Why Chennai Express is Shahrukh Khan’s best bet: Box office

After coming off a career high in 2007 when both Chak De India and Om Shanti Om (2nd Highest Grosser Ever at that time) became Blockbusters, a string of unlucky events, incidents and controversies have affected every Shahrukh Khan release since 2008. Whatever be the reason, fact is Shahrukh has not had the highest grosser of the year since 2007 owing to a lot of factors. Let’s discuss the unfortunate, unlucky and sometimes unnecessary incidents that have rocked SRK films and then we’d notice how Chennai Express seems to be devoid of all those problems.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi: This film was supposed to release on 12th of December and a major marketing campaign was planned for two weeks leading up to the release. But the unfortunate and ghastly events of 26/11 which killed 166 people happened. Owing to this, YRF and Shahrukh put off all the promotional activities related to the film. Anushka Sharma was introduced to the media formally only after the film released. Also, Rab Ne.. had SRK in the look of a common man which the nation wasn’t used to. Even though the film did a business of 84 cr, it was clearly overshadowed by the marketing blitzkrieg of Ghajini and Aamir Khan. As a result, Ghajini (which occupied the crucial Christmas release date) became the first Hindi film ever to cross the 100 cr mark. It can be said that if RNBDJ was promoted like a normal film and enjoyed a holiday release, it COULD have been the first film to do 100 crore nett business in India.

Chennai Express

My Name Is Khan: The film dealt with a very non-commercial subject and did not have an universally appealing subject, which meant the box office prospects of the film in India were limited. Apart from this, there was huge uncertainty about the release of the film because Bal Thackerey and Shiv Sena opposed the release of the film and massive protests were held in many places. SRK’s only fault was saying that all cricketers, including Pakistanis, should be allowed to play in the IPL. People were afraid to go the theatres in its first weekend fearing protests and demonstrations which limited the box office collections in India. However, My Name Is Khan did scorching business overseas and became the 2nd highest grossing film of all time outside India.

Ra One: Shahrukh decided to spend almost all of his hard-earned fortune to fulfil his dream of making a futuristic Superhero film. The only problem was that Superhero films have never been a popular genre in India (Krrish is the only film which has worked so far). SRK decided to carry out the biggest marketing campaign in Hindi film history which ended up doing the film more harm than good. The marketing overkill lead to a Ra.One fatigue even before the release of the film and there was immense negativity all over even before the film was revealed. As a result, the audience rejected Ra.One (amusingly it registered the highest single day collections ever on its second day of release). The film had potential to break 3 Idiots’ record of 202cr but the negativity (both pre and post-release) bunged it from doing so.

Don 2: The bad-will earned from Ra.One badly hurt the chances of Don 2 because it released less than 2 months after Ra.One. Don 2 did not have any commercial hit music nor did it have a commercial storyline or treatment. It was a bland film which was modeled on Hollywood action thrillers. The length and pace of the film also hurt the film badly. Also, the romance track between SRK and Priyanka Chopra was very heretical. A film like Don 2 did not have any chances at the mass theatres but it still went on to earn a hefty 106cr back in 2011. Experienced trade analysts believe that if Don 2 was released before Ra.One, it would have earned a lot more money than it eventually did.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan: This was Shahrukh’s most ill-fated film yet. 3 weeks before the release of the film, the director of the film Yash Chopra passed away. It clashed with a massy action comedy film like Son of Sardaar and was 3 hours long. It released in only about 2600 screens (in comparison, Dabangg 2 released in 3600 screens in India). The Shiv Sena scion Bal Thackerey died and there was a Maharashtra Bandh which led to theatres being closed in Maharashtra on the first Saturday and Sunday of JTHJ’s run (Maharashtra circle was doing the best business for the fulm). The clash and the bad publicity leading up to the clash hurt the film negatively. And on top of that, the music by AR Rahman left a sizeable portion of the audience disappointed. Also the chemistry between SRK and Katrina Kaif wasn’t appreciated by the general audience.

