With a January 25 release, Shah Rukh Khan’s long-awaited action-packed entertainer Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand, is now 10 days away. While pre-orders for the Indi film haven’t started yet, producer YRF has already started taking pre-orders from major international pockets, and the initial reaction to the film on ticket sales is a treat for sore eyes. In the industry, it is called the ‘Shah Rukh Khan Impact’ in that the king returns to claim the throne after a long absence.
The film’s pre-sale story began in Germany last December, with sales starting a month before its release. Tickets for many large theaters in Hamburg and Berlin sold out rather quickly. Now, Germany isn’t a huge market for Indian films per se, but interest in the film has signaled potential breakthroughs elsewhere, as it doesn’t sell out a 300-seat cinema a month before its release. In fact, as you can read in sales reports in some markets, that’s actually been the case.
SRK’s Biggest Opener Appears in Pathaan, UAE and Australia
UAE – Currently, Pathaan has sold 3,500 Opening Day tickets in the Middle East market, valued at $50,000. In 2017, Raees opened for $350,000 in the UAE, which was the highest opening day for a Bollywood film and Pathaan hopes to easily surpass it with a pre-sale.
Australia – The film sold over 3000 tickets worth A$65,000 in Australia on its opening day. Now Australia is a weak performing territory for SRK as his films haven’t scored as well as other contemporaries, but Pathaan is looking to change that. On the weekend, the Australia Day (January 26) holiday will benefit the film. In 2017, Raees opened at A$187,000 over the same weekend, Pathaan should reach A$200,000 rather easily, with possible targets above A$300,000. Currently, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavaat holds the record for opening day in Australia with its A$364,000 collection released on the same day, 25 January.
Pathaan expected to rewrite records in Germany
Germany – Back to where it all started, in Germany the film sold 8500 tickets (€125,000) over the 5-day weekend yesterday, of which 4000 were opening day tickets. Mainstream Bollywood’s biggest opening weekend is Dilwale’s €142,983, and Pathaan will surpass that number in days without a single gig. This kind of sale is unprecedented and a bit difficult to understand, but chances are the film will go on to gross €200-250,000, maybe even a €300,000 extended weekend. Other markets such as North America and the UK are also reporting strong pre-sales, but sales data is still pending and will be updated as we receive it.
Dilwale holds the record for SRK’s largest overseas opening with $8.75 million in its first weekend. Big overseas numbers have been rare lately, with Brahmastra being the only one to cross $10 million. The SRK starrer hasn’t missed $10 million since like forever, so there was no doubt Pathaan was doing it, but the last time it did with a pre-sale of this kind was the 2018 Sanju. The international response to Pathaan also hints at audiences’ expectations that Shah Rukh Khan will be back on screen, and the same trend will be reflected in the pre-sale in India, which will be released for audiences next week.
Touted as one of India’s biggest action spectacles to date, Pathaan is part of Aditya Chopra’s ambitious spy universe, which began with Ek Tha Tiger in 2012 and continued with Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) and War (2019). As the fourth film in the universe, it also marks the beginning of a crossover of characters from one film to another, eventually leading to a big-ticket multi-starrer finale. Salman Khan has an extended cameo in Pathaan as the iconic spy Tiger aka Avatar. Avinash Singh Lathor. The spy world continues with the launch of Tiger 3 starring Salman alongside Katrina Kaif and Emraan Hashmi over the Diwali 2023 weekend. The film will see Shah Rukh Khan’s expansion into Pathaan. Stay tuned to Pinkvilla for more updates.