Bollywood’s ‘Animal’ Global Box Office Debut Chews Up Competition


The Big Picture

  • Animal had an impressive opening weekend, earning $42 million worldwide in its first three days, making it the biggest start for Ranbir Kapoor and the third-biggest in Bollywood history.
  • The movie generated $28 million in its home country of India, contributing to its overall success at the box office.
  • Despite controversy surrounding the film’s portrayal of toxic masculinity and its current 38% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Animal has attracted a large audience.

The gonzo Indian crime epic, Animal, delivered huge numbers at the box office in its opening weekend, scoring the biggest-ever start for star Ranbir Kapoor, and the third-biggest in the history of Hindi (or Bollywood) cinema. The movie grossed $42 million worldwide across its first three days of release, which was enough to secure the top spot on the global chart, ahead of holdovers such as Napoleon and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, and this week’s new attraction, Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé.

Of that $42 million opening, over $28 million came from the film’s home country, India. Animal scored the third-biggest global debut ever for a Bollywood movie, behind Pathaan and Jawan. Both blockbusters starred Shah Rukh Khan in the lead, and ultimately went on to gross over $130 million globally earlier this year. By comparison, Pathaan scored $37 million worldwide in its first weekend, and Jawan hit $64 million in its extended debut. Animal opened in 38 global territories, and played in 850 North American theaters in its first weekend. The movie generated $6.1 million stateside, finishing seventh on the weekend chart.

Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Animal drew attention prior to its release for its bloated run-time of over 200 minutes. Vanga said that his first cut ran much longer, but he refused to trim it down any further. The filmmaker has been able to command an unusual degree of creative control thanks to his two back-to-back hits, the Telugu-language romantic thriller Arjun Reddy, and its Hindi-language remake, Kabir Singh. Widely considered to be a provocateur, Vanga has been outspoken about the criticism both his earlier films received for their depiction of toxic masculinity. He vowed after Kabir Singh‘s release to further test the limits of good taste with his next film, which turned out to be Animal.

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‘Animal’ Has Been Generating Controversy

Image via T-Series

The movie has attracted many of the same complaints as Vanga’s previous works, with the director being slammed for glorifying the protagonist’s troubling behavior. In the movie, Kapoor plays the murderous scion of a rich business empire, who goes on a blood-soaked revenge mission after his father is attacked by rivals. The movie currently sits at a “rotten” 38% score on the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Kapoor, himself a member of Bollywood’s most influential family, has had a rather uneven post-pandemic run, marked by the flop Shamshera, followed by the moderately successful superhero film Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva, and the romantic comedy Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar.

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon took the second spot on this weekend’s global chart, adding $35 million worldwide and taking its running global haul to just under $140 million. The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes added nearly $30 million, as it approaches the $250 million mark worldwide. Renaissance posted an early global total of $27 million, of which $21 million came from domestic theaters. The top five was rounded out by Disney Animation’s disappointing new film Wish, which has grossed $81 million worldwide in 10 days, after adding $26 million this weekend. You can watch a trailer for Animal here, and stay tuned to Collider for more updates.


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