Ranbir Kapoor, Sanju trailer
Ranbir Kapoor in and as Sanjay Dutt in SanjuYouTube screenshot

Ranbir Kapoor's Sanju received a fantastic opening and superb collection at the Indian box office on the (Friday) first-day and smashed the opening day collection record of Salman Khan's Race 3.

Sanju, which has been released in the theatres today, has been the most-talked-about Bollywood movie of 2018. Three reasons make Sanju capture fans' curiosity. First, It is the biopic of actor Sanjay Dutt. Secondly, Rajkumar Hirani, who is the celebrated and most successful filmmaker, has written and directed it. Thirdly, popular young hero Ranbir Kapoor has played the title role in the movie.

The distributors have made grand arrangements for the release of Sanju to cash in on the curiosity and hype surrounding the film. Taran Adarsh tweeted, "#Sanju screen count...India: 4000 [second highest screen count of 2018, after #Race3] Overseas: 1300+ [releasing in more than 65 countries] Worldwide total: 5300+ screens Note: Widest release of Ranbir Kapoor and director Rajkumar Hirani."

Read: Sanju movie review | Audience Review | Celebs Response | Box Office Prediction

The hype helped Sanju register a fair amount of advance booking for its opening day as well as the weekend. Sumit Kadel, an observer of Bollywood, tweeted, "#Sanju advance booking on destruction mode . Film is registering absolutely FANTASTIC advance booking at multiplexes across India, Single screen advance also picked up due to amazing hype around the film. Truly a BlOCKBUSTER advance booking."

Unlike other Hindi films, the first screening of Sanju began early in the morning between 7.00 AM and 8.00 AM in several centres across the country. The Ranbir Kapoor starrer received bumper opening with its average occupancy ranging between 50 and 60 percent in the early morning shows. The film also ran to packed houses in some cinema halls.

The Rajkumar Hirani-directed film received a positive response from the audience in the early morning shows. Their reactions boosted its collection in regular morning shows held between 9.00 AM and 10.00 AM. Sanju witnessed an average of 60-70 percent occupancy in these shows, while some theatres were houseful.

The good word-of-mouth took ts business upwards further in the afternoon and evening shows with its average occupancy reaching 90 percent. Sanju ran houseful in most of the cinema halls.

Sanju has collected Rs 34.75 crore net at the Indian box office on the first day. The film has beaten the records of PK (Rs 26.63 crore) and Besharam (Rs 21.56 crore) to become the biggest opener for Rajkumar Hirani and Ranbir Kapoor, respectively. The movie has also shattered the record of Race 3, which was the biggest Bollywood opener of 2018 with its collection of Rs 28.50 crore.