Dear Zindagi box office collections on opening day: Shahrukh Khan and Alia Bhatt starrer was released in about 1100 theatres and that too in multiplexes. Compare this to the 5000 plus screens that Salman Khan Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and others command! The storyline is irreverent and was not deemed suitable for the hinterland and therefore, the focus was on the theatres in metros and top tier II cities. The result is plain to see. The film has generated Rs 8.75 cr in revenues. This has been possible on the back of a great occupancy rate in the theatres throughout the first day. So, SRK’s focus on big cities has paid off, but the rest of India will find it tough to check out the movie in a theatre near them.
While the restricted release in metros will ensure demonetisation does not have too big a role to play in keeping people away from the theatres, yet it will surely have impacted the film’s collections by at between 20-25%. Because of the cash crunch that all Indians are facing, watching a movie in theatres is bound to have been scratched off the list of must-do things of most people. After all, who wants to stand in long queues and get into fights there? The current limit on the amount that you can withdraw on a daily basis is clearly not enough to factor in entertainment, which will cost anything between Rs 200-to-Rs 800 (for special seats, it can go up to Rs 1000 in Big Cinemas) per person if you limit yourself to just tickets – the priciest ticket is . Also, not everybody has gone cashless yet.
Shahrukh Khan commands a huge fan base. While the numbers are massive in top towns of the country, the hinterland too accounts for massive numbers. Taken together, the hinterland may well beat the metros in this regard. So, Shahrukh has for some reason chosen to restrict this movie to a choice audience. The thinking may well be that the film has no action sequences and no thrill-per-minute clips that he is also known for. And, considering his topmost hits have been milk-and-honey love stories, this one is not even that. And Unlike Chak De, where he also plays a mentor, this one does not have any nationalistic/patriotic fervour in it.
Be that as it may, there is no denying the fact that SRK has brought into play all his acting skills into play and provided a film that most superstars would be scared silly of. Stepping away from all that earned him the status of a megastar required guts and that is exactly what SRK has done. Will that burnish his star further? His iconic status is unlikely to get get a boost through Dear Zindagi. Also, most of his fans would not get to see this movie unless they put in a special effort and in today’s age, who has the time to do that.
However, this movie will definitely boost Alia Bhatt’s career. She is the central character around whom the entire film is built and Shahrukh Khan is seen guiding her towards finding the real ‘her’. Alia is still a novice in Bollywood, but in this movie she has brought out her acting skills marvellously, courtesy Shahrukh Khan. Her repertoire has increased and she can now expect roles across the canvas of opportunities in Bollywood. We can expect to see her in a number of roles that pre-Dear Zindagi, we would never have imagined she was capable of.
As far as Dear Zindagi box office collections are concerned, the idea that it would turn into a Rs 100 cr or even Rs 200 cr has been flushed down the toilet. So, the records set by Salman Khan, Aamir Khan or even Rajinikanth are safe as houses. A more realistic figure for Dear Zindagi that is emerging is Rs 50 cr. As such, Shahrukh Khan can say that this movie is only a qualified succes and not a pan-India special – the kind he is really known for.