The story of SRK is far from over

Once writer-lyricist Mayur Puri had said that any story has three parts- beginning, middle and end. Same is the story of enigma called Shahrukh Khan. His beginning was humble as well as crackling with middle-class cinema films like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, revenge-thriller Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam, all-time superhit DDLJ and so on. The middle was marked by Dil Se, Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Yash Chopra classic VeerZaara, my all-time favourite Swades, Farah Khan’s debut Main Hoon Na, Paheli, Don and sports drama Chak De India.

I would like to believe that end of King Khan is still quite far but the phase from 2008 has seen more disappointments than hits and has not been kind enough. He has done more experiments lately but sadly most of them have failed to generate the results as everyone would have expected.

Ever since Jab Harry Met Sejal released, critics and fans have been asking Why Harry met Sejal? According to me, this one line summarises the recent choices of films of Shahrukh Khan and their box-office collections. Why SRK chose those films and why did they fail to garner collections?

If you take a look at box-office performance of some big films this year, you will see that most big films have failed. Tubelight and Jagga Jasoos, one of the most anticipated films of 2017, starring the ‘Salman Khan’ and Ranbir Kapoor failed miserably. Salman Khan even went out of the way and paid over Rs 30 crore to the distributors for the losses.

Except for Baahubali 2, no film has been able to actually fire the box-office in 2017. (Akshay Kumar is an exception. Jolly LLB 2 was a hit and Toilet Ek Prem Katha is still running in theatres.)

But to be fair to him, it is not easy to be SRK. Even when he was doing different roles (Don, Ra.One, Raees, Billu, Fan), media and his haters always said that SRK does only love stories and is a great lover on-screen and he should stick to that only. But when he attempted a love story with Imtiaz Ali in the director’s seat, he got thumbs down from audience.

Courtesy: Indian Express

SRK’s career can be divided into two parts- Before 2007 and After 2007. Between 1992 and 2007, SRK won 8 Filmfare Awards (including both for negative role and best actor). However, after 2007, he has won only one Filmfare Award. Like I said, it’s about the choices. SRK shifted to films like Chennai Express, Happy New Year and Dilwale to reach maximum audience but that dipped his appeal for serious acting roles.

To balance that notion, he made Fan and Raees. Fan couldn’t survive beyond one week in theatres. Raees which had huge potential due to the fantastic build-up towards release lost the opportunity because of clash with Kaabil. Had Kaabil not released, Raees would have made much more than Rs 160 crore that it garnered.

The time since SRK did DDLJ and the time when JHMS released, a whole new generation has grown up. This generation will throng in thousands to catch a glimpse of their favourite star in the mall but will also reject the films if they don’t like the content.

The year 2017 hasn’t been great for Bollywood and Jab Harry Met Sejal too met the same fate as other biggies did. However, the failure of SRK’s film at this point in time has far reaching impact- both on business and his career. SRK is already above 50 and that is showing. His choice of roles need to be in sync with his age (look how Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff have remodelled their careers). Secondly, most of his films are produced by his own company- Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt Ltd and so the whole chain gets affected when his film is unable to get the desired money. Since he endorses more than two dozen brands, a whole ecosystem suffers when his film doesn’t perform as per expectations and in case of SRK, expectations are always high.

One also needs to understand that films of actors like SRK and Salman Khan are mounted on big budgets, and are sold at huge prices to distributors. Their films earning anything less than Rs 100 crore is a setback. Dilwale and Raees just scrapped thorough thanks to SRK’s huge appeal in overseas markets.

In the meantime, Akshay Kumar has come up with a new model of cinema. Khiladi Kumar plays to his strengths and chooses scripts which resonate with most number of people besides making movies at low-cost, which results in good returns most of the times. His line-up for 2018 includes 2.0 (sequel of Robot/Endhiran) with none other than superstar Rajinikanth.  (Just think, when was the last time an Akshay Kumar movie flopped?)

Courtesy: Indian Express

Also Akshay Kumar comes with 3-4 films (each on different subject/genre) every year while SRK, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan release one or maximum two films in a year. When audience wait for so long, their expectations also rise manifold. Hence, the moment they feel that film is not up to their expectations, they feel disappointed.

But SRK knows how to rise and is an astute businessman. A man with no godfather in industry became one of the biggest stars of India (even popular than Tom Cruise, according to Forbes), a man with no experience in sports management bought a cricket team and turned it into profits from the first edition of IPL itself, a man who can sell anything, a man who has made it on his own, is here to stay. From Nellore to Nigeria, Singapore to Solapur, Brussels to Bhubhaneshwar, SRK not only has fans but actually has fan clubs in all parts of the world. Someone who is known as King Khan and has such a huge empire of fans will definitely rise and entertain us.

P.S.- Jab Harry Met Sejal became the 12th film of Shahrukh Khan to cross $10 million in overseas, his back to back 10th film (only Indian actor to do so). Nothing is over, till it’s over.

Here’s a look at the performance of Shah Rukh Khan’s highest grossing films at domestic box office so far  (source: www.koimoi.com)–

Movie

Year

Collections in India 

(Rs in Cr.)

Chennai Express

2013 226.70

Happy New Year

2014

205

Dilwale

2015 148

Raees

2017

139
Jab Tak Hai Jaan 2012

120.65

Ra.One

2011

115

Don 2

2011

106

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

2008

86

FAN

2016

85

Om Shanti Om 2007

79+

Published by

Piyush Mishra

Engineer, journalist, movie buff, & Sachin devotee! Previously worked with The Times of India & NDTV, now working as a Corporate Communications professional with an automobile major in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). This blog/website is a birthday gift from a close friend & I am trying my best to not to disappoint him. #Dreamer

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