The much-awaited box office clash between Raees and Kaabil turned out to be a damn squib, as Shah Rukh Khan reigned supreme, decimating the Hrithik Roshan starrer on Day 1. As per early estimates, Kaabil has collected 8.5 – 8.75 crore on Wednesday, while Raees has collected 20 crore plus. The collections of Raees at almost every theatre that we tracked was 2 to 3 times more than Kaabil.
Like we mentioned in our report, which was published in the evening (Read), the morning shows of Kaabil had occupancy ranging from 10-20% at multiplexes. Raees on the other hand was running at 65% plus at several centres for the early morning shows.
Mid-way through the day, it became quite clear that Kaabil would fall short of the 10 crore mark, but there was hope that it would get to double digits because of positive reports. The growth was there in the evening, but not enough to cross the 10 crore mark – which would still be a low but decent total.
With such a poor start, the film now relies almost entirely on word-of-mouth to recover costs. It needs to show growth in the range of 75%-100% (i.e Thursday collections in the 15 crore range) to have any chance of putting up a healthy total.
If the growth doesn’t come tomorrow, the writing will be on the wall for Kaabil. It would be a tragedy if a film like Kaabil under-performs just because the Roshans decided not to avert the clash and unfortunately for Hrithik, it would be for the second time in a row he’s failing in a clash.
As for Raees, it’s Shah Rukh Khan all the way through. He is without doubt one of the Top 2 crowd pullers in the country and his consistency for last two decades has been phenomenal. This decade hasn’t been very good for him as far as quality films is concerned, but even after two back-to-back under performers, his fan-following is stronger than ever.
The bigger challenge for him would be to do something that he hasn’t done in recent times. While all his films have opened very well, most haven’t sustained in the long run. It’s important for Raees to sustain and put up a total of 150 crore plus at the domestic box office.
The clash has been settled, SRK has comprehensively won it. It’s now going to be about the trend and where the two films go from here.
Can Kaabil close the big gap on Thursday and bring it down to more reasonable levels? Or will Raees be a runaway hit at the box office? These questions will be answered in the next couple of days, with the hold on Friday becoming very important for both films. Kaabil to stay afloat and Raees to become a big grosser.
Stay tuned to our coverage of Raees and Kaabil. Much more in the morning.