Chennai Express HIT or FLOP: Box Office Prediction

Eid celebrations are around the corner once again, and this time around its Salman Khan’s arch-rival Shahrukh Khan with his first movie release since Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The Eid / Independence Day period is considered to be the most lucrative period for Bollywood and with good reason – Dabangg, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger have all been record breaking money-spinners at the box-office. A quick look at the opening day figures of each film reveals that business has grown by more than 45% every year.

  • 2010: Dabangg (1800 screens) – 14.5 crore
  • 2011: Bodyguard (2250 screens) – 21 crore (45% growth)
  • 2012: Ek Tha Tiger (3300 screens) – 32.9 crore (56% growth)

Chennai Express
This year, Chennai Express will be releasing on 3500-3600 screens across India, which is double the release size of Dabangg and approximately 10% more than Ek Tha Tiger. So, with one of India’s most bankable superstars Shahrukh Khan, top leading lady Deepika Padukone and the king of the 100 crore club Rohit Shetty – expectations are high that Chennai Express will get close or better the opening day record of Ek Tha Tiger.

However, we believe, the first day record will continue to stay with Ek Tha Tiger. The reason being, Chennai Express will have one of the widest ‘preview’ releases ever, as most multiplexes will be screening the film from 6PM on Thursday (8th August). The average number of shows at multiplexes is around 6 shows, with a few theatres running as many as 11-12 shows between 6-11:30PM (see below).

Chennai Express Advance Booking

Collections for the preview shows should easily be in excess of 5 crore and could go as high as 10 crore if the general public is aware that Chennai Express is partially releasing on Thursday. Such a wide release would also significantly reduce its chances of breaking the opening day record.

Here you go then, the final box office predictions of Chennai Express.

Preview shows – 6 crore

NOTE: All figures below, excluding the first day, include collections from preview shows.

IF VERY GOOD (positive word-of-mouth)

  • First day – 27 crore
  • Weekend (3 day) – 75 crores
  • Weekdays (Mon-Thu) – 45 crores
  • Week 1 –  120 crores
  • Final – 190 crores+ (Blockbuster)

IF AVERAGE (mixed response)

  • First Day – 25 crore
  • Weekend (3 day) – 70 crores
  • Weekdays (Mon-Thu) – 40 crores
  • Week 1 –  110 crores
  • Final – 150 crore+ (HIT / Super Hit)

IF BAD (worst case scenario)

  • First Day – 23 crore
  • Weekend (3 day) – 64 crores
  • Weekdays (Mon-Thu) – 29 crores
  • Week 1 –  93 crores
  • Final – < 110 crores (Average)

A few other points

  • Even in the worst case scenario, Chennai Express is unlikely to ‘Flop’ at the box office. Shahrukh Khan’s most-hated film in recent times, Ra One, did business in excess of 100 crores.
  • Like with every major release, the most frequently asked question is ‘Can Chennai Express break the 3 Idiots record if the word-of-mouth is good’. Well, the month of August is cramped with 3 major releases and Akshay Kumar’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara releases barely 6 days after Chennai Express. A lot would depend on how well OUATIMD is received by the audience. If the Balaji production is liked, it significantly reduces the chances of Chennai Express to score big in the long run.
  • Since CE has 2 holidays in its first weekend, it is likely to record the highest collections for the first weekend (including preview shows). Dabangg 2 currently holds the record with 65 crores in 3 days.
  • It will be interesting to see how Chennai Express fares on Saturday, as most films that are ‘accepted’ by the audience tend to sustain well. Drops in the range of 30-40% would be excellent for a working day. Last year, Ek Tha Tiger dropped by 55% after a record-breaking holiday.
  • Business in the south will be affected by Vijay’s Tamil release Thalaivaa, which also hits screens on 9th August.
  • The runtime of Chennai Express (2 hours 22 minutes) wouldn’t be a problem. Films with runtimes in excess of 2 and a half hours make it difficult for exhibitors to run 5 shows per screen.

Please feel free to ask any Chennai Express box office related questions in the comments section below. Also, do post your own predictions!



  • If its good, it has a good chance of 200 cr. 1st weekend 85 cr (including preview)

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  • First day 24-26 cr. First 6 days collection around 80 cr. Then comes ouatimd and slowly, it will be out from cinemas as ouatimd’s WOM will increase. No chance to cross 150 cr.

