The ‘Truth’ about Shahrukh’s box office..

Raj5 instigated this, then there were some kind comments on it, finally Munna urged me (and I don’t require very much in these matters) to put up a new post on this. hence if anyone’s upset with me direct your anger to the above-mentioned folks! I’m just putting up the comment as is. There might be typos or whatever but I can’t bear going through my long comments again!

My points (often distorted by those who didn’t like what I said in this regard) were a few..

1)SRK was easily the most iconic star of ‘New India’ which is to say a post-economic reforms dispensation nation. He represented the ethos of the new upwardly mobile classes. He starred in the most iconic films of the age. Obviously he was a very important box office force, even the ‘biggest’ inasmuch as he did the biggest films and the rest followed.

2)However if you leave aside the big Yashraj/Johar films suddenly his record looks distinctively ordinary. The successes are very few (at any level) once you take away those banners (referring to a post-DDLJ career here in the 90s when he had a relatively high volume). If you then compare Aamir’s career and also account for the fact that he was pretty much staying away from the dominant genres of the period his success rate is much more impressive, again counting from ’94 and beyond. His ratio is easily the best even then. He has a megabit like RH but of course the media doesn’t really care about it at that point. And he has lesser hits that are also not iconic for the most part. Salman comes back at some point towards the later 90s and does well for a while before pretty much disappearing over the next decade (Wanted and in the truest sense Dabanng, there is stuff like MSK and Partner in between but nothing that changes the narrative for him).

3)In the new millennium Hrithik suddenly emerges, Aamir completely changes everything with Lagaan. After this point Aamir really starts setting himself apart with every film collecting for himself an astonishing amount of critical and commercial success (which of course climaxes in Ghajini and 3I). Hrithik stagnates after a while but he keeps having these high points once every few years (’06 with D2 and Krrish is his career best, so far). The point here is that SRK in this entire past decade and since can never match the biggest grosses of a Filmkraft Hrithik venture on his own nor can he do anything to rival Aamir in the prestige sweepstakes. Eventually Aamir has the biggest hits of all and Salman wakes up from the dead and performs an enormous U-turn in his career beyond which every film gets a big initial. You put it all together and SRK is constantly on the defensive in this period, constantly having to prove that he is either the biggest or belongs with the biggest. The problem is that he is unable to set the pace anymore. for a few years into the decade he still remains the most iconic (arguably) but I’d say after 2004 nothing is ever the same for him again. It’s been a decade since. He had nothing in ’05 except for Paheli, KANK fizzled out in ’06, and Abhishek got more attention, Don was ok though nothing spectacular, in ’07 he was back with a bang with OSO/CDI but somehow couldn’t capitalize on it later. RNBDJ didn’t open huge (though trended well) and was completely eclipsed by Ghajini. Then MNIk was another damp squib. Ra One was a big crash. JTHJ much like MNIK. Don2 sluggish as well. But then suddenly 7 years after OSO he had a huge moment in CE. He tried to make it a one two punch with HNY and everything was certainly in place but looks like that’s not happening. But even if you start counting before 2004, even when SRK has other hits the point is he doesn’t have the biggest absolute ones. And all of this isn’t a problem unless you keep selling the idea that you’re the biggest or that you’re a superstar. Though this word is much abused, much cheapened in contemporary and though it has more or less lost all meaning one could argue that Salman with one big initial after another (even if most of the films trend poorly) and in a compressed period of time at least makes that sort of claim more understandable. SRK never did the Aamir thing where the lesser grosses could be made up by prestigious films that were extremely iconic (RDB or DCH or whatever) but nor did he have the consistency that Salman did. Nor did he on his best day outgross everyone else.

4) This doesn’t mean that SRK isn’t still a huge star. He clearly is. the opening day of HNY proves this. But the problem is a) it takes him much more to get that initial than it takes Salman. He can’t just walk into any film and get it done. It has to be a big circus in some form or fashion. And/or it has to be crazily hyped. b) the ‘biggest’ stars also need to have the real prestige films. SRK doesn’t have them. Salman doesn’t either but it matters less to his narrative.

5) If you then think ahead of what the historical claim of many of these stars might be Aamir is the only one in that generation in a good position. because he has many works that will probably be revisited over time. It’s always hard to make these predictions because not everything worthwhile is necessarily reinvented but the worthless is on the other hand ‘never’ reinvented! SRK might have classics for the future with a few films but over time just success in a given age doesn’t count. It’s the films and if you’re calling card is just the Yashraj stuff (and maybe a Dil Se or Swades here and there) things get tricky.

