The phase Salman Khan is currently going through is a rarity in Bollywood. With back-to-back duds, he has delivered Tiger 3, which, despite collecting around 275 crore, won’t be considered as the optimum potential utilization of the star who delivered a 340-crore monster in the previous part of the same franchise (Tiger Zinda Hai) back in 2017.
Yes, Tiger 3 has collected enough that if any other star’s film earned this much, you would’ve seen everyone in the industry celebrating the same. But that’s the thing: Salman Khan is not ‘any other star,’ and this is Bollywood – a place he has ruled for years.
In his recent conversation with the media, Sallu bhai was seen defending his duds Antim and Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan; that’s fine because not everyone is capable enough to completely accept their failures. The problem is the reasoning given by him.
He said that during his last release (Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan), a national chain reported that there were only 25-30% footfalls. He also added, “If today Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan would have released. The number would have been a lot more than what they were.”
Do we agree? Nope! How could footfalls suddenly steep when Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan 3 months (25th January 2023) before Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (21st April 2023) rewrote history by attracting over three crore people in theatres to watch a film that’s worth their time?
Why would Ranbir Kapoor’s Tu Jhooti Main Makkaar go on to collect 150 crore, attracting around 75 lakh footfalls a month before KKBKKJ? “See, at that point, no one was ready to go in theatres,” this is what Salman Khan gave the reason for his last few films’ low box office collection.
Mr. Khan also mentioned how he, along with the producers of KKBKKJ & Antim, went lenient on the ticket pricing and said, “When the film was released, we didn’t go for blockbuster (expensive ticket) prices. We kept it at popular prices. Dono mein bahut zyada farq hota hai. We released those movies at popular prices. Ek toh acha karo bhai. Humare number kam aa rahe hai, lekin audiences ka paisa bach raha hai na (We did for good. We earned less, but we saved audiences money as well).”
Salman Khan then kinda-warned that his upcoming movies will have too expensive tickets, “Agli picture mein hoga bhai. Kyuki aap jaise log (the media), jo hum karte hai, woh appreciate nahi karte. Hum aapko humare number bade dikhayege (My next movie will have expensive tickets because you don’t appreciate our intention. Next time, we will show you a bigger number).”
But Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar reportedly had a lower Average Ticket Price (ATP) than KKBKKJ and still earned way better with decent footfalls. How? I think it might be the content, word-of-mouth, and such things that really impact the box office collection of any film. Salman Khan is partially correct; people weren’t ready to go to the theatres during Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan because the movie wasn’t any good.