Karan Johar's film "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil", despite of getting embroiled in a controversy after MNS' threat to stall its screenings for featuring a Pakistani actor, hit the screens today as per schedule without any hiccups, barring a protest outside a theatre in Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district.
Although the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association Of India (COEAI) had earlier decided not to release the film in single screens, "ADHM" was played in the single-screen theatres as well, besides the multiplexes.
The movie had generated a lot of heat in run-up to its release after the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had threatened to block its release for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. The MNS threat had come in the wake of the Uri attack.
However, decks had been cleared for the film after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis mediated a dialogue between the filmmakers and Raj Thackeray last week.
Before the truce was clinched, the producers had to give some assurances such as that they would not work with Pakistani artistes and technicians in their future projects, given the people's sentiments in the wake of terror strikes.
Johar, accompanied by Producers' Guild President Mukesh Bhatt had met Fadnavis alongwith MNS chief Raj Thackeray seeking to cool tempers and sort out the matter.
The romantic drama, which stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, on Friday October 28 got a smooth opening at all theatres in and around the metropolis.
The film is being played in both single screen theatres and multiplexes, screening as many as 17 shows a day.
Police were deployed outside Metro Cinema in south Mumbai, which had last week witnessed protests by MNS workers over the screening of the film.
A hardline Maratha organisation, Sambhaji Brigade, however staged a protest outisde a multiplex in Kalyan for screening the film. But no untoward incident was reported.
According to trade pundits, the film is set to get anopening of approximately Rs 12-13 crore, higher than the other Diwali release, Ajay Devgn-starrer "Shivaay".