The last point here is the least relevant to your question. But I was just trying to be as thorough as possible. It would be foolish to underestimate SRK’s stardom and I never have. But it’s a question of relative weakness when you’re a certain kind of star. It’s not just about him. Why do we talk so much about Abhishek? Whatever he has or has not achieved it wouldn’t matter if one just had Saif-like expectations for him! So depending on the star’s narrative it’s about what the opposition is doing. Once SRK was Bachchanesque in the overseas markets, in India he was ordinary on comparison (even at his peak) but again he had the iconic stuff and this coupled with extraordinarily generous media coverage he got papered over the gap. For a long time now the overseas thing has vanished too. We see with HNY how even with the SLAM concerts explicitly designed to promote the film he couldn’t catch D3. Nonetheless still a very major star. The question is: what does it take (in every sense) to get him to a big one? I think it is this reinvention question SRK hasn’t successfully answered for very many years. The Yashraj paradigm is done but he’s been struggling to find the alternative. In fairness there isn’t an easy answer for him. On the other hand I think, specially given his strengths, he’s made a series of extremely poor choices. There’s no way that post KANK he shouldn’t have had a way better track record than he does given his audience base and all his history. For instance he could have done much better scripts with Yashraj and Johar. He could have insisted on this. He needn’t have become so obsessed with the Don stuff. He could have done better with the Ra One idea. So on and so forth. And even this late in the day couldn’t he have detected some sort of problem with HNY? And it’s not as if he did some very risky films like D6 or Raavan or whatever and failed. He failed or underperformed in very commercial stuff. Secondly why didn’t he follow the CDI lead and do other smaller films? Even today though Raees and Fan might work isn’t there something better he could be doing? Fan looks to have a double for him. The star and the guy obsessed with the star. I suspect SRK isn’t the star to be able to pull this off convincingly beyond some sort of initial. Unless there’s a good script here. Then you have Farhan Akhtar as cop chasing him as gangster. Anything can work of course but these don’t sound like the most promising films (barring surprises). SRK just doesn’t have that sort of script sense. Even in the 90s the Duplicate, Baadshah kind of deal never really worked for him beyond an initial. He could have been definitive still in some ways, something in between Salman and Aamir (incidentally I also think he could have done much better with his Yashraj history.. those romances could have been updated). As things stand he can still come up with the initial but the opportunity cost of doing so greatly increases. You have HNY more or less ending up in YJHD range (unless it remains very stable at this point and does something more).

People talk about Abhishek a lot but SRK’s own career this past decade has been one of missed opportunities. Much as a in a different way Hrithik’s entire career is one of stagnation. yes he’s one of the biggest openers, he was this after KNPH, hasn’t really done anything other than to prove this from time to time. Don’t think this was his only aim. He clearly was waiting to take over at some point but this isn’t a job where you ‘graduate’ to something better. His Bang Bang failed much like Kites. ZNMD didn’t really do enough for his ‘alternative’ career, Agneepath hasn’t led to anything along those lines (he should have done the Johar follow up rather than Bang Bang), Krrish underperformed rather badly, and now there are a number of stars outgrossing him on a good day or quite often.

Anyway this has gone on too long! I should stop.


81 Responses to “The ‘Truth’ about Shahrukh’s box office..”

  1. agree, very nicely summarized….
    Re.-“Salman comes back at some point towards the later 90s and does well for a while before pretty much disappearing over the next decade (Wanted and in the truest sense Dabanng, there is stuff like MSK and Partner in between but nothing that changes the narrative for him). ”
    IMO he did not plan or care about the narrative, he just did his work


  2. Great choice of the Picture for the post as well……….the wannabe Bazigar !! LOL!!


    • I think that pic is from Baadshah- his entry scene


    • abhi fans jalan kay marey marr rahe hai, par SRK bhi Darr nahi rahe.
      The way y’all are celebrating SRK’s “failure” where as your raja beta has given nothing but duds for past 15 years.
      SRK: Not badly done by a poor orphan from Delh with nothing but dreams. All the foreign educated scions of yester year legends, Hindi film industry is not your janam sidd adhikar. It has changed in Politics. Now it is time to clean up film industry from all this nepotism.


      • Di :

        Jalebi ki tarah seedhi hoo Aap 🙂


      • Nepotism is there is all fields; Politics, private industry, Movies. Some are okay but some get easy path to top.

        How many poor orphans go to St Columba? I was watching sometime back Susmita Sen where she was suggesting she was poor and had difficult time competing likes of Aish in Miss India. She is a daughter of Wing Commander; AN officer post in IAF. Pre liberalization it was quite a good earning post. If she was poor then I was living in abject poverty.


        • Did you read Satya Saran (the then editor) of FF on sush and aish? Everyone fussed over Aish who was already established model with connections. Even the FF people didn’t look at sush twice or think anything of her. She won it on pure merit and confidence. Poverty is relative term. She may not have the resources that are needed to win the contest then! You need sponsors and money for gowns and stuff to compete!!
          existence of nepotism is not justification for its continuation. I don’t like srk (as actor or his person) however I applaud his success that he has gained thru’ sheer hardwork! You may not like Modi but everyone would cheer a maid-servant’s son/chai-wala’s success!


          • Agree on broad levels. On Sush : Agree on merit and confidence part but not on “need sponsors and money for gowns and stuff to compete!!”. I gave hints/assertion in my last comment.

            Personally I don’t care about X and Y say about ABC. There are too many resources on internet to form an opinion.


  3. This is the third time in a row where SRK’s Diwali release has underperformed, I think the holiday is unlucky for him now…

    But I think SRK’s upcoming movies are very interesting though and he mixes it up well. FAN sounds interesting- SRK plays “the biggest fan” yet they’re filming some action scenes for the movie in Croatia. It sounds like the Suri character of RNBDJ (the common man, a character almost everyone can relate to) Although none of Maneesh Sharma show any sign of greatness tbh Recently he was in LA at some 3D studio working on his look for the movie:

    While Shah Rukh Khan was in USA to promote his latest film, he took two days out of his busy schedule to fly down to Los Angeles for his digital 3D face scanning for YRF’s upcoming film FAN.

