It is Raees vs Kaabil at the cinema this extended holiday week. The atmosphere is electric and if I were to exaggerate a bit it is like war. Many in Bollywood say this clash defines 2017 as there is a whole bunch of big films coming up this year and if Raees and Kaabil both do well at the box office it will be clear that there is enough space for two simultaneous releases in Bollywood. For their part both, Shahrukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan have left no stone unturned to promote their films through TV, Interviews and interactions with the public.
So just before the two films go into this mega box office clash with their 25th January release we did the math’s and on the basis of the current popularity of both films Raees and Kaabil and the track record of both big stars Shahrukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan we have put together some interesting numbers that could be pointers to the outcome of the first box office battle of 2017.
At the beginning lets look at advance bookings. Both Raees and Kaabil are strong, with the theatre owners giving both films will have an almost even opening. Raees at present has a slight lead in terms of screen count. Lead distributor, Anil Thadani has clubbed Raees and Baahubali 2 together while selling it to the exhibitors which has helped Raees get 2700 screens so far, an advantage over Kaabil which will show in 2200 screens across the country. However in the single screen segment there are more theatres dedicated to Raees. In the International market Shahrukh has 65% of the screens to Hrithik's 35%. This, as Shahrukh has a much higher following in Bollywood’s international market.
Raees Movie Review http://www.bollywoodpataka.com/movie-reviews/raees-movie-review
We looked at some other online parameters of the popularity of Raees and Kaabil to put a fair prediction together. The viewed numbers for both films trailers being a fair barometer of which of the two films ranks higher. Here Raees has 42 million plus trailer views on YouTube and Kaabil at almost half has 24 million plus trailer views.
Of late music and dialogues is another big factor that attracts the audience to the cinemas. Shahrukh Khan’s film has a lead both in the number of people watching its top romantic number. As both films have an item number we have tabulated the figures of that as well. In terms of number of hits on yourube Raees takes the lead here as well.The SRK film’s big hit romantic number Zaalima has 44 million plus views whereas Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil Hoon has 20 million plus views. On the item number front Raees song Laila main Laila starring Sunny Leone 80 has million plus views to Haseeno Ka Deewana from Kaabil has 50 million plus views . Even the dialogues of Raees have an earthy flavor to them and are doing quite well especially with small town audiences.
On the social media too Shahrukh has used all his savvy online might to whip up a storm. Individually SRK has the second largest online presence and he has used that to garner much support in the twitter and Facebook space. So here too Raees has a slight advantage over Kaabil in this big box office clash.
If we were to rewind for a minute and look at the box office track records of both Shahrukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan, the past stacks up slightly better for Hrithik that it does for Shahrukh. Hrithik has a better track record when it comes to opening weekend scores and lifetime collection at the box office. Only when it comes to the magical 100 crore club SRK has a better track record with 3 hits in the 100 crore club.
The last time round there was a major clash at the box office was during the Diwali holiday of 2016 when Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma came up against Ajay Devgn’s magnum opus Shivaay. ADHM ended up collecting Rs.112.50 crore in the domestic box office against Shivaay with made Rs.110.35 crore lifetime collection.
In an interview recently, speaking at length on the Raees Kaabil Box office clash Shah Rukh Khan said, “I don't think it's bad for the industry at all. It's rather nice for the viewers, they have choices." Kaabil film maker hlds a slightly different viewpoint on the subject.speaking to the press recently Roshan Sr said, " am happy about one thing. We both together will do Rs 300 crore. Aamir and Salman's single films have earned Rs 300 crore. Here two films together will earn Rs 300 crore. But then both the films have the potential to individually earn Rs 300 crore if they were not clashing with each other."
Given the above and having done the online math’s we believe that in the Raees vs Kaabil Box Office predictions, Shahrukh Khan’s Raees will open marginally better than Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil on the basis of Shahrukh Khan’s larger star power and the fact that Raees has appealed more to the masses given its masala storyline. However in the past we have seen in the long run the only difference between a solo release and a multi weekend release is the time taken to notch up the records. In terms of lifetime figures both figures will do well or badly depending purely on the strength of the content of the film.
To quote a line from a Shahrukh Khan film, “Hamari filmo ki tarah, hamari zindagi mein bhi end tak sab kuch thik hi ho jaata hai ... happy's ending’s. Aur agar, aur agar theek na ho to woh the end nahin hai dosto, picture abhi baaki hai.”