A still from Jab Harry Met Sejal
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; August 7, 2017)

Despite being among the most-anticipated releases of the year, Shah Rukh Khan’s big- ticket release, Jab Harry Met Sejal failed to salvage the skewed box-office balance sheets of the first half of 2017. While the romance-drama hit a mammoth 3,200 screens in India, it opened to a lukewarm Rs 15.25 crore at the domestic box office on Friday, even procuring similar collection on Saturday. The performance of the Khan-starrer has been so dismal that even Salman Khan’s dud, Tubelight, fared better on the first two days of its opening weekend.

Trade analyst Komal Nahata tells mid-day, “Both Jab Harry Met Sejal and Tubelight have turned out to be damp squibs at the box office. But, given that Tubelight was sold at a higher price, the loss that the distributors incurred would be more. It seems unlikely that the figures of Jab Harry Met Sejal will improve on Sunday and Monday.” Pointing out that while most releases record an increase of 15-20 per cent in collections on Saturday, the SRK-starrer saw a downward spiral.

Given the poor feedback, Nahta isn’t certain if Monday’s bank holiday due to the festival of Rakshabandhan, will be able to salvage the situation either. “Collections often take a jump during such festivals, but if the word of mouth is bad, holidays too can help only to a small extent,” he says, pointing out that even Eid couldn’t aid in improving the collections of Tubelight.

Sallu’s war drama performed only marginally better then Jab Harry Met Sejal, collecting Rs 21.15 crore on the first day of its release. It settled for a weekend collection of Rs 65 crore. With lifetime earnings of Rs 120 crore, this release was his lowest earning Eid flick.

However, exhibitor Akshaye Rathi says, “It’s too early to write off a Shah Rukh Khan film.” Acknowledging that the film hasn’t met the expectations of cinephiles, he still finds the collections “reasonable”. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh too seconds Rathi’s opinion, adding, “One can expect better collections on Sunday and Monday. But the litmus test will start from Tuesday. A long inning is ruled out because the film primarily caters to multiplex audience. But, there’s hope.”