    Shah Rukh Khan who had his release last Friday, Happy New Year, is all set to get working on his next year release, Fan. The film which is being produced by YRF has completed its first schedule at the studios.

    Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss Season 8 house : Click Here For Breaking Updates, Photos

    The film has created a lot of curiosity and excitement. Before getting into the 2nd schedule the actor had to get a face scanning done for the special effects. SRK will be seen in a very different avatar.

    While the actor was in a hectic schedule and busy promoting his recent release​, he​ gave 2 days to the Fan team to get this special face scanning done:

    A lot of international technology is being used for Fan and the makers are keeping a low key on the project.

    Kay Arutyunyan, Producer at CounterPunch Studios in LA says, “Shah rukh Khan was extremely inspiring. Our team had the pleasure to get to meet and work with Mr. Khan when he travelled to Los Angeles for a high fidelity 3D scanning session for his upcoming film. We have worked with many actors in scanning, including several Bollywood mega stars and are constantly surprised by the work ethic and down to earth personalities of such high profile artists.

    Mr. Khan’s professional mannerism, personal approach to all crew members, and skilled facial acting talents were incredible. He was extremely personable and easy to direct through the process. He has a curiosity for technology and groundbreaking processes, and was very hands on during the shoot. It is clear that he takes his craft very seriously and works rigorously to perfect it for each and every film. Our team feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet such a legend in the Bollywood community. We are excited to be working on the face scanning for Mr. Khan. His skill and mannerism is enchanting.”

    Then there’s Raees which sounds like a grittier, realer version of Don. Don’t know much about the director by Farhan Akhtar’s production house has almost never gone wrong with choosing good movies to produce barring “Game”. SRK keeps saying its a space that he hasn’t tried before and that it’s different.

    Then there’s Rohit Shetty’s movie which should be huge and at least the opening can be record breaking again.

    There’s also another movie which he has signed but isn’t talking about yet. I think it’s either Aditya Chopra’s next, the Hockey biography movie, or something completely different that he hasn’t done before.


  4. Bliss:

    Except few points here and there, terrific comment, Satyam 🙂


    Yes a wonderful comment Satyam…After seeing last few movies of SRK I wonder if he even tries to act in his movies. Its become more of a ‘smile a bit, smirk a bit, show the dimples’ kind of routine. Its a pity because even in masala capers you can display good acting. And whats even more pitiful to me is SRK when he tries, can be a very good actor. A movie like Swades, Chak De and even parts of commercial movies like Jab Tak Hai Jaan etc are all wonderful example where when he puts his mind into acting he can come up with wonderful performances. More than anything, more than his choices of movies, I feel his complete dont care attitude towards ‘acting’ is a missed opportunity for me.


    great great comment by Satyam!


    I was going to suggest raj5 not to request something on SRK from Satyam 🙂

    A fine comment.


    thanks much Bliss and Krrish and Raj5 and Munna..

    yes SRK unfortunately gave up a bit too early on trying to be the actor. He tried some stuff in the 90s, intermittently since. Nothing quite worked and he decided there was nothing more to be had there. But the CDI example is more telling. here he did get a lot of it. However by this point I think his narrative had overtaken him. He’d made it so much about getting the biggest grosses and so on over the years (this was the sort of message that was delivered to Aamir for the longest time when he had commercial and prestige films but not the absolute biggest grossers.. of course I didn’t need to wait for Ghajini to see the opposite.. because even with MP it was obvious that Aamir could come up with very big numbers.. that film didn’t last but it had a slightly bigger initial than VZ, this despite slipping over the week..) that suddenly he couldn’t turn to CDI and state the opposite. Even that very year the OSO deal is what really made him smile. Now in a way most stars follow the box office trail. The best have done this. there’s nothing odd about it. But SRK made too much of brand-name of pushing the ‘I am the king’ narrative. And actually even this narrative really peaked not when SRK was at his absolute peak but a bit later when he was getting challenged by others. In any case if you sell the ‘baadshah’ narrative for years it’s hard to suddenly become the CDI cheerleader! At any rate my larger point here is that despite all this he might have made much better career choices and specially in an age when unlike the 90s a lot of different stuff was working and a lot of Bollywood’s brightest talents were doing this sort of stuff.


  5. If you look at graphs of three Khans:
    SRK – has consistent graph.
    Salman – Has bunch of crest and trough.
    Aamir – Has a rising graph.


  6. Too much to read at once. Just replying to point 4 for now.

    4) This doesn’t mean that SRK isn’t still a huge star. He clearly is. the opening day of HNY proves this. But the problem is a) it takes him much more to get that initial than it takes Salman. He can’t just walk into any film and get it done. It has to be a big circus in some form or fashion. And/or it has to be crazily hyped. b) the ‘biggest’ stars also need to have the real prestige films. SRK doesn’t have them. Salman doesn’t either but it matters less to his narrative.

    Few points on Salman’s star power.

    2010 – Dabangg (Eid, Great opening)
    2011 – Ready (next release after Dabang. non-festive, average opening)
    2011 – Bodyguard (Eid, Great opening)
    2012 – Ek Tha Tiger (Eid, Great opening)
    2012 – Dabangg 2 (Christmas – Good opening, not great)
    2014 – Jai Ho (non festive, poor opening)
    2014 – Kick (Eid, Great opening)

    – Why Eid and Great opening are together always? Jai Ho’s original film is much bigger hit and better film Kick? Why didn’t Jai Ho even open well, never mind the trending. Also, there is nothing to add Salman’s filmography from 2000 to 2010(thats a whole decade) and no major hits.


