Multiple controversies notwithstanding, Prakash Jha’s much-awaited and much-hyped dark political thriller Raajneeti has set the cash registers ringing – courtesy its widely-appreciated content.  

Raajneeti (released Friday) is a super-duper hit. The movie is being massively appreciated and will have a definite second weekend run. We have had an average occupancy of close to 95 percent for 26 shows per day and we sold off 4,200 tickets in advance till Sunday,” Amit Awasthi, senior manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas, told IANS.

“We have collected a gross of Rs 28 lakh and all shows are full today (Sunday),” he added.

 Amit Shah, chief manager (programming) of DLF DT cinemas, echoed the view. “Raajneeti is a must-watch film. The content of the movie is being highly appreciated and it is moving towards being the highest grosser over the weekend for this year till now,” Shah said.

 “We’ve had an average occupancy of close to 90 percent and we are running around 15-17 shows in prime properties and around 9-12 shows in other properties. The movie will bring a good second weekend,” he added. 

Produced by UTV with around Rs 45 crore, the movie has been distributed by Prakash Jha Productions, Walkwater Media and UTV Motion Pictures with over 2,100 prints worldwide.  

Inspired by the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Raajneeti takes a behind-the-scenes look at the working of Indian politics and features an ensemble line-up, including the likes of Nana Patekar and Naseeruddin Shah, Ajay Devgan and Manoj Bajpai. 

Heartthrobs Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, along with model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal, also play pivotal roles in the movie. The film was in a soup when it was first denied a certificate by the censor board for Katrina’s character reportedly having a resemblance to Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi. 

Jha, however, dismissed the allegation saying that the movie is actually a modern re-telling of the Mahabharata. Some intimate scenes and excessive violence sequences were also removed before the movie was given a U/A censor certificate.  

“We’ve had a very good response till now and most of the shows have been running houseful with an average occupancy of close to 85 percent over the weekend. Everyone has liked the movie and the storyline is pretty strong. Word of mouth publicity is very good,” said Jayendra Banerji, Vice-President (Operations), Satyam Cineplexes.  

Deepak Taluja, Senior Vice-President (Business and Operations) of Fun Cinemas, added: “The movie is going very well and almost all the shows have been houseful with an occupancy of close to 80-90 percent. People are really praising the movie and we are hopeful that this one will have maximum shows in the second week too.”  

Fun Cinemas is running 11 and 13 shows of Raajneeti for all three and four screen properties respectively.