It took just nine days for Raees to become the fourth highest-earning title of Shah Rukh Khan’s career in India and 11 days for Kaabil to rank as Hrithik Roshan’s fourth film to surpass 100 crore ($15 million).
Despite their head-to-head clash the Hindi hits maintained momentum remarkably well in their second weekend , overshadowing the launches of Tamil fantasy action comedy Bogan, which stars Jayam Ravi and Arvind Swamy, and Jackie Chan’s action-adventure Kung Fu Yoga.
Word-of-mouth clearly is sustaining Raees and Kaabil, which is sure to continue although the Akshay Kumar comedy Jolly LLB 2 will likely prove to be tough competition this Friday.
Last Thursday Shah Rukh’s crime thriller directed by Rahul Dholakia raced past SRK’s 2012 hit Jab Tak Hai Jaan, which fetched 122 crore ($18.3 million), and on Sunday was on track to reach approximately 148.94 crore ($22.3 million) from 2,700 screens.
If that estimate holds, the tale of a ruthless bootlegger in prohibition-era Gujarat in the 1980s who is confronted by an honest cop (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) has overtaken Dilwale’s 148 crore ($22.2 million) haul in 2015 to become King Khan’s third biggest hit. Beyond that are Happy New Year, which minted 205 crore ($30.8 million) in 2014, and his all-time champ, Chennai Express’ 227 crore ($34.1 million) in 2013.
In the rest of the world the co-production between SRK’S Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment has rung up an estimated $12 million including $3.8 million in the U.A.E./Gulf States, $3.3 million in the the U.S., and, per ComScore, $638,000 in Australia.
Roshan’s love story/revenge drama directed by Sanjay Gupta surpassed his 2011 hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’s 90 crore ($13.5 million) last Thursday and outscored Raees for the first time on Saturday as it surged past 100 crore after adding 200 screens in the second weekend, up from 2,200. Producer Rakesh Roshan had complained that exhibitors and distributors had promised to allocate an equal number of screens for both titles but on the day of release on Jan. 25 he discovered the count favored his rival 60:40.
On Sunday the total climbed to 118.14 crore ($17.7 million), overtaking Hrithik’s Agneepath's 115 crore ($17.3 million) in 2012 to take third place on his top-earners list behind Bang Bang’s 181.03 crore ($27.2 million) in 2014 and Krrish 3's $244.92 crore ($36.8 million) in 2013.
So the film co-starring Yami Gautam, brothers Rohit and Ronit Roy, Narendra Jha and Girish Kulkarni is now making profits for its Indian distributors who paid 42 crore ($6.3 million) for the rights. The production budget was a moderate 35 crore ($5.2 million) plus 15 crore ($2.2 million) in P&A. The producer recouped 45 crore ($6.7 million) from Star TV for the satellite rights, 10 crore ($1.5 million) from T-Series for the music rights and 15 core for the overseas rights.
Kaabil was released in Pakistan last Friday after the government lifted the month-long suspension on Indian films, a retaliatory move after the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association banned Pakistani artists and technicians from working in India. Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil also launched in Pakistan on Friday. Raees could open there on Feb. 10 if the requisite no objection certificate is issued by the government in the next day or two.
Written and directed by Lakshman and produced by Prabhu Deva, Bogan debuted on about 400 screens in Tamil Nadu and in the U.S., France and Australia. Analyst Ramesh Bala hailed the film as a “mind-bending action entertainer” which he predicted would collect a healthy 25 crore ($3.7 million) in its first four days in India and 5 crore ($750,000) overseas. On Monday he revised the Indian figure to 16 crore ($2.4 million), noting that word-of-mouth is mixed. The U.S. mustered a modest $70,000 on 65 screens and Australia delivered $32,000 on 11.
Reuniting the two leads after their 2015 hit Thani Oruvan, the film features Arvind as Adithya, an assistant to an archaeology professor who discovers scriptures that contain the secrets of body swapping and starts robbing people who are under his magic spell.
Ravi is Vikram, an honest cop who is set to marry the girl of his dreams (Hansika Motwani) when he crosses paths with Adithya, who has conned Vikram’s father, a bank employee. Varun and Akshara Gowda lead the supporting cast.