Now this is what you call masala Hindi cinema! The Dabangg trailer is all that the snotty nosed Barista-latte sipping critics will want to snide at; but this is the kind of movie that India's masses go to the theaters for in hordes. Dabangg type cinema, when well made, is the classic mass cinema of India. Which actually has a far bigger patronage and supportbase at the groundlevel, and with the public, than the typical Karan Johar type we-are-supposedly-indians-but-all-our-scenes-are-happening-in-newyork's-centralpark cinema.
Now there are no 100% guarantees with Dabangg either given that we have Arbaaz 'can-snatch-defeat-from-jaws-of-victory' Khan as the producer here and untested director in Abhinav Kashyap. But given the setup, and the mass, punchy dialogues of Dabangg shown in the theatrical trailer, one can safely conclude last year Wanted's opening collections will be easily trumped here. Even multiplexes where Wanted didn't do well.
With dialogues like 'hum yahan ke Robinhood Pandey hain', and 'police officer ko thokna kaa anjaam pata? ekkees saal jail aur thokai alag se', you can already hear the whistling in theaters all over in Kanpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Meerut, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur etc. These are kinds of blockbuster setups a star like Amitabh Bachchan made his name off in movies like Suhaag, Don etc. in his heyday. And what an Abhishek Bachchan, has failed so miserably at with his neither-of-here-nor-there type disposition, and what only a few in Bombay's film industry over last 20 years (Govinda in 90s, Akshay Kumar) have been capable off; connecting with the Hindi public of Hindustan authentically. Talking in authentic, street language, with a damn-care attitude.
A point of note about Salman Khan and the Indian public here. Barring the rumors of the Pakistani underworld and Aishwarya Rai-Vivek Oberoi public episode years back (which look a lot different now), where the actress cast herself in some Sita-esque ideal 'Bhartiya' woman in distress type mold and Salman Khan as the villain, causing a significant enough number of people in North and elsewhere to stop patronizing Salman Khan films in theaters during the last decade, denting his box office standing relative to other Khans, Roshan, Kumar, and then even likes of Ranbir Kapoor etc; but which epiosodes in retrospect are questionable in terms of associating exclusive blame to Salman Khan. It should be recalled uptill then a Salman Khan was more popular with the mainstream Indian public more than just about everybody else. His biggest hits, for example, used to be bigger than Shahrukh Khan's biggest hits at one point (HAHK > DDLJ, Biwi No. 1 > Baadshah etc). And let's face it, you don't get the biggest hits and grossers of one's time in India without a film doing bumper in MP, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc. And even as a muslim actor, unlike a Shahrukh Khan, his Indian and Hindi credentials are not much in doubt at this point. Salman Khan may also be back in favor with the mainstream Hindi public for not listening to LTTE-sympathizing crooks earlier this year when the IIFA was to be held in Srilanka. People like Bachchans came under influence of others blindly, and ended up losing face with Indians and then got their film flopping on its face also. A double whammy. Now Salman Khan ends up looking better on that issue also and will definitely garner even more backing up ahead for not taking the easy way out.
So combine the renewed public support for Salman Khan and a dream role of classic 70s blockbuster type Hindi cinema with modern, film noir, 'kaminey-esque' treatment, and a 40-50 crore opening is what you are starting off from for a Dabangg to start with at minimum.
Doing a worst case-best case scenario for Salman Khan vis-a-vis the box office then. Even in the worst case scenario, Dabangg can't do as bad as a 'Mr. and Mrs. Khanna', London Dreams and some other duds involving the star over last several years.
But the likely odds are, with even a halfway decent script, Dabangg would be an outright blockbuster of India this year. And Salman Khan would have his biggest grosser and genuine hit since his heydays of the 1990s in India.