“My Name is Khan,” a Bollywood love story set against contemporary U.S. history starting with the Sept. 11 attacks, grossed $18 million over the weekend, financier and distributor Fox Star Studios said in a statement today.
The film, which opened Feb. 12, became the biggest three- day grosser in Indian cinema history, Fox Star Studios, a part of News Corp., said in the statement. “My Name is Khan” recorded double the worldwide revenue of its nearest competitor, 2009’s “Three Idiots,” the statement said.
Audiences in India flocked to watch “My Name is Khan” defying the Shiv Sena, a Mumbai-based political party, which threatened to prevent the screening of the movie over a comment made by the movie’s star Shah Rukh Khan. The Sena targeted Khan after he publicly regretted the absence of players from Pakistan in the Indian Premier League, the world’s richest cricket competition, which starts March 12.
Khan owns the Kolkata Knight Riders, an IPL team, which did not bid for any Pakistani players.
“Valentine’s Day” was the top film in U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend with sales of $52.4 million. “My Name is Khan” beat “Valentine’s Day” with a per screen average of $15,500, in North America during the weekend, Fox Star Studios said. Fox Searchlight Pictures distributed the Bollywood movie in the U.S.
In “My Name is Khan,” Shah Rukh Khan plays an Indian Muslim with Asperger’s Syndrome living in the U.S. whose life changes after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Three Idiots,” released by billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Big Pictures on Christmas eve, made $70 million worldwide in 19 days.