10 years ago when we started this website, Shah Rukh Khan was at the peak of his superstardom. ‘Om Shanti Om’ went on to become one of the highest grossers of all-time, even though it was competing against a big film like ‘Saawariya’. ‘Chak De India’ was arguably his career best film and performance. SRK looked invincible, the only other men competing – but failing to consistently beat him – were Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar.
10 years down the line, a lot has changed, but what remains strong is his fan-following. SRK is still one of the most loved movie stars in the country and without doubt the most loved Indian actor outside the country.
For an actor who is expected to match or even beat his contemporaries like Salman Khan and Aamir Khan (who have now raced way ahead), SRK simply hasn’t had enough to show as far as box office results are concerned. The collections of his films are still fantastic, an under-performer like ‘Dilwale’ collected a lot more than the career best of several other top actors in the industry. But for an actor who maintained an incredible level of consistency for the first 20 years of his career – more is expected out of him even at the age of 51, even when he has nothing left to prove or achieve.
The concern for SRK is not the opening of his films, but it’s about converting those big starts into big grossers. His films are top-heavy, most of the collections are coming in the first weekend (3 days) – which also suggests that his fans are coming out in big numbers, but the neutrals and people who decide to watch recommended films are no longer coming to watch his films.
The table below makes this point pretty clear on where Shah Rukh Khan has been going wrong. His best trending film is ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ only because clashing with another film tends to improve the weekend to lifetime ratio – which could be because of the section of the audience who want to watch both films. Otherwise, Chennai Express is his best trending film in the last few years and even that doesn’t make it to the Top 5.
Two of his last three films haven’t even doubled the first weekend collections. In other words, more people have watched his films in the first 3 days than those who watched it from 4th day onwards.
It once again proves the point we made earlier, fans of the superstar are coming to watch his films, the rest of the audience – who rely on word-of-mouth – simply aren’t coming in enough numbers. His films haven’t had repeat-value either, which is crucial for films to perform in Week 2, 3, 4 and after.
3 Idiots is by far the best trending film and it would have probably crossed the 500 crore mark if it released today. The Top 3 is all about Aamir Khan and each of those films have gone on to become the highest grossers of all time. Salman’s best film this decade, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, takes the 4th spot. It’s one of those few superstar films that has managed to triple its first weekend business.
In short, as far as Shah Rukh Khan is concerned, it’s still about that one film that needs to find universal acceptance. But the wait for that one film is getting longer with each new release.
The hype has always been there and the stardom is there too, but it’s the substance that’s been missing. It’s not about the first weekend, but what his films collect after the first couple of days that’s going to be important – both for ‘Raees’ and his other release this year.
|Jab Tak Hai Jaan*||49||120||2.44|
|Prem Ratan Dhan Payo||104||213||2.05|
|Happy New Year||109||204||1.87|