    • This is correct. Satyam, pls respond.


    • Have responded to some of this before. Part of the older comment:

      [My own sense of Jai Ho is that it was probably too ‘serious’ for the Salman audience. I’ve always made this point. He’s not been loved in masala (in the sense of a drama like Ghajini or Holiday or Singham) but in masala-comedy. Pretty every film of his belongs to this genre and even the ones that technically don’t (say ETT) are not really hard-hitting stuff. Jai Ho was that sort of film. Haven’t seen it but have seen the original. And so there’s a curious correlation here between this kind of subject and the box office. Meanwhile with Kick things were back to normal and the audience showed up.]

      Beyond this I find the holiday hype a bit overrated. It makes a difference of course but it is not one between a hit and a flop. Jai Ho wouldn’t have been a hit no matter when it released though it’s numbers might have been a bit higher. Similarly SRK has always found Diwali profitable. But OSO is one thing, JTHJ another.

      On HNY the US number is in some ways the most damning one. An entire concert tour was done here to promote the film and the numbers still couldn’t match D3’s.


  7. BTW my “controversial” theory about HNY not doing too well – Overseas- the song India Wale made the Paki and Bangladeshi fans not very enthusiastic about the movie !!


  8. Like

    • LOL, that’s a good one! There were a number of trailers at my end. The I trailer made it worth the price of the ticket. There was PK of course. I also saw Kill/Dill for the first time. I don’t see most of the trailers on the blog in case you’re wondering! Liked the trailer a lot. Once again Shaad Ali reminds us why he’s really better than so many others but he’s colossally wasted his talent. This is his first film since the JBJ release in 2007! Of course there’s a flip side to this as well. People like Shaad Ali for all their various skills sometimes just have one idea. And they keep doing variations of this in different films. This is fine if it’s a great idea or a very ambitious canvas or something. But this isn’t like Dutta going back to Rajasthan for a number of films in the 80s. You really need to take your thought process further. Still, even if that is the limit of one’s ambition one should at least make more films!


      • Really looking forward to Govinda’s r role in Kill/ Dill, The I traler was interesting, they also showed Super Nani trailer which reminded me of Ghar Dwar kind of movies,
        PS- I had not realized that Kill- Dill is a movie by Shaad Ali The trailer looked so much better on the big screen.


      • I know its a small movie and all but you should check out “rang rasiya” and maybe put it in your blog (thoda respect mil jayega). doesn’t have khans or your other fav “actor” but this one is true labor of love. Randeep is superb even in the sneak peak.


        • Rang Rasiya may be too artistic but I found Randeep excellent in Kick and he stood out with his voice and dialogue delivery. Wish he gets a better movies though he has a part in Ungli too but that one is definitely going down due to Emraan since he is neither here or there and has confused his core audiences.


        • Looking forward to Rang Rasiya. I think the music will be good.


      • Even I enjoyed the zany trailer of Kill Dill on big screen and hope YRF once again doesn’t come out with a half baked product after the setting the premise. On the other hand PK trailer was a bit underwhelming and don’t wish to be judicious but a bit skeptical on Aamir playing this character convincingly, though in current form, he seems to be the best bet in bollywood apart from….. may be a Ranbir if we limit it to star-actors. As the past has shown, it gets dubious when we hear actors say – ‘this is the toughest role of my career……etc ’

        I am normally not convinced in such scenarios as very few in bollywood nail the ‘quirky’ correctly. Kamal Hassan of old days could do it and recently Ranbir was successful with Barfi. It was clarified in the press conference that Aamir speaks Bhojpuri throughout the movie. It also depends on the amount of screen time given to this character by Hirani and if audience does not warm up to him, may easily get on the nerves which will eventually decide the fate of the movie. There is a very thin line from being earnest to going hammy.

        Aamir fans don’t jump on me but Aamir except Rangeela and to an extent RDB/DCH has never been exceptional on screen though he has always remained ‘in’ character which works well as a whole for the movie. On Hirani, though it wasn’t his own directorial the movie Ferrari Ki Sawaari was too simplistic and dumbed down. Disappointing when you know it came from the same team / production house.


        • Last comment here since a bit off topic for this thread. On Hirani – LRMB was being telecast on Setmax last Sunday and imo, it was much superior work by Hirani than 3I which was marvelous too but seemed bit manufactured. LRMB- the first half of the movie is so innovative plus after a long time I liked a drunkard song – Samjho ho hee gaya …..and at the same time telling a story.

          I remember running upstairs to the tv room when called by siblings if big b song used to come on Chitrahaar (big b song were a rarity on Doordarshan due to political reasons) and used to be mesmerized by Chal Mere Bhai from Naseeb and since then the next drunkard song which could get me hypnotized was Munna singing with Circuit – Samjo ho hee gaya……!!!!


    • If this cartoon was on political persons, it would have created a lot of furore and bans. I thought cartoons were dead and cartoonists were looking for other professions.


    • PK trailer is utter crap. Looks like Aamir himself drew this. 😀


  9. Big B has so much class !! satyam can you please the earlier link!

    Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha have had a long standing rivalry and cold war for more than three decades and the equation hit a new low when Sinha returned the box of sweets sent by Bachchan on the occasion of Abhishek’s marriage to Aishwarya Rai in 2007 saying “Jab bulaaya nahin phir mithai kis baat ki?”. AB had then retorted that those who were not invited were not friends to begin with.

