Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan was released with much fanfare on April 15 across 3,500 screens in India. A majority of the cine critics rated SRK’s performance in the film as one of his best in recent years.
Due to immense hype and expectations, the first day’s projected box office collection of Rs.19.15 crore was the biggest so far in 2016.
But since then, the collection went on a downslide and the film backed by Yash Raj Films and directed by Maneesh Sharma could wrap up the week with Rs.74.40 crore – the lowest for a Shah Rukh film in years.
There is not much hope that it will do wonders in the coming weeks considering the second Friday collection stood at abysmally low at about Rs.3 crore. Even crossing the Rs.100 crore-mark now seems to be a gruelling task.
The million dollar question is whether the superstar is losing his grip over fans. Many observers feel so considering the performance of his last two films in comparison with the other two superstars – Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.
Shah Rukh’s last offering, Dilwale, was a clearly a downer, though it believed to have recovered its investment of over Rs.100 crore and made the profit in the domestic market with a collection of Rs.140 crore.
The hit pair of Shah Rukh and Kajol could not set the screen on fire as it used to do in the nineties.
Released on the same day, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani starring Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, and Deepika Padukone, went on to become a bigger hit than Dilwale.
Before Dilwale, Happy New Year in 2014 collected around Rs.200 crore on an investment of Rs.150 crore.
Technically, HNY cannot be termed as a super hit though it was able to generate a surplus over the cost. The overseas market has stood solidly behind Shah Rukh, though.
The worldwide collections of all his films including Fan have been huge.
Ultimately, however, the image of a star in the domestic market will have a bearing internationally, in the long run, some critics feel.
Shah Rukh, undoubtedly a fine actor and a big crowd puller, has to be careful in choosing the content and budget of his films to be consistently successful.
Making over-budget films and getting lesser returns will not help.
In a recent TV interview, the star said he would keep doing films as he still loved acting, irrespective of a film’s business.
The superstar will be seen later this year in much-anticipated film, Raees, on the life of a Gujarat-based don. Hope it does better than Fan.
[Figures are averages based on box-office trend – Big Wire editing team.]