This Republic day weekend will witness the clash between Raees and Kaabil. While the Shah Rukh Khan - Mahira Khan film directed by Rahul Dholakia chronicles around the journey of a bootlegger, the Hrithik Roshan - Yami Gautam film directed by Sanjay Gupta is a story about visually impaired man seeking revenge.
Both the films, which appeal to a similar audience base, are fighting to reap benefit of just one big national holiday that falls on 26 January 2017. Republic Day isn't even a big festive weekend like Eid, Diwali, Christmas, which has scope for two big films to release and hence the clash of titans is rather uncalled for. The highest grossing film to have released during the Republic Day weekend is Airliftwhich raked in 129 crore and the combined total of Raees and Kaabil should comfortably breach past this number.
But which film has an upper hand at this moment? Let's analyse:
Raees marks the return of Shah Rukh Khan in the negative space 6 years after Don 2 and the same has grabbed enough eye balls. The biggest crowd puller of Raees is undoubtedly Shah Rukh Khan, who is one of India's biggest superstars today.
Despite the constant delay in its release, the teaser that released in 2015, kept the interest around Raees alive for long. The theatrical trailer just added onto the buzz. While 'Laila O Laila' featuring Sunny Leone is a chartbuster and would keep the front row audiences entertained, it would do very little to generate interest amongst the family audiences.
There have been reports about constant re-shoots to 'commercialize' the film and there is always a fear when film-makers move away from the script for commercial reasons. On face of it, Raees appears as an out and out massy entertainer; however the names associated with it aka. Excel Entertainment and Rahul Dholakia are known to make multiplex centric film. The budget of the film has shot up considerably owing to the re-shoots and a mere 100-110 crore would not be enough for the film emerge a hit.
The buzz that Raees is inspired by a true story, adds to the curiosity value of the film.
Raees as a vehicle is riding on Shah Rukh Khan's shoulders that would ensure a huge opening weekend, following which the content will have to support King Khan's stardom.
Hrithik Roshan is probably going through the worst phase of his career and Kaabil is touted as his comeback film. While the response to first trailer was mixed, the second trailer launched recently has met with a positive response.
Despite being a 'revenge drama': a subject that often opens well, the Box-Office prospects of Kaabil will majorly be dependent on word of mouth owing to the clash with Raees. The film does not seem to be high on production values and Sanjay Gupta as a director does not have an impressive track record. The music of Kaabil has been praised by music reviewers however it has not as such caught up with the audiences.
The Hrithik Roshan - Rakesh Roshan duo has seldom failed to deliver big at the Box-Office with only exception being Kites. Kaabil has the benefit of controlled budget as the film would emerge a hit at collections much lower than Raees.
Given the fact that two films release on a non-holiday i.e. 25 January 2017, we expect the combined opening day total a little over 30 crore. Irrespective of the word of mouth, the Republic Day will give a huge boast to the collections. Just like Dilwale vs Bajirao Mastaniwherein the later emerged the winner on strength of content, even here the better film will take over from the third day i.e. 27 January 2017.
- Raees: 21 - 22 crore
- Kaabil: 11 - 12 crore