MNIK opens to packed theatres

MUMBAI: Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘My Name Is Khan’ had a smooth opening on Friday across the country with Mumbai restricting the number of shows following Shiv Sena threat.

10 multiplex owners in Mumbai decided to go ahead with the screening while the single screen theatres decided against showing the movie for the time being, fearing violence.

Amid unprecedented security for the film’s release, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil drove to multiplex INOX to catch the first show of ‘MNIK’

Khan, who is in Berlin, tweeted early on Friday morning, “good m’ing mumbai. wotever the fate of the film, never wished this upon the city that made my dreams come true & gave me all. i belong to u (sic).”

In Gujarat, the first few shows were cancelled after VHP and Bajarang Dal activists staged protests and torched posters of the movie.

The film opened to full houses in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and several other cities.

“Post noon shows were all sold out in our theatres in Delhi. We are booked till Sunday,” Jayendra Banerjee, Vice President Satyam Cineplexes told PTI.

“Some 75 screens in Delhi and NCR are screening the movie. The film has also benefited from the Shivratri holiday today. On an average multiplexes are running 11 to 12 shows a day,” a distributor said.

The film’s release ran into trouble after Sena lashed out at Khan for supporting inclusion of Pakistani players in the IPL.

In suburban Andheri, some Sena activists were canecharged and arrested after they pelted stones outside Fun Republic cinema, showing the film.

“We have arrested eight Shiv Sainiks who tried to disrupt the screening of the movie,” Deputy Police Commissioner, K Prasanna said.

“Am overwhelmed and moved to tears with all the support our labour of love is getting…thank you…,” filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted.

Over 1800 Sena activists were arrested by the Mumbai police to ensure the smooth release of the film.

In a massive security bandobast rare for a film, CCTV cameras with night vision were installed inside some of the cinema halls and policemen in large numbers were deployed.

Security personnel at cinema halls have been told to frisk every ticket—holder and check their bags as they enter the cinema.

’MNIK’ is the story of Rizwan Khan (SRK), a man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, who is mistaken for a terrorist in post 9/11 America and undertakes a long journey across the U.S. to prove his innocence to the love of his life, played by Kajol.

It is the first major Bollywood movie to be picked up by an international production house Fox Searchlight for overseas distribution. Fox reportedly bought the movie rights for a whopping Rs 100 crores. (IANS)

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