The negative factors, therefore, which have affected SRK’s last 5 films are: 26/11 terrorist attacks, no promotion, too much promotion, poor content, massive protests by a political party against SRK, negative publicity, clash, non-holiday release dates, non-massy films, average soundtracks. Chennai Express does not have any of those problems affecting it right now, except probably a mediocre music album.

Chennai Express seems to be ticking all the right boxes which should give it a very favourable release: a holiday release, no clash, a huge number of screens (3500-3600), the length is rumoured to be around only 135-145 minutes, there have been no major controversies surrounding the film so far, the treatment of the film is massy, the film is directed by the Rohit Shetty whose last 3 films have all crossed 100cr, it stars the current audience favourite Deepika Padukone opposite SRK, it is co-produced and distributed by arguably the No.1 production house in India – UTV. And oh, the last big film (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) to release would already have been 4 weeks old when Chennai Express releases.

The favourable release conditions would ensure that Chennai Express will take a bumber opening, but at the end of the day the film has to meet audience expectations and it has to entertain everyone to fulfil its true potential. Even if a film releases on a holiday and has 8 open weeks, has super-hit music and is massy it is NOT guaranteed to earn big money if the appreciation is lacking. If it manages to appease the audiences, then more than a few records will be broken this Eid. If it doesn’t there will be serious question marks over Shahrukh Khan’s super-stardom!

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101 Comments

  • ankur Get some facts right dude!
    AMIR had promoted ghajni using RNBDJ, by getting people with gajni hairstyle in theatres n al..
    but SRK did no promotion coz he find doing promotion at such a time is not the wright thing..
    that’s the human quality which SRK has unlike Amirwho tries to be humane by Doing satyamev jayate n salu,with Being human..

  • Breaking news : Chennai Express releasing in record number of screens 4100 in india and 1150 0verseas. Thats record for any movie Now predict the real collection.

    1st : 39cr
    2nd : 30cr
    3rd : 35cr
    4th : 19cr
    5th : 17cr
    6th : 15cr
    7th : 26cr
    8th : 20cr
    9th : 22cr
    10th : 26cr

    Total till second weekend : 249cr

    So till second weekend movie will break all records that are ever made in bollywood.

  • Good words xzone.
    Regarding the SRK movies and the claims of his haters fact remains that despite being termed failures all his recent movies collections are above 100Cr in India and Gross Worldwide 200Cr + that in itself is an acheivement. I think the problem here is expectation. SRK i feel is Sachin Tendulkar of Bollywood so his fans and everyone expects him to score Net 150Cr + and a Block buster everytime like a 80-90 score from Sachin is not good enogh for people and they will say he has still not scored a Hundred. Same with SRK even with good movies, strong performances why are people so much worried about numbers. He is loved worldwide for the Brand SRK he has created over a period of 20 years much like Sachin is loved world over. SRK’s acting and performance was very wekk appreciated for JTHJ even BigB said after the preview that thsi was one of SRK’s best performance.

    I ask you indicine tell me what is more important only collection of the performance and the movie ?

  • @xzone definitely loyalism will win.his loyal fans made him king.that”s why his non commercial film like mnik and kid film like ra one collected 200 cr+.his all film collected over 200 cr worldwide in his so called bad phase and salman’s ready (184 cr) didn’t cross 200 cr in his golden phase. i’m proud to be a loyal fan of srk

  • I hopeCE will break all Srk previous Records in terms of Boxoffice its Sure
    This movie has good chances to do great collection in domestic market

    Update on Krrish 3:–
    Move over Spiderman.Superman etc..Here comes our ‪#‎Krrish‬ 3 this Diwali on 4 Nov… One word to describe the trailer.. O-U-T-S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G Mark my words #Krrish 3 will break all records.. It will cross 100 cr in just 3 days and likely to cross 175 cr in the 1st week itself !!! Amod Mehra ( via twitter )

  • Chennai express made with strong content thats why ce will do paid preview like 3i, ghajni and bmb. No doubt ce will be the widest release and it get not only outstanding openning but also it get long run like rab ne banadi jodi.
    The king back with bang.
    With out any question
    1st day 35cr plus
    1st weekned 80cr plus
    lifetime 170cr min, if wom is good like singham the ce sure cross 200cr plus, mark my word.

