Before Zero, a comparison of Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan’s last five films
It is that rare year that the three ruling deities of Hindi film industry -- Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan had a film each. While SRK’s entertainer titled Zero releases on December 21 and sees the star play a vertically challenged man who is looking for love and life, Aamir played a man up to no good in Thugs of Hindostan and Salman Khan stepped into the Race franchise with Race 3.
The year that saw the younger brigade like Ayushmann Khurrana (Badhaai Ho, Aandhadhun), Vicky Kaushal (Raazi, Manmarziyaan) and Kartik Aaryan (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety) win at the box office also saw Salman’s Race 3 and Aamir’s Thugs of Hindostan fall flat at the box office. The trade is hoping for Shah Rukh to turn the tide with the Aanand L Rai film, which is riding a positive buzz.
Despite Race 3 and Thugs failing to enthuse the audience, their blockbuster openings again underlined the position that the Khans hold at the box office. All eyes are now on Shah Rukh whose fans expect him to deliver the hit they have been waiting for.
Shah Rukh was last seen romancing Anushka in Jab Harry Met Sejal. The film, despite its stellar cast and director Imtiaz Ali’s mastery over the genre, failed to work. The film’s lifetime collections were just Rs 64 crore, as reported by Bollywoodhungama.com. Shah Rukh’s biggest blockbuster in the last few years was Chennai Express, which earned Rs 227 crore.
He did deliver two more romantic films, Happy New Year (2014) and Dilwale (2015), which did good box office business but were turned down by the critics. He took on a different path by playing an obsessed fan and a psychologist in Fan and Dear Zindagi respectively. His last release before Jab Harry Met Sejal, Raees earned Rs 137 crore at the box office.
Despite his last film underperforming at the box office, Salman Khan continues to be one of the most bankable stars as his 2016 film Sultan collected Rs 300 crore and 2017 film Tiger Zinda Hai collected Rs 339 crore. The Tiger sequel was perhaps one of the few good news that the industry had in an otherwise disappointing year. The graph, however, dipped in 2017 with his film Tubelight failing to work as well.
Aamir Khan has however, emerged as the biggest surprise this year with his big budget Thugs of Hindostan sinking at the box office. The actor had the most consistent upward graph in Bollywood with his every new film outperforming his last film. Secret Superstar was however an exception with Zaira Wasim in the lead role. His last biggest blockbuster was Dangal, which earned Rs 387.38 crore in domestic nett box office collections and then broke all records in China. Its lifetime collection at the end of its international run was close to Rs 2000 crore gross.
The trade continues to be positive about SRK’s box office worth. Talking about trade expectations from Zero, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi said, “The very nature of this industry is uncertainty. After 2007, Salman Khan delivered about a dozen flops one after the other. And then he gave Wanted, Dabangg, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger and there has been no looking back. SRK is the biggest superstar in the country today in Hindi cinema. Even though he had not had a great run post Chennai Express, he is still Shah Rukh Khan. He is loved by millions of fans in the country and across the world. You can’t take that away from him. With the content being right, I think the Zero can do very well with such a great writer and director.”
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