    The equation began to thaw when AB visited Sinha in the hospital where the latter had undergone a bypass surgery in 2012. Shotgun then reciprocated by inviting Big B to a party he hosted for his doctors after his successful recovery. Following which Big B invited Shatru to his birthday bash in 2013 and now to his Diwali Bash in his residence this year. Sinha graciously accepted the invitation and attended the Diwali party with his entire family at Jalsa (Bachchan Residence) which he admits was a big step. A candid Shatru says, “I would say it was a Ram-Bharat milap. The Bachchan family invited us and we were treated as if we were the chief guests. All four of them, even Amitabh’s daughter Shweta, welcomed us warmly and took good care of us. It was a classy party and the arrangements were lovely.”

    Take a cue SRK and Salman, it’s your turn next!


  10. Interesting open letter to SRK-on similar lines of raj5 and others..

    Why underestimate the power of a common fan??!!


    • Agree with a lot of this. My condition for SRK movies and the BO is that as a fan either I have to like the movie or it better be the biggest blockbuster ever. He can do the JTHJ/Dons/HNY my problem is that they weren’t ATBB’s or good films that I liked. This is why HNY is right now inexcusable. I was fine with it when it had a 45 crore opening day because I thought it would cross 300 and SRK would have his big BO movie. But when it dropped AND I didn’t like it I was not happy

      You know that there is a problem when the core fan base is complaining. But I don’t think it’s the type of film he’s doing that’s the problem, its the story/people he’s working with. If JTHJ had a half decent script with a couple of Veer Zaara/DTPH type songs, then I doubt very few fans would complain that SRK’s doing the same type of lover boy role again. Don 2 was just flat out slow. The problem wasn’t that SRK was doing his usual cocky/swagger type of acting, it was that the movie was just boring overall. The core fan base kind of complained during CE, and this blame goes completely to SRK’s acting-his comic timing was horrible here. Rohit Shetty was a genius in taking SRK’s romantic image and putting it into a masala movie. And now HNY. The 45 crores is a testament to the fact that SRK is still the biggest opener (tied with Salman/Aamir). Him and Salman are lucky that even though they have been continuously dishing out trash cinema for the past decade, they’re fan base is still with them. I’m one of those people, I’ll still be watching FAN/Raees and HNY2(Godforbid this ever happens) FDFS.


      • Farhan Akhtar has a flaw in his story telling, it being that he cant narrate the movie fast or make edge of the sit thrillers.

        His movies lack fun 😦 compare to other thriller makers. Like look at the DON Sequel Robbery sequence, which is quite boring and disappointing imo. Even the song building it up was poor.


  11. KKR, I think has been propped up to pull SRK down.
    I can see him becoming a great favourite on this blog!!
    Iske toh achhe din aa gaye! LOL


  12. Looks like everyone is busy in fighting here.
    Is anyone interested in Wednesday collections ?

    Girish Johar @girishjohar · 4h 4 hours ago
    Wednesday Kanpur #HappyNewYear 5.74lacs aprox
    0 replies 6 retweets 3 favorites
    Reply Retweet6 Favorite3
    Girish Johar @girishjohar · 4h 4 hours ago
    Wednesday Varanasi #HappyNewYear 3.36lacs aprox

    Girish Johar @girishjohar · Oct 28
    Tuesday Varanasi #HappyNewYear 5.37lacs aprox !
    0 replies 1 retweet 2 favorites
    Reply Retweet1 Favorite2
    Girish Johar @girishjohar · Oct 28
    Tuesday Kanpur #HappyNewYear 7.85lacs aprox !


    • This shows 27% fall in Kanpur and 38% fall in varanasi from Tuesday to wednesday.


    • If this fall universal, i mean here it is 30%. BOI is already expecting big fall in Gujarat on wednesday. Then, Wednesday would be in 7-8 cr range.


      • LOL you’ve been consistently been posting these Girish Johar tweets about regional areas and they’ve been consistently wrong. Everyone accepts that the film has underperformed, no point in beating it to the bush.


        • How were they wrong? these are actually numbers and estimations based on it. I had posted saturday, sunday and monday estimation which was bang on. Only wrong estimation was that of tuesday where i calculated around 9.5 and actual came at 11 cr.


        • And here it proves my point. Girish johar is @ 8cr wednesday. BOI will be lower in range of 7-8 cr.
          Girish Johar @girishjohar · 25m 25 minutes ago
          Wednesday #HappyNewYear collects 8crs aprox – Hindi.


          • Johar doesnt quote producer numbers


          • ofcourse he doesnt. But his numbers have been higher than BOI consistently for last few months.
            HYN weekend as per him was higher than BOI , also monday , tuesday numbers were little higher than BOI.


  13. Why this thread to bash SRK? Well here my 2 cents on SRK…

    Think of SRK as someone who was disruptive of the traditional Indian hero back in 1995, post liberalization India, he brought the uber class, tomy hilfiger and Dkny wearing hero that would romance heroine and be cool travelling the world. The NRI (which were growing) bought it and so did the upwardly middle class, it worked fine. There were bouts of frenzy by others like Sunny D, Aamir K, Salman and they had great mass following.

