Zero Marketing Budget, and an expected 500 cr in the first weekend – that’s Shahrukh Khan’s Pathaan for you!

Zero Marketing Budget, and an expected 500 cr in the first weekend— that’s Shahrukh Khan’s Pathaan for you!

By Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri

A whopping 500 cr+ is what Pathaan will almost certainly make in the first weekend worldwide!! And this entire money will come with a total of ZERO Marketing Cost!! That’s the power of The KING Shah Rukh Khan — the King not only of Bollywood but also of Marketing!!

Needless to say I watched Pathaan yesterday night itself! And the atmosphere was absolutely mind blowing!! SRK makes an entry right at the beginning of the film and the crowd just goes out of control!!! Not much later the Besharm Rang song comes. While the crowd enjoys, the moment the lines of the song come where Deepika Padukone is wearing her saffron bikini, everyone cheers loud, very loud.. it’s crazy electrifying.. The cheering is not for how hot she looks (of course she scorches the screen) but it is SECULAR, & DEMOCRATIC INDIA giving a resounding slap on the face of the #boycottshahrukhkhan and #BoycottBollywoodMovies illiterate gang of divisive termites who were trying to pull the film down and needless to say went behind not only their favorite star but also his son not so long back.

After that the movie takes off!! With Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan changes gears at long last— into a full blown action hero. One of the world’s best actor’s dialogue delivery, charm, dimpled smile, body— everything is sheer pleasure to watch and experience! And with that YRF gives India it’s first real Mission Impossible feeling! It works wonders.

But more than everything else, Pathaan is a marketing wonder! 56 cr first day Hindi Business, another 50 cr rest of the world on a non holiday!! 70cr India Business the next day!! There’s no rationale in the film but Yash Raj Films & SRK know that in today’s age of OTT, only world class action can get audiences to the hall. And do they deliver! They show how without spending a dime even on posters, they can create a blockbuster! They use Deepika to perfection! They know the spineless invertebrates of the boycott gang have done enough promotion, so they don’t give a single interview, roadshow, TV appearance — no nothing!! They don’t even have anything much in the trailer. They release two songs, one teaser and only one version of a trailer and put it on Burj Khalifa and on social media!

But yes, they concentrate on the product!! And what a world beating class product they delivered!! Every moment worth your money!!

They know keeping the name “Chaudhuri” or “Bengali” has no pull or romance attached, but Khan, Pathaan, Sardar all sound romantic and macho! So from keeping the name as Pathaan to in likelyhood choosing a well planned colour for Deepika’s bikini for a song called ‘Besharm Rang’ they get every marketing trick in the book perfect. In my previous piece ( I also wrote how Deepika’s stardom was used to perfection with her presence in FIFA being the single biggest marketing trump card ever played in history of cinema.

After 15 long years post Om Shanti Om, Shahrukh again delivers a genuine hit worth his name and mega stardom! Yes, post OSO for 8 years till 2015 he had Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, MNIK, Don 2, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Chennai Express, Happy New Year and Dilwaale. But I’m sure everyone will agree they weren’t really what you expect from SRK specially given that during the same time period Salman and Aamir gave a plethora of gigantic box office successes in front of which all these films of SRK looked pale. And post 2015 for 7/8 long years absolutely nothing. Not one film that made any dent, any impression, any money.

After the debacle of ZERO, I had written an article —11 things SRK must do to retain Box Office stardom (interestingly if you read it, it seems he has done at least 10 of those 11 things)— that the sad part of being a mega star is you have to give box office figures. Necessarily… to justify your place! And for fifteen long years that was missing. Finally it’s back and if I have to take a guess, this one should stop only after becoming Bollywood’s biggest box office success ever, beating Dangal! It should end up doing 400cr in India alone. World wide figures should touch 700cr plus (not counting China). China was my 11th suggestion for which I’m not clear if he has a strategy. It is where YRF and SRK will need to have a marketing strategy and budget. If that works, then sky will be the limit, not just for Pathaan but also also for his future films!

Go watch Pathaan because it’s a movement against a regime that wants to spread hatred and divide India. And while you show the strength of our secular nation, you will get full #paisavasool and fall in love again with Shah Rukh Khan!

Rating: 9/10
One star less because Box Office isn’t everything in a film. A ten star film should be Box Office plus a story to take back home.