My Name is Khan sets UK box office record

My Name is Khan has become Bollywood’s most successful box office opener in the UK.

The movie was released in a storm of controversy after a row between its star – Shah Rukh Khan – and Shiv Sena, a hardline Hindu party in India.

But it has already grossed more than £936,000 since hitting screens and entered the UK Box Office charts at number six.

The film also took $2.3m (£1.2m) in the US over the four-day holiday weekend.

Khan had angered Shiv Sena by saying Pakistani players should be included in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket competition, which starts next month.

Shiv Sena, an organisation which regards itself as a defender of what it sees as traditional Hindu moral values, tried to disrupt the film’s release and consequently it opened amid tight security in Mumbai.

Khan’s wife, Gauri, who co-produced the movie, said: “People have liked the movie which we’re really happy to see and it’s not because of the controversy.”

My Name is Khan is a rare Indian film to get the backing of Hollywood distributors, 20th Century Fox.

In the film, Khan plays a Muslim with Asperger’s syndrome whose life changes after the 11 September attacks in the US.

He stars opposite Kajol, who plays a single Hindu mother who falls in love with Khan.

The film was the fourth highest new entry in the UK behind Valentine’s Day, The Wolfman and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Valentine’s Day went straight in at number one as it grossed £3.7m and, although it averaged £8,640 across 432 sites, My Name is Khan averaged £10,291 across 91 sites.

The previous record for a Bollywood film in its opening period in the UK was held by Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna which grossed nearly £750,000, and also starred Shah Rukh.

UK TOP 10
1. Valentine’s Day
2. Avatar
3. The Wolfman
4. The Princess And The Frog
5. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
6. My Name Is Khan
7. Invictus
8. A Single Man
9. Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
10. Astro Boy
Source: Screen International

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