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      Raajneeti breaks Kites and Housefull record

      By Ramchander

      All predictions about Raajneeti have failed. Yes, it was supposed to be a good film. Yes, it did carry good expectations. Yes, it did have a pan-India appeal. Yes, it did promise a good opening. But no, just about no one expected it to enjoy the second best opening ever after 3 Idiots. 3 Idiots, did I say? That's right! Raajneeti took an astonishing start and that too of such a scale that it ended up enjoying 34 crores (yes, your read it right) from the first weekend. This is simply unbelievable because in the process of doing so, it has also broken the records by Kites and before that Housefull which was at the third place till not many moons back.

      Finding itself placed second in the elite list of super opening films like 3 Idiots, Kites, Housefull and Ghajini, Raajneeti has scored and how. Early indications clear state that Raajneeti will now challenge Housefull and My Name Is Khan to be the biggest money spinner of the year. Both the films have crossed 70 crores at the box office and though it would be an interesting journey for Raajneeti from here on, it could well cross the milestone if it holds on quite well in the second weekend.

      Will it be able to do? It possibly could because of three reasons:

      1) When compared to Kites, which had opened just below, Raajneeti is a far superior film.

      2) It has been hailed by critics as well as appreciated by audience.

      3) Reports at certain quarters are mixed but the feedback ranges from average to must watch. There are no 'don't watch' comments.

      Similar were the reports in case of Housefull as well as My Name Is Khan where no one 'hated' the film.

      Of course a serious theme coupled with heavy treatment at places means that a repeat watch would be difficult to achieve. However, with no notable release this weekend and Raavan being the only roadblock for next three weeks, Raajneeti could well enjoy a comfortable place for itself under the sun.

      What went right? As predicted in this very column last week, just about everything i.e. the plot, cast, music, buzz, hype, timing and promotion. Add to that some powerful performances by three pillars of the film - Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpayee - and Prakash Jha ensured that a five year wait since the release of Apaharan was pretty much worth it.

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