  • That is not new.
    These kind of articles gets published at the time of each Srk release.
    Even start thinking about what will be the excuse after CE.

  • @king khan…..thanxx buddy….thats what i m saying that haters only used to cry like children that srk is going through his bad phase…..someone plz tell me that if an actor collecting 200cr+ with each of his last 4 releases is an under performer…then what would be the exact definition of an excellent performer????? in this way, i think only sallu’s last 4-5 craps meet that criteria….then what abt other actors????
    well…i am completely agree with ur sachin tendulkar reference….definitely , each time , we want more from him….sometimes , he comes with product , which meets our expectations, sometimes not….but that doesn’t mean that we will stop following him or stop watching his movies….we r not like those fans, who all came into existence after 2009….no matter , how many flops he gives, i was , i am and i will be his loyal fan…..”jab tak hai jaan”…..
    @dhaka express…..yeah bro…..we loyal fans r enough for srk….again i m requesting and warning to all haters that don’t put urself into trouble by watching chennai express……we will watch it on first day first show….but one thing is sure…that at the time of tremendous collections…don’t come with ur lies that u , too, have watched it….bcoz i knw that u all r the bunch of liars…..

  • Excuses after CE:

    1) Kedarnat Tsunami.

    2) War in Iraq

    3) USA Drone Attacks.

    4) Scotland vs Kenya ODI match.

    5) Neighbor’s Uncle’s Grandson’s Wife’s Third Cousin’s Daughter Ran Away.

    6) Huge Traffic Jams near the Multiplexes.

    7) Distributors forgot to count Money.

  • @Indicine

    Even Talaash had no promotions, 2500 screens, no holiday, risky genre, it still went through 90 cr+, but are we Aamir fans complaining? Did Indicine come up with any article to rescue Salman or Aamir movies? Why only SRK’s? Coz you guys too are SRK fans. We saw last year how you promoted JTHJ and came up with so many articles :-D

    I never said Rab Ne was flop, I said it failed even to break Dhoom 2’s lifetime record, even OSO had failed. Excuse for that is Ranbir’s Saawariya..

    SRK has ZERO All-Time Grossers:

    DDLJ failed to break HAHK.
    K3G failed to break Gadar.
    OSO failed to break D2.
    RNBDJ was smashed by Ghajini.
    MNIK failed to break 3 idiots.
    Ra.1 failed to break 3 idiots.
    Don 2 failed to break 3 idiots (it even earned less than Golmaal 3 released a year back on Diwali with 50% less screens).
    JTHJ failed to break even Ra.1 LOL or Don 2.

    Talking about Worldwide, its not a big deal as he had biggest releases. But still he is struggling to dethrone Aamir’s 3 idiots there too.. Aamir was 1st to do 200 cr, 250 cr, 300 cr, 350 cr and almost 400 cr with 3 idiots. Ghajini and Talaash are almost near 200 cr. Dhoom 3 will easily do 300 cr WW.

    Now Salman too has more 200 cr WW movies than SRK. Forget Salman, he is far from reach, even Ranbir has dethroned SRK in his own Genre, in his own home brand – KJO Dharma Productions.

    Start writing articles of how CE cud not do 200 cr as OUATIMD came in between.

    We have guts to say, Talaash did not perform well as expected, when will SRK fans grow some spine?

    • @Jordon, on the contrary, Talaash exceeded my expectations at the box office. The film did around 170 – 175 crore worldwide, which is fantastic for a non-commercial ‘suspense thriller’. Even Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was a much more commercial film than Talaash.

      The only reason Talaash did so well was because of the trust that the audience has in Aamir Khan films. Put any other actor in place of Aamir in Talaash, Salman Khan included, it wouldn’t have done close to 90 crore net.

