With "Fan," Shah Rukh Khan delivered what can be called one of his career's best performances and he is being praised universally for it. But the positivity doesn't seem to be reflecting in the film's box office collections.
Absence of songs, comic tracks and glamour seem to be a few aspects of the Maneesh Sharma directorial that have worked against it. Talking to Bollywood Hungama, trade experts and distributors pointed out a few key factors that failed "Fan" at the ticket window.
Trade pundit Girish Johar rubbished reports, which claim that Shah Rukh's career is going downhill. He said that the 50-year-old is still the "Baadshah of Bollywood" adding that it was his star power, which brought the film the kind of revenue it generated in its opening weekend.
"This huge opening is without the regular SRK dose of song, dance, masti, romance and masala. People yet thronged the theatres not only in India but globally too," he further elaborated.
Distributors Harsh Jain and Rajesh Thadani opined that the superstar was "brilliant" in the film, but it had no "relief" (in the form of song or dance) whatsoever. Trade expert Atul Mohan said that it was the way the film ended that got the better of it. He said Gaurav falling to his death proved to be a dampener.
"How can you kill the very 'Fan' in the film? After all, it is because of him that you are what you are. Even if you really wanted to, Gaurav (the character of Fan), there could have been an emotional speech at the least. To begin with you fail to establish an emotional connect with Gaurav and then you bump him off," he added.
Some of SRK's fans reached out to him with similar complaints. The actor felt it was only fair to tell Gaurav's story the way it has been. "When you discuss a film later, it means it has left an impact on you. Some people said the second half is not good. But this is how we felt the story (of 'Fan') should have been and narrated it that way," the Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.
Akshaye Rathi, exhibitor and distributor, made a different observation related to "Fan" and its performance at the box office. The SRK-starrer released at a time when Indian Premiere League (IPL) is at its peak and "The Jungle Book" is proving to be a huge draw for kids and adults alike.
"Fan became 'one of the many exciting options that the audience could choose from'. The division of the audience between all these options certainly had an impact on the Box Office performance of the film," he explained, adding that the viewers are accustomed to a kind of entertainment, which was clearly missing from the film.
"With absolutely no 'relief' in the form of songs, especially 'Jabra Fan', comical tracks etc., the movie was perhaps too grave and serious for the audience to digest in these times. Having said that, the film has still done fine by notching up the best weekend numbers of 2016 so far," he added.