    2006 Multiplex revolution kickedin.
    Economic Surplus Kicked in.

    The normal middle class who touted mass entertainers went to multiplex and started supporting comedy films..

    Akshay Kumar rose (2006 Phir Hera Pheri)
    Aamir Khan took different approach got generational hits in RDB
    SAK took the uber cool romantic hero title
    Abhishek stepped in
    Salman continues to be on and off untill Dabbang.

    The thing is, the mannerisms, the style that SRK favorited for people had too many variants in other heroes and they were doing well. People wanted more films and they didnt had to wait for Diwali for SRK, they had EID, Christmas and summer releases as content hungry exhibitors went on producing.

    He actually realized this and when Aamir and Salman took lead over him thanks to commercial movies like Ghajini, Dabbang etc. He did CE and regained the lost form back. HNY took him back to the Farah Khan mode which was so 2007 (ala OSO)…overseas or domestic both felt…thats it we are booting them post Diwali.

    What has really affected him is the fact that post multiplex…both Aamir and Salman have 3I and Dabbang to be flagship films for them….the movies that gives you a cushion to do Dhoom3 (stupid) or in Salman’s case every EID BG, Kick etc. SRK has no such film to show for in recent memory barring CDI which is 7 years ago.

    But all said and done, he puts on a show and gets the biggest opening day so top notch still.


  14. My cent on Abhishek B

    Waste of talent post 2007 Guru…the fact that he did Raavan was utter stupidity…Delhi 6 opened reasonably but eventually lost sheen. I wonder why he never bothered to ask Ramesh sippy for a Bluffmaster Sequel..that movie could have been his upticket to NRI and Domestic multiplexes was 2005..that movie was atleast 5 years ahead of its wise, concept wise etc etc.

    Lot of missed opportunities and now you pay the price being second fiddle on everything.

    Quick jumpstart tip.

    Do BluffMaster Sequel.
    Do Dostana Sequel.

    Get the mojo back and than experiment. Nandu Bhide does nothing to your actual career.


  15. Question is there has to be a reason why people are going to these movies and lapping it up and then come back and realize they were made fools.

    I suspect the masala genre starting at some point after 2007 became comic-masala with emotional quotient taking nose-dive.
    I had long time back posted why Hindi films may become not so important factor in lives of Indians going forward as there are multiple avenues open for entertainment available to them now including sports, media, internet..

    And so called superstars have realized this and have made themselves available on all of these other channels of entertainment; sometimes by buying the franchise or
    doing advertisements or TV serials or TV appearances or having blogs, twitters and YouTube channels -..

    Result is indeed that exposure has increased which gives perception that their Fan base has increased—and biggest factor now for these superstars is that now their acting is not limited to 3 hour Movie roles-! They act in all spheres of entertainment channels as available to public .

    More thinking around this make one wonder if so called superstars are actually more intelligent and know pulse of Indian hoi-polloi (common man) more than critics and
    arm chair reviewers or internet reviewers now…

    For common man in india (or be it North America or Europe of present day)-are indeed undergoing more stress, strains and tensions around economy, terrorism, recession, schools, kids education, so and so forth and they do flock to the movie theaters to get themselves entertained and have laugh and feel good for few hours but without looking for more emotional drama anymore..(No different than yesteryear but now add the cost of tickets and hectic schedules and social obligations etc which increases Year over year for common man)-

    As Yakuza rightly mentioned-its the atmosphere within the theater that laps up the entertainment quotient and for those 3 hours-common man may get entertained putting logic and brains aside from everyday stress and strains of life..

    Once he comes out of movie –he gets absorbed in his own life and then realizes ok movie was not that good ..But was timepass may be.

    There has to be a similar catharsis understood to figure out why movies like Housefull and others get to a stage that prompts directors to continue as a franchise -because
    hoi-polloi gets sucked into it may be deliberately as well!!

    Of Course media projections, trailers, shows, tv appearances all play to hype up the product as is the case with any marketing tactics for any product now in new age..But it does seem that spending money and time to watch movie/cinema for 3 hours is not a significant consideration against weekly stress of 60 hours plus of job/business/studies or whatever they are facing and invariably end up in theaters to get entertained in whatever way they can without significant emotional drainage now more than ever before …

    I have seen my middle aged friends and their wives booking tickets for new movies for every Saturday or Sunday irrespective of reviews or standing of film stars or director because its one of the medium available to de-stress and have some family time..!!

    Yes they would come out movie and then next day tweet and whatsapp how bakwas the movie was but they still go and watch it..every week !!

    In a way, it seems that hoi-polloi is having enough real life experiences, emotional drama and close to real life acting available now on tv serial/dramas already and they want a comic entertainment relief from cinema in this new age.-for now!!

    No wonder crass tv shows gather best of TRPs too (and have not seen many tv reviewers/ critics jump up and down as for cinema around it!! )

    Socio-economic factors and its impact on cinema and changing taste of hoi-polloi is the very fine nuance that has been playing a significant role in making movie business thrive –be it Hollywood or Indian film industry..It needs much finer analysis from stalwarts of cinema against simple notion of “” changing taste of public”” reasoning we usually come across when one cannot decipher the disconnect between movie business and cinema quality…

    Seems this can be an apt thesis material for cinema lovers all over the world..

    Thank you Satyamsir for allowing me to re-frame my earlier thoughts once again as I felt this intrinsic public behavioral science is completely missed when analyzing business of cinema versus art of cinema.

