Two films that should never have clashed at the box office are finally releasing after a dignified marketing campaign. The internal slugfest to get the best screens was going on throughout, but it’s business and every producer wants to give his film the best possible release.
The makers of ‘Raees’ on the strength of Shah Rukh Khan’s box office pull and superior promos, have managed to get a wider theatrical release. The other film, ‘Kaabil’ too has got a good release, especially in the south where the Hrithik Roshan factor has ensured a big release.
For SRK and Raees the first target would be to cross the 125 crore mark, which would ensure that the film recovers costs and begins to get into the profitable zone. A good total for a film like ‘Raees’ would be in the 150 crore range and if the film manages to collect more, it would be a solid success for SRK after one outright rejected film (FAN) and an under-performer (Dilwale). A big total, which also means the film finding acceptance amongst the audience, would set him up well to achieve bigger totals with his next film directed by Imtiaz Ali.
For Hrithik, the success of ‘Kaabil’ is going to be very important after the disastrous ‘Mohenjo Daro’. He not only lost the previous clash, but the Ashutosh Gowarikar directed film did not even manage a face-saving total. ‘Kaabil’ being the underdog in the clash, might work in Hrithik’s favour because the expectations of a very big total aren’t there. ‘Kaabil’ would recover when it get into the 80 crore range and a 90-100 crore total would mean the film is a clean box office hit.
Factors in favour of Raees:
- Promos: Raees has had some of the best promos for a Shah Rukh Khan film in a very long time, we’d have to go back to Excel’s own Don 2 for the last time when a trailer of his film got the kind of response that Raees has.
- SRK: The legend himself. One of the biggest stars in the country, someone who guarantees a box office initial and the advance booking that Raees has got once again proves that SRK is one of the most loved stars we have in the industry.
- Dialogues: Raees has had the most impactful dialogues in a Hindi film in a very long time. It’s been nearly 20 months since some of the dialogues were first heard in the teaser and the freshness is still intact.
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui: He’s not someone who can pull a film on his own, but he adds tremendous value in a big film. It wouldn’t be surprising if a section of the audience come just to watch him take on SRK in the film.
Factors against Raees:
- Rahul Dholakia: Three films, three disasters. He’s won critical acclaim for one of his films, but directing a big film like ‘Raees’ is a different game altogether and he remains untested. If he hasn’t done his job well, the film won’t work.
- Excel Entertainment: It’s a banner that hasn’t made a single massy film, most of their films are niche and targeted at the multiplex audience. Their last ‘clean-hit’ was Shah Rukh Khan’s Don 2 more than 5 years ago.
- Two other minor negatives are; the long delay and reshoots, the presence of Sunny Leone, liquor trade etc could mean the family audience might not come in big numbers.
Factors in favour of Kaabil:
- Hrithik Roshan: The superstar is going through a career low after the ‘Mohenjo Daro’ debacle, but he still has a strong fan-following. Prior to failure of his previous film, he was the only non-Khan in the industry to topple opening day, single day records and lifetime records.
- Rakesh Roshan: From the looks of it, senior Roshan has played it well even though he is competing against a very big film. He knows the pulse of the Indian audience better than most in the industry. ‘Kaabil’ is his space too, the classic formula of good vs evil, the mighty vs the innocent.
- Promos: The 2nd trailer and promos that the makers released towards the end of their campaign has worked quite well. Not comparable to Raees, but good nonetheless.
- Economics: Kaabil doesn’t need to collect a lot to recover costs.
Factors against Kaabil:
- Competition: It isn’t going to be easy for the film if Raees finds acceptance. Even if both films are good, Kaabil will have to be better.
- Sanjay Gupta: He has a better track-record than Rahul Dholakia, but his success-ratio as a director is very poor. Most of his films have flopped.
- A minor negative would be the darkish thriller genre, although the concept seems to be quite similar to Ghajini, the Aamir Khan film was way more colourful and happier looking which helps in bringing the family audience to theatres.
IndicineFBO: We expect Raees to collect Rs 21.5 crore on its opening day, which would be a similar total as Shah Rukh’s last film Dilwale. For Kaabil, the opening should be in the 11.5 crore range, which would be a fairly good total if the film can grow on word-of-mouth during the extended 5-day weekend.
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