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  • First day will be 30cr if not more, and lifetime 150cr or more worst case

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  • hey Indicine,

    OUATIMD get postponed to 15Aug on the request of Shahrukh, Karan and big personalities, now CE is not releasing a any screen for OUATIMD opening day 15Aug.
    What a shame.
    Where are those biggies who had requested Jittendar Ji for solo release of CE ?

    And as per srk’s earlier films don’t you think that CE will collect around 125-130cr only.

    From 2010 srk’s movies:
    My name is Khan – 72cr(Valentine Day) – 115cr(Diwali)
    Don2 – 106cr(Christmas)
    JTHJ – 103cr(Diwali)

    And one more thing, now srk is 22 year and 75 films old in Bollywood.
    Shouldn’t him stop making films like ChennaiExpress and give more movies of KHNH, VeerZara type.

    And the jolly mood fun comedy also don’t suit with srk, I think Ajay(Golmal 1,2,3, Singham, BolBachchan, SonOfSardar ) and Salman(Wanted, Dabangg 1,2 Ready, Bodyguard ) suit in this comedy and fun films.

    Srk and ChennaiExpress — wrong combination

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  • good prediction, if the movie is well liked it might have chance to break 3 idiots record even if the good is not liked it’s still bound to do well at the box office.

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  • In case Chennai Express is well liked

    – First weekend 75 crore
    – First week 125 crore
    – Total 185 crore

    Got to see how much Once Upon A Time affects this film. But I somehow feel the scenario will be similar to YJHD and Yamla Pagla Deewana.

    Highly rated comment Thumb up 31 Thumb down 16
  • 2010: Dabangg (1800 screens) – 14.5 crore
    2011: Bodyguard (2250 screens) – 21 crore (45% growth)
    2012: Ek Tha Tiger (3300 screens) –32.9 crore (56% growth)
    according to this trend..
    2013: ChennaiExpress (3700 screens) – 50cr (50% growth )
    So according to trend CE should collect 50cr on it’s opening day. :)

    Highly rated comment Thumb up 32 Thumb down 12
  • @Sumit, incorrect. Bodyguard had 25% more screens than Dabangg and Ek Tha Tiger had 45% more screens than Bodyguard. That makes a difference too!

    Chennai Express has around 10% more screens, but because of the previews the first day record might stay on for longer.

  • @Indicine

    yes CE got only 10% more screens than ETT but the time gap is same all the time, one year..

    so CE atleast collect 40cr on it’s first day..??

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  • @indicine
    How come ce is only hit/superhit on 150 cr and average on 110 cr. And last year why housefull 2 superhit on 112 cr and rr blockbuster on 133 cr. ready blockbuster on 121 cr dabang 2 blockbuster on 149 cr. pls clarify

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  • If Chennai Express is liked by Audience then the picture of YJHD and YPD2 will again happen with CE and Quatimd

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  • My prediction
    Paid preview. 8 cr
    1st day 30 cr
    Weekend 80 cr
    Weekdays 50 cr
    Week one 138 cr
    Lifetime 170 cr blockbuster (if wom at bolbachchhan)
    If wom is bad then lifetime will be 130 cr superhit

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  • CE maximum business will be in the range of 130-140 cr. isse jada hua to mai indicine chhod dunga

    Popular Thumb up 11 Thumb down 17
  • @SHT, Aashiqui 2 was a blockbuster at 75 crore, that doesn’t mean all films that collect the same are blockbusters. Depends on the costs of the film and return on investment.

  • Indicine’s prediction was good. Yes this films first day collection maybe 27 crs, but even if the film is really like it will definitely not cross 150cr mark, reason is ouatimd release, it will hamper the business of CE.

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  • @Indicine read somewhere on Twitter CE needs 150 to just break even? Also my prediction is 175 crores max ( Wom is superb) otherwise 135-140 crores reason being Telugu & Tamil movies releasing & Also punjab will not be record breaking territory ( except Delhi ) also the music is not like old srk movies and lastly so many biggies one after the another and backed by biggeest of production houses which will lead to show cuts in Multiplexes which give max profit

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