MUMBAI: In spite of the number of brands he endorses, it is kind of funny to think of Shah Rukh Khan as a product and one which is endorsed by an Making of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi | Movie Review: RNBDJ
But that is exactly how King Khan describes himself when asked what worked in driving people to the theatres to see his only release of the year—Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (RNBDJ)—which Khan says has collected Rs 6.9 crore on its first day across the 900 prints released across India (another 300 for the 30 overseas markets).
“I have become like an ISI mark on a product, so people think, ‘dekh toh le, kuch toh hoga, since it is SRK and Adi together’,” says the star exclusively to ET on the RNBDJ’s trade figures.
Yash Raj Films (YRF) goes on to add that RNBDJ has broken all earlier opening weekend collection records for YRF. The film, according to them, has grossed about Rs 60 crore worldwide on its opening weekend, and has surpassed Dhoom 2, which is regarded as one of the highest grossing films of all time.
In the Middle-East, RNBDJ has set a new record as the highest opening film of all-time. While Dhoom 2 had grossed about $1.86 million across its entire run, RNBDJ has grossed $1 million on its opening weekend alone.
In India, in spite of the critics panning the film, SRK seems to be the single biggest reason post-26/11 to drive people back to the movie halls in such big numbers. Compare this with Khan’s Om Shanti Om (Rs 6.6 crore) and the Akshay Kumar-starrer Singh is Kingg (Rs 7.1 crore) both of which released not in such uncertain times.
While Khan has been accessible to the media, YRF, being a privately held company, has always been guarded in their financial communication. A bad run with their movies this year, from Tashaan to Bachna..., has seen them bend a little whereas for Khan, it is critical to establish his supremacy at the box office with contenders increasing every day.
“We were prepared for a slow Friday and it was so till the first two-and-half shows but then the movie picked up and the collections surprised both Adi and me,” says a cautious Khan.
So what worked to add up to the crores? The only plausible answer seems SRK though wearing his humble hat, Khan says: “A star gets in the initial eyeballs, plus he/she comes in with his own skill set of acting and reputation which definitely adds up but I think I say this for all the top stars that none of us are beyond the film. This is an experiential film which will grow on the viewer. It has nobility, which will take a little while to settle in, as you need to sense it,” says Khan.
The critics are something which Khan has lived with through his 62 films. And he adds that he has never been part of a single film where “both critique and commerce” have been in his favour. Not even for Chak De or for Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
As for the dreaded recession word, Khan’s take is that of the economics that he recalls from his days of academia in college, the entertainment and cosmetic industry were the two recession-proof industries.