So it’s all done after all! Aamir Khan‘s Dangal has practically broken all possible Bollywood records (barring one or two which pertained to the initial) and has now gone past the Rs. 385 crore mark. The fact that it is still collecting in the sixth week despite Raees and Kaabil playing in theatres is a testimony to the fact that the Aamir Khan starrer is still a choice for the audiences. Meanwhile, what has happened in the process is the gap that has been further widened when it comes to the next big grosser.
Here is how!
“Before Dangal, the record for the highest grossing film was PK  and that stood for a good two years. That too was an Aamir Khan starrer and had netted Rs. 340.8 crore. Now to think of it, this number couldn’t even be touched by any superstar. Salman Khan came close to it with 2015 release Bajrangi Bhaijaan [Rs. 321 crore] but fell short. Later, even though his Sultan  was magnificent in its initial run, eventually it too ran out of breathing space and closed at Rs. 301.5 crore. So as you can see, while Bajrangi Bhaijaan was close to Rs. 20 crore short, Sultan was almost Rs. 40 crore behind,” says a trade guru.
As for the other superstar Shah Rukh Khan, he is yet to enter the Rs. 300 Crore Club and the maximum distance he has travelled is Rs. 227 crore with Chennai Express. Now even Raees is far away from making it to this club, leave aside the Rs. 300 Crore Club and one still waits to see what ‘The Ring/Rahnuma’ has in the offering.
“Meanwhile, Aamir Khan has raised the stake for the game,” the guru comments, “While the PK record itself was inaccessible, Aamir Khan has outdone himself with Dangal that has gone past the Rs. 385 crore mark. Now what does one do with this competition? Who will really break it? With which film? And by what margin? You need so much at hand in order to achieve such a milestone, be it fantastic content, star power, absolutely perfect release date, at least reasonably good music, a story that connects with the heartland of India as well as the urban centres, fantastic marketing, all available screens to your disposal, the works.”
Since the only man who has come closest to achieve great Box Office numbers so far is Salman Khan, all eyes are on whom to take up this challenge with his two releases in 2017.
“Will it be Tubelight or Tiger Zinda Hai? Well, which other film can we even bet on this year,” wonders an industry insider, “Salman and Kabir Khan have got it right twice over, be it Ek Tha Tiger or Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Latter in particular was a humane tale and this is what helped with a strong audience connect. One hopes that happens with Tubelight even though the only on-screen star here is Salman Khan with a heroine [Zhu Zhu] who is a Chinese. On the other hand Ali Abbas Zafar has given Sultan with Salman and he also has Katrina Kaif lending further star power. Moreover, there is a huge advantage of the sequel factor.”
Not to mention the holiday factor too. While Tubelight releases around the Eid holiday on June 23, and has a two week open period (before Munna Michael arrives on July 7), Tiger Zinda Hai has an even better release period. It hits the screens on December 22 and then has Christmas Day falling on Monday, hence giving it a four day weekend. Moreover, it has an astonishing one month open period with no release planned till January 26 when Sushant Singh Rajput‘s Chandamama Door Ke hits the screens.
“The stage is set for Salman Khan to do the honours,” the insider says, “Otherwise, it would be back to Aamir Khan to unleash something magical all over again on Diwali 2018 with Thugs of Hindostan. A Salman or a Shah Rukh definitely want to score really high by then because Aamir could well have started thinking of the Rs. 500 Crore Club with his Dhoom 3 director Vijay Krishna Acharya a.k.a. Victor and Amitabh Bachchan for Thugs of Hindostan. He is going to miss the Rs. 400 Crore Club by just a whisker with Dangal; he won’t allow that to happen with his historical affair and will go even bigger.”
Well, the ball is in Salman Khan’s court and he now needs to hit it really hard before Aamir comes back into the play!