Bajrangi Bhaijaan is still doing well and bringing in moolah. The film has close to 320 crore in its kitty and is an All Time Blockbuster. Now six weeks after its release, Kabir Khan is bringing another film – Phantom. No, he isn’t aiming for such high numbers for this action-thriller of his. In fact even if the film garners 20% of these numbers, he would feel content. Reason? The film’s genre, stage and setting is different while the budget has been accordingly controlled as well.

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“See, figures will keep coming and records will keep breaking every year. However some years down the line, people won’t remember figures. They would remember films and that is more important for me,” says Kabir Khan, who is now getting back into the New York space with Phantom.

Kabir Khan & stills from movie 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' and 'Phantom'
Kabir Khan & stills from movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and ‘Phantom’

While New York too had done commercially well, especially considering the fact that it had collected over 40 crore despite being in an offbeat space, the same is expected from Phantom too which deals with the issue of terrorism.

“Of course you can keep wishing for more and more, but then as long as the film is accepted with the target audience, you are content as a director,” adds Kabir, who started off with a critically acclaimed Kabul Express, which went on to be a plus outing as well.

Now that he has an almost double century with Ek Tha Tiger [199 crore] and a triple century in Bajrangi Bhaijaan [320 crore and counting] behind him, a film like Phantom is akin to coming back to the roots. Since the film’s subject [Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif forming an A-Team with a bunch of other men and avenging the attacks of 26/11] has a niche appeal to it and is more in the Zero Dark Thirty zone, there are certain set expectations from it.

“When people talk about Kabul Express or New York, they don’t talk about figures; they talk about films. It has been nine years since Kabul Express released and people still talk about it. That gives me ultimate satisfaction. Sajid (Nadiadwala) too knows about the kind of audience that Phantom caters too. He understands what the film stands for and to whom it is reaching out. We are happy with what we have made. It all boils down to how well does audience appreciate our film now. Fortunately, they have started accepting different genres of cinema,” he details.

Considering the fact that films like Drishyam, Badlapur and NH10 have been offbeat successes of the year so far, one looks forward to Phantom continuing the trend as well.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder

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