Back in 2014 when Shah Rukh Khan released Happy New Year, the film had not just emerged as his personal biggest opener ever but had also turned out to be the highest first day ever for an Indian film. To think of it, 44.97 crores was a huge number indeed for the film industry since the feat was accomplished almost a decade ago and was a few notches ahead of the last big one, Dhoom 3, which had accumulated 36.22 crores on the first day. Both these films included collections from the south versions as well, though it was minimal.
At least for Bollywood, the record was held by Happy New Year for a really long time before it took something really special in the form of Thugs of Hindostan. Just like Dhoom: 3, this too was a Yash Raj Films’ offering and the 2018 release went on to nett 52.25 crores. The Aditya Chopra monopoly continued with War  which topped the score further with 53.35 crores been collected on the very first day of release. Incidentally, each of these three releases, Happy New Year [Diwali], Dhoom: 3 [Christmas] and War [Gandhi Jayanti] were holiday releases.
Now, Shah Rukh Khan is arriving with his Pathaan and the first major target for the action thriller is to emerge as the highest opener ever for the superstar. For that the film would have to go past the 45 crores number on Wednesday and that would be a huge task indeed, considering it’s a regular working day. Of course, a lot has changed between 2014 to 2023. There are IMAX, 4DX and other premium screens which have come up which are higher priced. There has been a huge addition of multiplex screens as well, which means the release is going to be really wide. Also, the ticket prices have gone at least one and a half times, if not double (at least major theatre chains). Hence, there is an advantage here which neutralizes the non-holiday factor to a large extent.
Hence, Pathaan simply needs to go past the 45 crores mark and at the very least emerge as Shah Rukh Khan’s biggest opener. Given the kind of craze and excitement so far, this should be possible as well and then the stage would be set for Republic day collections and then the weekend which follows.
Note: Box office numbers are based on estimates and various sources. Numbers have not been independently verified by Koimoi.