“Messenger of God” (MSG 2), featuring Dera Sacha Sauda Sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, today hit screens across Punjab.
The film, a sequel to MSG, was released pan India last Friday, barring Punjab as exhibitors apprehended law and order problem from the Sikh outfits.
The MSG was banned by the Punjab government unlike MSG 2, but exhibitors refrained from screening the film in theatres and multiplexes in the state.
“Several screens, cities and towns saw ‘houseful signboards’ on hundreds of screens and shows over the week even as the movie has opened in Punjab to a strong reception,” Dera spokesman Aditya Insaan said.
The Punjab release is also expected to give a significant fillip to revenues, he added.
Huge crowd was found in theatres and multiplexes in Punjab even as the sect head as run into controversy again after he was exonerated by the Akal Takht, top temporal seat of Sikhs at Amritsar yesterday. The dera claim that it has five crore followers.
Seeking to put behind a bitter row between them, the Akal Takht yesterday said it has pardoned Singh, who is accused of hurting the sentiments of Sikhs, following a letter of apology from him.
Several Sikh organisations like All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF), Bhai Mohkam Singh’s United Akali Dal and Dal Khalsa also registered their protest against the decision.
Meanwhile, Ajay Dhamija, spokesperson for Hakikat Entertainment Pvt Ltd producer of MSG, said that the company is very pleased with the opening week.
“This is just the beginning. With our impending Tamil, Telugu, English and overseas release, these figures are bound to grow,” he said. MSG 2 was released by Hakikat entertainment on September 18 in around 2000 screens.
“The film collected Rs 42.51 crores on the opening weekend and rolled through the week with record breaking house-full shows. And over the week, it raked in a total of 102.88 crores,” Dhamija claimed.