Raees vs Kaabil: Going by history, it's advantage Shah Rukh Khan in this clash

Wednesday witnessed a virtual clash of the titans at the Bollywood box office*, with Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees opening at the same time as Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil. However, with the first day’s business figures coming in, it looks like the SRK-starrer may just emerge the winner of round one.

While Raees made Rs 20.42 crore on the first day, Kaabil picked up Rs 10.43 crore.

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These releases assume a different level of significance, considering that both actors are in desperate need of a blockbuster. However, if history is anything to go by, Shah Rukh has a definite advantage in this cinematic face-off.

Shah Rukh has emerged as the king of box office every time a film of his clashed with another. Even Dilwale did better business than the more acclaimed Bajirao Mastani in 2015, scooping up Rs 372 crore to the Ranveer Singh-starrer’s Rs 357 crore.

Earlier in 2013, Chennai Express chugged ahead of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara with box office collections of Rs 396 crore. The Akshay Kumar-starrer managed just Rs 92 crore.

Need more examples? Om Shanti Om released during the Diwali of 2007, along with Saawariya. Taking on Shah Rukh were newbies Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor. They didn’t stand a chance; Farah Khan’s movie made Rs 150 crore, and Saawariya raked in a paltry Rs 23.2 crore.

In 2006, the superstar gave new meaning to the adage “Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hain” as he raced past Shirish Kunder’s directorial debut, Jaan-E-Mann, at the ticket counters. While Shah Rukh’s version of Don fetched Rs 105 crore, its competitor – starring Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta – came a poor second with Rs 35 crore.

Veer Zaara’s clash with Aitraaz in 2004 witnessed a similar ending, with the SRK-starrer setting the cash registers jingling with a Rs 100-crore haul. Aitraaz, starring Akshay Kumar, was lucky enough to manage Rs 26 crore at the box office.

Incidentally, this is not the first time Hrithik has taken on Shah Rukh at the box office. Mohabbatein clashed with Mission Kashmir in 2000, and the results were hardly unexpected. Panned as it was, the YRF movie still earned Rs 90 crore while the Hrithik-starrer managed just Rs 43 crore.

  • Highest opening week collection: Hrithik Roshan, Krrish 3, Rs 164.50 crore in 2013.
  • Highest opening week collection: Shah Rukh Khan, Happy New Year, Rs 157.50 crore in 2014.
  • Highest grosser: Hrithik Roshan, Krrish 3, Rs 240.50 crore
  • Highest grosser: Shah Rukh Khan, Chennai Express, Rs 226.70 crore in 2013.

However, if one were to look at individual track records, Hrithik enjoys a slight advantage at the box office. While he scored the highest opening week collection of his career with Krrish 3, minting Rs 164.50 crore in 2013, Shah Rukh’s most exemplary haul of the kind came only with Happy New Year, which made Rs 157.50 crore in its opening week in 2014.

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Hrithik also takes home the prize for the highest lifetime total, with Krrish 3 making Rs 240.5 crore – beating Shah Rukh’s best effort of Rs 226.70 crore with Chennai Express in 2013.

*These worldwide business figures are published by Box Office India.

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Raees vs Kaabil: Going by history, it's advantage Shah Rukh Khan in this clash