing opening – while Rs 24.50 crore was a decent number in itself, it is Salman’s lowest opening day collection since the 2017 film, Tubelight .

Trade guru Amod Mehra also told the tabloid, “The film looks jaded. As far as the box office numbers are concerned, the film has an entire week ahead with holidays coming up, so it should sail through.”

Reacting to claims of the film being affected by the anti-CAA protests, Sonakshi had told IANS, “We all know what is going on in the entire country. I think people know that what is more important, but I am honestly happy with audience response to our film. At this moment, entire country has come together on this matter (CAA protests) and it is more important than a film.”

 

Directed by Prabhudheva, Dabangg 3 explores the backstory of Salman’s character, Chulbul Pandey, and how he turned into the person that fans saw in the first two intslaments of the franchise. The film marks the Bollywood debut of Mahesh Manjrekar’s daughter Saiee.

Dabangg 3 also stars Arbaaz Khan, Mahie Gill, Dimple Kapadia and Pramod Khanna. It also features Kannada star Sudeep as the main antagonist.

Meanwhile, Dabangg 3 has received a mixed response from critics. In her review for Hindustan Times, Soumya Srivastava wrote, “The action scenes are cut with the frantic energy of a toddler on sugar high. The punches land with the loudness of bulldozers, and I swear they made it sound like iron rods clanking this one time a goon hit Salman. And if through all this medley of construction work OST you could still manage to reach the climax, prepare your eyes for colour correction that would leave George Miller shaking in his pants. It’s Mad Max: Dadar Road and they have the aesthetic to match. It’s quite impressive to be honest, achieving this level of pomp and show with such little substance for inspiration. Dabangg 3 is as unnecessary as a remake of an item song, a romantic angle between another woman 30 years younger than you, and brutality when dealing with protestors, criminals or general public.”