    Would really like to have your take on this from your vast knowledge base about cinema as you had mentioned before as well to my comment.


    • people watch films for different reasons. The counterintuitive truth here is that even films that do reasonably well or better might not be ones that are actually liked by too many people. There’s no paradox here in one sense. If you design films for consumption and if audiences also expect nothing more then the question of whether a film has been accepted or not becomes very different. If you go to a theater to relax and watch a film that will almost serve as ‘background’ for your relaxation or if you watch a film primarily as an extended ad your expectations of what is acceptable or not will be very different from the same when you actually go in looking for a movie experience. Once upon a time it was the latter. Today it’s the former. Barring rare exceptions. When an audience is not satisfied with say MP and then when it likes Houseful this is partly for these reasons. the parameters are completely different and not because of genre considerations but that MP just asks the audience to become part of an older paradigm. Now of course many films didn’t work even in that old paradigm but the reasons were totally different. for instance one could reject MP but then go and watch another film just like MP but a bit differently made and so on. Such a person would have no problems engaging with a deeper film or be willing to sit through that sort of experience. But it’s very different if one finds it hard to sit through anything that’s not disposable entertainment. The standards are not the same when people falling in this latter category like one Rohit Shetty film but not another. By and large Bollywood (like many industries) has really become about consumption. People go in for some comedy, some stunts, some dances, some action or whatever. These elements stitched together don’t make a film. They could make a highlights reel. But films are structured that way. people go to theaters to get their ‘fix’ and just expect the films to be passable. which is why there is this absurd stress on gym bodies and locations and what not. In a proper film no one would be that obsessed with such superficial characteristics. But if the film is just meant to be an ad campaign for someone’s body or some songs or some stunts or some comedy skits (all of which you can also watch on TV at any given point if you just flip through the channels) and if the audience agrees to participate in this (for whatever sociological or political reasons) then the entire nature of the cinematic experience changes. In this sense when people look at trailers and only talk about how many crores a film will make or how the hero’s body looks or how fit the woman is etc etc, all factors that would not seem to have very much to do with the notion of a film (except of course if this notion itself has changed), this is because these films have become a service industry for that kind of ‘desire’. Sometimes you have exceptions that prove the rule. people watch an Aamir Khan film once in a while, convince themselves they have taste and they like good stuff, and then feel liberated to watch the next ten Housefuls! But in any case this is why there are lots of watchable films these days but very few watchable ones. Hollywood is the same way. Most genre films even when they’re enjoyable are just not satisfying in any deeper sense. This is by the way true for even ‘different’ films in both industries. They’re predictable, banal, insipid, sometimes worse than the genre films. But they’re designed to be successes, the audience ‘likes’ them, unsurprisingly, and then everyone pats themselves on the back. When you then have a truly different film or at least one that is more edgy and it doesn’t work it’s easy for everyone to say ‘this film had the wrong script and wasn’t well-made otherwise we of course like different films which is why we made those other three hits’! So you can get a very uninteresting film masquerading as a different, edgy work. Rarely a film can split the difference or work at two levels. In other words it can have a very enjoyable or convincing narrative that masks a lot of subversion or where even the audience intuits the latter the story is far too engrossing for the film to be rejected. But this is a hard balance to achieve and only a very skillful director can pull it off.

      Having said all of this it is still the case that even though producers and audiences conspire to make such entertainment the norm there is nothing that can replace that old-fashioned idea of an entertaining film that also touches the audience in some way. Hence whether in Hollywood or Bollywood there are a number of examples of films that do this and not mysteriously these are the very films that trend well. But of course it takes a greater effort to make such films. And while these might be far more profitable perhaps it’s easier to make a film that ensures some sort of recovery and minimal profits rather than one that is extremely profitable but where much more time and effort has to be expended in terms of coming up with the right narrative and so on. You can start a film like Bang Bang anytime because no thought has gone into it. But you can’t just begin Talaash one day. Only one of these films requires an essential commitment and sincerity on the part of the director. And so even though things look dire in terms of the kind of stuff that is made the only saving grace is that almost a 100% of such disposable films are poor trenders. The audience doesn’t mind them but since it’s only consuming them like fast food the whole ‘liking’ thing doesn’t even arise. It’s just something you do when you have some time. You don’t expect anything more from it. Even today a film that truly tries to be a film and has something to say will find a strong audience. But yes to bring about structural changes at both ends of the screen is a different deal. In the US by the way whole TV renaissance that has been taking place over the last 15 years testifies to this. It is precisely because cinema stopped doing certain things and then TV took up so well that today the conversation almost entirely revolves around the latter and not the former. This is what excites most people, this is what they talk about. They still show up for the films and in most cases forget about them the moment they leave the theaters.


      • A nice in-depth comment on the way entertainment world is changing… Add that to the fast paced technological advancements wherein the smart phones are soon becoming the essence of our well being. These fundamental changes to our living style is in turn reflecting the type of movies being made. I think very soon we would have to simply move on and ‘delink’ / ‘debunk’ the past movie structure with the current one. There is an upsurge in the entertainment world with advent of web world plus there is TV which has become a major part of our lives with a whole of lot content to digest & thousands of channels at the flip of a finger……… I feel it is going to be very time consuming for cinema to outpace the content on TV and only the devoted few will be willing to do that mostly due to monetary considerations at stake.

