Those who have not been living under a rock will know the most recent phenomenon surrounding the South Indian sensation, RRR, that has managed to take the world by storm. Well, India now brings the popular crowd a brand new subject to be obsessed over. The name’s Pathaan and it stars arguably the biggest celebrity any film industry has ever produced, to date – Shah Rukh Khan.
Known as the King of Bollywood (no particular reason behind the moniker apart from the irrefutable fact that he has absolutely ruled over the industry and the people’s hearts since stepping foot in it), the movie marks his comeback after a 4-year hiatus. And with it, he brings back the fan frenzy, the craze, drama, and all the masala that the world of cinema had been craving since the pre-pandemic era and the box office sloth that followed.
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SRK’s Pathaan Becomes Biggest Opener Surpassing RRR
There are absolutely a rare few things that the Bollywood Badshaah cannot do or has not accomplished in his diverse and spectacular filmography since the early ’90s. Initially gaining fame and recognition as a romantic lead in the era of the three reigning Khans – the two others being Aamir and Salman Khan – the Pathaan actor climbed the ranks as the biggest heartthrob in the world’s largest film industry populated by a devoted billion-strong fandom that can proudly claim cinema as one of the nation’s most favorite pastime.
It is hardly surprising then that the 2023 film, starring King Khan in the lead (any other part is simply unthinkable at this point), becomes the biggest opener upon release, breaking world records and stampeding even RRR on its way up the charts. Earning $36.8 million (equivalent to ₹300 crores) in its opening weekend and with a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Pathaan breaks the worldwide record in the highest opener category by any Hindi-language film as well as the only Bollywood project to ever open with ₹300 crores globally. RRR made history in March 2022 by earning $30 million worldwide on its opening day.
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The new spike in the world’s attention toward Bollywood and a rise in the passion for the theatres has put Shah Rukh Khan’s action thriller in a sweet spot to overtake India’s highest-grossing film of all time, Aamir Khan’s Dangal, in the coming months. The latter, released way back in 2016, now sits on a comfortable collection of $330 million (equivalent to ₹2,200 crores) and as such remains the only Bollywood film to ever do so.
SRK’s Pathaan is Gaining a Much-Needed Global Recognition
To begin and end Indian cinema with SS Rajamouli’s RRR is a grave error since the film only marks another milestone in a long, diverse, and rich history that the country’s industry has played in contributing to the advancement of cinema in the global arena. Beginning with 1931’s Alam Ara, India’s first sound film, to the 1980s that began producing a colossal 800+ feature films annually to 2001’s Lagaan to 2015’s Bahubali: The Beginning – every minute masterpiece did its part in weaving together a legacy that is inimitable in its global impact.
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As the world enters the third decade of the 21st century, the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer just becomes another notch in India’s belt in making and breaking history. Pathaan not only serves as the first spy action-thriller blockbuster for the megastar but simultaneously stages his comeback after the lackluster serve of 2018’s Zero. To be marking that memorable comeback with a project that not only resurges his presence in the Bollywood mainframe but also makes it a worldwide record-breaker is something that only a fool would put past the witty, beloved, dapper, and mass favorite SRK.