While Shahrukh Khan was jostling from city to city on a train to get the buzz going for Raees, Hrithik Roshan kept resolutely quiet about Kaabil. Critics have praised both movies equally, so Kaabil did have a fighting chance against Raees, which makes one wonder why Hrithik all but abandoned his film. Unless, of course, the actor’s plan all along was to cash in on the Raees and Kaabil clash controversy that has kept the spotlight on Hrithik film’s regardless of its performance at the box office. Whether the film tanks and earns nothing in the days to come, it will still make headlines in comparison stories, simply by virtue of running parallel to Shahrukh Khan’s release.
Of course, Kaabil isn’t doing too badly, considering that it earned Rs 10.43 crore on its first day and almost doubled its earnings with Rs 18.67 crore yesterday. However, if Kaabil had a free run at the box office, it may have done much better. This leads us to wonder why Hrithik couldn’t change his dates around, naturally taken some losses due to the schedule changes, and released Kaabil in a Shahrukh-free time? Perhaps because with the disaster that was Mohenjodaro, Hrithik realised viewers’ faith in him was shaken. The best way to get people talking about the movie might have been to continue with the Raees clash and get some controversy (which means media attention) delivered right to his doorstep.
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After all, no matter how well Kaabil could have done at the box office, the added masala of a clash of the Bollywood titans has kept viewers glued to the Kaabil and Raees updates. No one expected Hrithik to match Shahrukh’s stardom to begin with, so perhaps, rather than taking a hit at the box office, he’s pulled the biggest masterstroke of all and ensured a success. Now, no matter how much or little the film earns, fans will either sympathise with him for suffering from Shahrukh’s clash or praise him for earning money despite Shahrukh’s clash. It’s a win-win.