        But my gripe with Indian movies is that we are a nation of more than a billion people and so much content can be created if sufficient people are given a chance. Why is it just revolving among the privileged few? Why is a star trying to do everything himself? Why can’t he simply come on the set and act and leave the rest of the background noise to the professionals.

        If anyone is interested there is an old interview / chit chat of Uday Chopra with Komal Nahata on ETC trying to promote his Nicole Kidman movie under their production.There is some discussion to the working style and the whole process of movie making in Hollywood wherein the actor is the last person in the chain and his job is to simply bring the character with his interpretation / acting to screen. He also talks about the importance of screenwriting agents to the actors they work for….

        Uday Chopra – ETC Bollywood Business – Komal Nahta


  16. Andy says: “…and they want a comic entertainment relief from cinema in this new age.-for now!!” ” “…end up in theaters to get entertained in whatever way they can without significant emotional drainage now more than ever before …” Then why does a Dhoom 3 which is far more emotional and far less ‘ comic’ than Happy New Year or Houseful or Chennai Express, earned so much ,more than the latter ‘ entertainment ‘ films?


  17. Yeah thats the mystery to me as to why Dhoom3 did what it did, earning 260 plus crores.


    • First time double role for Aamir. All the dramatic scenes in which the doppelgangers appear together were worth the price of the ticket.
      People claimed that the movie was a hit due to the franchise. In fact the franchise parts dragged the movie down. All the non-Dhoom related parts were more engrossing than the usual bike-chase, heist etc. The Aamir-Abhi bonding scenes worked out well.
      Perhaps he indeed is ahead of the other 2 Khans by a bit. Lets see how PK fares, it seems to be even more unconventional than anything he has ever done previously.


      • I think most of the directors are sidetracked by extraneous considerations. People should concentrate on what makes a good film instead of satisfying every one. Dhoom3 could have been far better movie if it was a simple story of cop-thief.


        • It was a simple story. I think it was a good movie as far its limitations as franchise are considered. The double role was good and Abhi was not wasted. The main story was between them only. It was crisp and did not drag much. It was mainly a chase movie than a heist movie.


    • **Yeah thats the mystery to me as to why Dhoom3 did what it did, earning 260 plus crores.**

      Hrithik Roshan.


  18. “Yeah thats the mystery to me as to why Dhoom3 did what it did, earning 260 plus crores.” I have explained it many times: An absorbing script around a gran, epic story, and a solid emotional core that connects with the audience. If the ridiculous hangover from the original Dhoom ( all those bike-on-a-rope stunts) series was done away with, it would have been a far superior film, and perhaps, a 300-cr hit.


    • But then that isn’t a Dhoom film is it? The first 2 Dhooms were about Bikes/girls/song/dance-that’s why people watch them. The story of D3 was good enough to have a separate film, it seems as if they made it a Dhoom film just for the hype/franchise power. But yes the thing people criticize D3 the most for are the outrageous stunts (which Aamir can’t pull off) and the length. Take out the stunts of D3 and it’s a 2hr film.


      • Those who liked the story and those who enjoyed the stunts.
        Everyone knows that stunts are make believe and a short man doing stunts is no big deal. In a way aamir prepared us by doing Sarfarosh, Ghulam and Ghajini. By the way, the stunts were done by the bikes in all the 3 franchises. The heroes and villains were incidental.


        • Not in D2. HR’s entry/action scene was on top of a train. Uday/Abhi’s entry scene was on a ship. One main action scene was on the streets of Mumbai with HR in roller blades. Only the last action scene in D2 actually used bikes. Even in D1, the action scene in the climax didn’t really use bikes at all. I think Bikes were heavily used in D3 to hide the fact/make it more believable that Aamir could do the stunts. Ghajini’s action though outrageous were very believable because of the emotional part/revenge/anger angle and Aamir’s killer look


          • The stunts themselves have become too predictable due to extensive use of CG. Not like those times when a tall Amitabh or a sturdy Vinod Khanna used to take on the villains. Now they want to use props like bikes, ships, trains, helicopters etc. Even a CG tiger and CG created waves. A world of illlusion. Maya.
            After doing stunts, some of the heroes ended up having severe back pains, shoulder pains and even brain damage.


  19. Well Dhoom3 has to be Dhoom….based on Utlak uncle’s comment, its like saying the FAST and Furious makers to add emotional story to their franchise like Notebook/ and connect with Girls and other audiences looking for emotional connection along with blowing and fast cars.


  20. Prasad Bhojak: No. Dhoom 3 does not have to be Dhoom. Man might have evolved from monkey, but man DOES NOT have to be monkey. One might evolve so far that it becomes a different specie. Skyfall is Bond, but how different from Goldfinger! ( and Skyfall is the most successful Bond film ever!)


  21. Utkal Uncle, good points but Skyfall has had bond fan following on the basis of last 2 films, Dhoom3 is a revised version with a new hero, so no built in audience. Only audience that is built in is the action expecting car blowing audience that liked first 2 movies. Add that Aamir to the equation and they didnt have to go all out emotional on people, they would have killed the D4.


  22. Prasad Bhojak: The departure from the usual Bond formula started with Daniel Craog signing on and Quantum of Solace. Same has happened with Aamir getting on board Dhoom. Now the film can move on to different terrains than the bikes and babes formula ( with which you can get only as big as Bang Bang) and go anywhere it likes, and grow as big as it wants to be. .


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