Shah Rukh Khan
In the final moments of Pathaan*s teaser, Shah Rukh Khan says, "Kursi ki peti baandh lo," hinting at a dizzying ride ahead. Well, the ride has begun, and if the advance bookings are any indication, the superstar*s legion of fans have signed up for it. The spy thriller, which opens in over 4,500 screens in India today, has already set a record - having sold 4.88 lakh tickets till Tuesday evening, it has surpassed Hrithik Roshan*s War (2019) to register the highest advance-ticket sales for a Hindi film.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh terms it an endorsement of the superstardom of Khan, who returns to the big screen after over four years. "We had a disastrous 2022. So, this [kind of opening] will not only benefit Shah Rukh or Yash Raj Films, but everyone who has worked on the film. Despite it being a working Wednesday, the film could open at Rs 45-50 crore," he shares.
Rajasthan-based distributor Raj Bansal says the actioner has the potential to revive the Hindi film industry, after the three-year slump. "We are getting an unbelievable number of enquiries. We will release the film in 90-plus theatres in Rajasthan."
One of the most heartening takeaways from the Pathaan fever is the reopening of several single-screen theatres that had shut shop over the last few years. Bansal adds, "Almost 50 to 70 single-screen theatres have been revived. In Rajasthan alone, we are reviving 10 to 12 movie halls." Bihar-based exhibitor Vishek Chauhan states that Siddharth Anand*s directorial venture can appeal to the multiplex viewers as well as audiences in Tier-3 and 4 towns.
"If you make such films, cinemas in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar will spring up. Bollywood [needs to] make big-scale films, the way south Indian films do. Pathaan is the kind of film that works with the masses. If the word of mouth is good, we are looking at a potential Rs 500-crore film," says Chauhan.
While Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham maintained a low profile, the superstar*s fans took the onus of promoting his release. Jatin Gupta reveals that SRK Universe, the actor*s biggest fan club, has organised 200 first-day-first-show screenings. He adds, "On January 26, we have organised a special show for the Delhi Police."
Number of screens in India the film is opening at
Rs 45-50 cr
The film*s estimated first-day collections