Revisiting The Box Office Failure Of Shah Rukh Khan's Zero
Box Office Failure Of Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero Revisited. (Photo Credit – IMDb)

It’s not hidden from anyone that Zero was Shah Rukh Khan’s ambitious project. Going a bit offbeat, the superstar played the character of a person with a short stature. Even though the performance was praised, the film turned out to be a major debacle at the Indian box office, leading to Khan’s hiatus from acting. So, in today’s piece, we’ll be revisiting the failure of the film.

Ambitious making of the film

For Zero, Shah Rukh collaborated with director Aanand L Rai for the first time. As the story revolved around a person of short stature, the actor had to put a lot of effort into shooting a scene. If we search for the making of the film on YouTube, we’ll come across the exhausting process of shooting a scene. Also, the entire film was loaded with heavy VFX work, which took months to complete.

Budget of Zero

All thanks to the powerful cast of Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif, alongside Shah Rukh Khan, and the substantial use of VFX, Zero carried a huge budget. Even though it’s not officially known, it is learned that the film was made at a staggering 200 crores, making it SRK’s most expensive film back then.

Box office performance

Released in December 2018, Zero arrived in theatres ahead of the Christmas holidays. As no other Bollywood film was released during the same period, the Shah Rukh Khan starrer got a solo release, but it tanked miserably. Upon its arrival, the film saw mixed reviews coming in from critics. At the Indian box office, it opened well, but as word-of-mouth was below average, it failed even to hit the 100 crore (net collection) mark.

For those who aren’t aware, Zero ended its theatrical journey at just 97.50 crores (net collection).

Box office deficit

Usually, films make a big chunk of revenue from non-theatrical deals, and in some cases, even before hitting theatres, the cost of production is recovered. However, when it comes to box office verdicts, revenue from non-theatrical business isn’t considered. So, in the case of Zero, the cost was 200 crores, and when this is compared with the film’s Indian collection of 97.50 crores, there’s a deficit of 102.5 crores.

The figure of 102.5 crores couldn’t be described as a loss, but instead, using the term box office deficit would be appropriate.

KGF factor

Other than below-average reactions from audiences, another important factor was Yash’s KGF Chapter 1. Originally a Kannada film, KGF 1 was promoted on the pan-India level and was even released in Hindi. With glowing word-of-mouth, the film enjoyed a good demand among Hindi audiences, thus affecting Zero’s share of theatres and the box office collection in the Hindi belt of India.

Note: Box office numbers are based on estimates and various sources. Numbers have not been independently verified by Koimoi.

Stay tuned to Koimoi for more box office updates!

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