      Now, coming to SRK.. the last film of his that I loved and can still watch on TV is Chak De India. Since then most of his films have been disappointing. His choice of scripts has been awful. He decided to work with Anubhav Sinha in Ra One instead of Shankar’s Robot (which was eventually made in Tamil with Rajnikanth), rejected Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots and so many other films. Under a good director, he is a fantastic actor. Unfortunately, he only works with friends. When directors like Anurag Kashyap and Rajkumar Hirani are keen on signing him, he picks Rohit Shetty (not a big fan of his films) and Farah Khan (only liked Main Hoon Na).

      And that’s exactly why none of his films have managed to top the highest grossers list. None were good enough! His last film that was universally accepted by the audience was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which was the second highest grosser of 2009.

  • Ra One had no potential to break 3 Idiots record. It was a bad script. Chennai Express is best bet for SRK among all films and this time there should be no excuse if it doesn’t do amazing business. However it won’t be the highest grosser of the year because of franchise films like Krissh 3 and Dhoom 3 releasing on festive dates.

  • This year, its either Dhoom 3 or Krissh 3. SRK sadly will never have top grossing movie as a lead. Maybe some time later, he can play father’s role in a Ranbir movie and it might become No.1 movie of that year and then SRK fans ki 100 saal wali tamanna puri hojaegi.

  • @saddam jthj col 122cr if clash won’t happen or maharastra theater are open then 150cr for sure. And don2 time only srk, salman, and amir film cross 100cr, rite now 100cr is a small margin but at that time 70cr mark is big. Srk is more pupular in oversease than any other actor thats why his film doing well than others

  • The most important part is left out.

    What films of srk have worked?

    It has been always the soft romantics since DDLJ, except Chak De, cuz the content was simply outstanding.

    So, first, if srk movie has to perform it has to be a soft romantic type. CE is not.

    second, his last soft romantic movie came down with a thud with all the hype. So, if those loyal fans of srk aren’t going to theatres don’t expect others.

    third, content can save the film.

    so, the only dependent thing that CE hangs is content. If it is good, it will work or will fail epicly.

  • whoever wrote this article is a total retard!

    don 2 a “bland” film?

    it was most appreciated film in multiplexes of 2011, even more than zindagi na milegi dobara!

    “non commercial”?

    just because a film has a solid plot and makes some sense, it is not commercial?

  • @indicine.you r biased.dont know always favours SRK .you never
    Highlighted that Raone was dissappointment and so JTHJ both critics and mass rejected them.and what more you published this article saying reasons for SRK movies underperformance . Shall I start saying that Don 2 was Christmas release,MNIK had 8 open weeks,Raone and JTHJ was Dewali release .and did u ever said that he is the only khan whoms film was produced biggest production houses in Bollywood .try to be fair indicine.

  • @Indicine. I guarantee u non of the box office record of Salman and Aamir will be broken.i don’t know have u been to cinema theatre ever, do u know what is the public hysteria of a Salman khan film – simply madness.do u think SRK can even generate 10% of it .forget it.even though he goes to take blessing from rajnikant – chamchagiri at which he is the best.still fails.do u disagree that in last 4-5 years SRK has not tried to beat Salman’s record,needless to say.open your eyes indicine.

  • @Indicine.And what 150 crs u r talking indicine.now the new comer ranbir kapoor non holiday movie is almost crossing 200 crs.u r simply SRK fan.

  • My predictions if WOM is good.. if not exceptional (as sky will the limit then)
    preview- 5crs
    1st- 32crs
    2nd- 19crs
    3rd- 25crs
    1st weekend:- 81 crores
    (monday to wednesday)- 29
    6th- 15
    1st Week:- 125 crores
    2nd Weekend:- 24 crores
    2nd week:- 40 crores
    1st week + 2nd week= 165 crores
    3rd Week:- 22 crores
    Rem. Weeks:- 10 crores
    LIFETIME:- 195-200 crores (ONLY if the WOM is good)

  • A great article by indicine team nd very much true as well. I m a die hard srk fan nd going to watch ce on it first day.

