Shah Rukh Khan's most ambitious sci-fi thriller hit the screens on Diwali day and while some critics gave it a thumbs-up for blending the elegance of Hollywood with Indian sensibilities, others panned the super hero drama by labelling it as just a video game. The reviews notwithstanding, it managed to collect Rs.18 crore at the home box office on the opening day.

However, as predicted by trade pundits, the film couldn't break the first day collection records of Salman Khan starrer Bodyguard , which earned Rs.22 crore in the domestic market on opening day.

In the overseas market, the Red Chillies Entertainment and Eros International co-production raked in Rs.6.5-crore.

Not just the reviewers, even the viewers have varying reactions to the film although theatre owners predict good business in the coming week.

“Although the film has got mixed reviews, the first day has been really good. We witnessed more than 80 per cent occupancy,” a source in PVR Cinemas told IANS.

“Moreover, the extensive marketing of the film has created a curiosity among people who are eager to know what the film is all about,” the source added.

Directed by Anubhav Sinha, the Rs.150-crore film, which also stars Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in prominent roles, was released on as many as 3,500 screens across the world.

Satellite rights

Even before the film reached the theatres, its makers sold its satellite rights reportedly for Rs.35 crore and distribution rights for Rs.77 crore.

The film's highlight is high-tech VFX shots, which were outsourced from multiple specialty studios in London, Paris and Bangkok, as well as in the US.

Puneet Sahay of Spice Cinemas, however, said the film is not appealing to adults. “Although Shah Rukh's acting is good, Ra.One is basically a film for children as it boasts of a lot of animation and special effects. Adults don't actually seem to be liking the film.

However, it is likely to do well in the coming days,” Mr. Sahay said. - IANS

PTI reports from London: Shah Rukh Khan's film had its London premiere at the famous O2 arena on Diwali night and, judging from the viewers' reactions, it seemed to be a hit.

Thousands of fans, after hours of waiting, went wild as Shah Rukh, his wife and the film producer Gauri Khan, Kareena and actor Arjun Rampal walked on to the red carpet.