All eyes are focused Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback movie. From the public, industry insiders to trading experts, everyone is waiting for the film to hit theaters on January 25. The film has a responsibility to wake the Hindi film industry from its deep slumber, and film trade experts are confident of momentum for the rest of the year. They have ‘huge’ expectations of Pathaan.
Speaking of Pathaan, film trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, “As we all know, Shah Rukh Khan returns to the screen after four years as a straight action entertainer, and the promotional material has done well. People are talking about the movie. As it is the first major release of 2023, all eyes are on it.” He expects the film to open with a collection of Rs 40-50 crore.
Pathaan’s pre-booking started on January 20 in full mode and it sold more than 5 lakh tickets on the first day itself. More than 2 lakh tickets were sold in the three largest multiplex chains, PVR, INOX and Cinepolis. With two days before the film’s release, these numbers are expected to increase a lot. Responding to solid ticket advance sales, Taran said, “This proves that people only want to see a great entertainer on the big screen.”
Crossed 2 lacs at 11:15 pm last night [Day 1 ticket sales]. https://t.co/MSREYn8XkI
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 21, 2023
Film producer and trade expert Girish Johar believes that the advance sale of Pathaan has instilled a sense of confidence in the entire Hindi film fraternity, which has struggled in 2022 while facing strong competition from global cinema and films from South India .
He told indianexpress. com, “The presale is fantastic for all formats, all languages. It gives a lot of confidence not only to the film team but also to the entire film fraternity. Pathaan is the best Hindi movies can offer right now. It has a star cast of Shah Rukh, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, is directed by Siddharth Anand and supported by Yash Raj Films, all in their top game. I expect a brilliant start for Pathaan.” However, he thinks the film’s opening day collection will be between Rs 35-38 crore.
Pathaan’s glory is not limited to his first day of theatre. Film trade experts are confident that it will record a number of record collections over the extended five-day weekend. Girish Johar suggested that the film will earn Rs 175-200 crore in the domestic market in its first five days and easily collect Rs 350 crore globally.
Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi opined that the Yash Raj Films, which failed to deliver a hit last year, “will bounce back this year”. He said, “Siddharth Anand and YRF have never gone wrong in the urban action genre. So whether it’s a Tiger movie or a Dhoom franchise or War, it’s a genre that YRF has always pushed forward. Therefore, with a director like Siddharth, who understands the big action sequences and great entertainers fairly well, they will deliver a hit.
Siddharth Anand’s War, starring Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, which came out in 2019, is the top Bollywood first-day earner of all time. It earned Rs 53.35 crore on its release day. Whether Pathaan gives him another hit remains to be seen. Also, Shah Rukh has never failed to draw people to theaters on opening day. His debacle of 2018, Zero managed an opening of Rs 19.35 crore.
However, Pathaan’s team did not promote the film in a traditional way. So, will that affect the audience’s level of awareness of the movie? Taran Adarsh replied, “The moment an actor opens his mouth and expresses an opinion, the boycott calls begin, the controversies begin. Why do you want to go into that?” Girish Johar believes that YRF promoted the film “cleverly” and according to him, even the controversy surrounding the song “Besharam Rang” contributed to the film’s fame.
In fact, Akshaye Rathi is confident that “Pathaan will set the momentum for the rest of the year and bring back revenues and bring back the livelihoods of millions of people attached to the film industry.”