  • Top successful bollywood movies
    till date..

    1) 3 Idiots (2009) – 202Cr
    .
    2) Ek Tha Tiger (2012) – 186Cr
    .
    3) Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani (2013) – 180Cr
    .
    4) Dabangg2 (2012) – 150Cr
    .
    5) Bodyguard (2011) – 141Cr
    .
    6) Dabangg (2010) – 140Cr
    .
    7) Rowdy Rathore (2012) – 134Cr
    .
    8) Ready (2011) – 122Cr
    .
    9) Houseful2 (2012) – 121Cr
    .
    10) Agnipath (2012) – 120Cr
    .
    11) Ra.one (2011) – 114Cr
    .
    12) Gajini (2008) – 114Cr
    .
    13) Golmal3 (2010) – 107Cr
    .
    14) Don2 (2011) – 106Cr
    .
    15) Barfi (2012) – 105Cr
    .
    16) Bhag Milkha Bhag (2013) – 104Cr
    .
    17) Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) – 103Cr
    .
    18) OMG (2012) – 100Cr
    .
    19) Bol Bachchan (2012) – 99Cr
    .
    20) Singham (2011) – 98Cr
    .
    21) Talaash (2012) – 94Cr
    .
    22) Raajniti (2010) – 93Cr
    .
    23) Race2 (2013) – 93Cr
    .
    24) Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) – 90Cr
    .
    25) Son of Sardar (2012) – 89Cr
    .
    26) Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) – 87Cr
    .
    27) Doom2 (2006) – 81Cr
    .
    28) Dirty Picture (2011) – 80Cr
    .
    29) Om Shanti Om (2007) – 80Cr
    .
    30) Gadar (2001) – 75Cr

    *********************************

    Srk out of top ten.

    It’s really a big problem for the stardom of srk.

    Amongst top 3 is far away he is out of top 10.

    *****************************************************

  • @indicine you said same for jthj that it will do 150+crores collection we all know how it failed yo cross even 130cr.then you again saying 150crore for ce also .ce may get good opening in north but in south it will struggle because on 8th august in trlugu powan kalyans movie releasing .in tamil vijays movie releasing.in malayalam mamootys mobie releasing.also in kannada many films releasing on 8th aug.so ce will do only 120 to 130cr lifetime thats all.

  • @Indicine an Actor cant have so many excuses..If this was the Case then Aamir Khan comes with his films once 2-3 years so he Can always have some kind of excuse

  • And indicine why only 150+ for him when even Ranbir is giving 180+ ? The way srk has been projected by biased fan sites & his fans he should give 200+ everytime. This is where Aamir khan & Salman rule.They are massy & classy ( Aamir ticks all the boxes). Srk has lost it plz admit even if CE crosses 250 he is no big deal bcoz Dhoom & Krissh will cross its figure in few days !

  • Nevertheless..if the movie will be a blockbuster or not…Shahrukh Khan is and will be the King of Bollywood because no other actor in Bollywood has his appeal to the people. People are loving him for what he is doing and not only for being a movie actor.

  • Chennai Express will never beat Ranbir’s YJHD gross.
    Its shameful that self proclaimed king SRK’s BEST BET cannot beat Ranbir’s movie.
    Aamir and Salman both have 3Idiots and ETT above YJHD.

  • Movie….. Value of Rs in the year of release..

    3 idiots.. Rs 46 (approx)… US$25 million (115 crore approx)

    MNIK…… Rs 46 (approx)… US$23 million (105.85 crore approx)

    CE…….. Rs 61 (approx)…

    If it earns US$10 million (61.00 crore approx) If review is average

    If it earns US$15 million (91.50 crore approx) If review is good

    If it earns US$20 million (122.00 crore approx) If review is excellent

    If it earns US$25 million (152.50 crore approx) If it matches the income of 3 idiots (unfortunately it’s highly unlikely because of it’s theme)

    Morale of the story: Change in value of rupee might work in favour of SRK & UTV.

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