All eyes are on Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback film Pathaan. From the audience, industry insiders to trade experts, everyone is waiting for the film to hit theaters on January 25. The movie has the responsibility to bring back the Hindi film industry from its deep slumber, and film trade experts are confident it will see the momentum for the rest of the year. They have ‘tremendous’ expectations from Pathaan.
Talking about Pathaan, film trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, “As we all know, Shah Rukh Khan is returning to the screen after four years in an out-and-out action entertainer, and the promotional material has done the trick. People are talking about the film. Since it’s the first big release of 2023, all eyes are on it.” He is expecting the film to open with a collection of Rs 40-50 crore.
The advance booking of Pathaan began in full-fledged mode on January 20, and on the first day itself, it sold over 5 lakh tickets. Over 2 lakh tickets were sold in the top three multiplex chains, PVR, INOX, and Cinepolis. With two days to the film’s release, these figures are expected to grow manifold. Reacting to a solid advance sale of tickets, Taran said, “This proves people want to watch a big entertainer on the big screen only.”
Crossed 2 lacs last night at 11.15 pm [Day 1 ticket sales]. 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/MSREYn8XkI
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 21, 2023
Film producer and trade expert Girish Johar feels that the advance ticket sales of Pathaan have instilled a sense of confidence in the entire Hindi film fraternity, which struggled in 2022 while facing strong competition from global cinema and films from South India.
He told indianexpress.com, “The advance ticket sales are fantastic for all formats, all languages. It gives a lot of confidence, not only to the film’s team but also to the entire film fraternity. Pathaan is the best that Hindi films can offer as of now. It has a star cast of Shah Rukh, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, is directed by Siddharth Anand and is backed by Yash Raj Films, all are in their top game. I am expecting a brilliant start for Pathaan.” However, he feels the film’s opening day collection will be between Rs 35-38 crore.
The glory of Pathaan will not just be restricted to its first day in theatres. Film trade experts are confident that it will register some record-breaking collections over its five-day extended weekend. Girish Johar suggested that the film will earn Rs 175-200 crore in the domestic market in the first five days and will easily collect Rs 350 crore globally.
Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi opined that the Yash Raj Films, which couldn’t 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 its a Tiger movie or a Dhoom franchise or War, it’s a genre which YRF has always raised. Therefore, with a director like Siddharth, who fairly understands the big action set pieces and great entertainers, they will deliver a hit.”
Siddharth Anand’s War, starring Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, which released in 2019, is the top first-day Bollywood earner of all time. It earned Rs 53.35 crore on the day of its release. Will Pathaan give him another hit, remains to be seen. Also, Shah Rukh has never failed to pull people to theaters on the opening day. His 2018 debacle Zero managed a Rs 19.35 crore opening.
However, the team of Pathaan hasn’t promoted the film in a traditional way. So, will that affect the awareness level of the movie among the audience? Taran Adarsh replied, “The moment an actor opens his mouth, and gives an opinion, the boycott calls begin, the controversies begin. Why do you want to get into that?” Girish Johar believes YRF has “smartly” promoted the movie and as per him, even the controversy surrounding its song “Besharam Rang” has added to the awareness about the film.
In fact, Akshaye Rathi is sure “Pathaan will set the momentum for the rest of the year and bring back the revenues and bring back the livelihood of millions of people who are attached to the filmmaking business.”