It is not news that Shah Rukh Khan's Zero is struggling at the box office but perhaps the most telling trend of the year is how the mighty Khans failed to attract audiences to the theatres. In a country that is crazy for masala movies, the Khans known for their reign over the genre seemed to have taken a beating at their own game. After Salman Khan's Race 3, Aamir Khan's Thugs of Hindostan, it now appears to be the turn of Shah Rukh Khan for his much-anticipated movie, Zero.
The effect of a slew of negative reviews and negative word of mouth is showing in Zero's collections. Zero opened to a disappointing collection of Rs 20.14 crore, followed Rs 18.22 crore on Saturday, Rs 20.71 crore on Sunday, Rs 9.50 crore on Monday, Rs 12.75 crore on Tuesday, taking the collection to Rs 81.32 crore. According to reports, Zero made an estimate of Rs 6 crore on Wednesday. The collection at the domestic box office then roughly stands at Rs 87.32 crore.
While that in itself is a rather encouraging number, it is not so for a Shah Rukh Khan film. That Zero, made on a budget of around Rs 200 crore has failed to collect Rs 100 crore in India even after 6 days is a signal that only quality content works.
Shah Rukh Khan, who was last seen in 2017's Jab Harry Met Sejal - another flop - managed to drive the conversation around Zero and its vertically-challenged lead character, Bauua Singh, on social media with sharp promotional gimmicks. However, audiences and critics were left rather unimpressed with the real deal.
Directed by Aanand L Rai of Tanu Weds Manu and Tanu Weds Manu Returns fame, Zero revolves around the life of Bauua Singh whose biggest grouch in life is that he has been unable to find a bride for himself. He has even signed up with a matrimonial site but alas! Bauua Singh stumbles upon a picture of Aafia Yusufzai Bhinder, played by Anushka Sharma. Aafia is a scientist with premier space agency NASR and is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy. They both take a liking to each other. But Bauua Singh needs to choose between Aafia and the woman of his dreams, Babita Kumari, a glamorous film star.
Shah Rukh Khan has been widely praised for his portrayal of the obnoxious Bauua Singh. Katrina Kaif, who plays the alcoholic superstar, has also garnered praise for her performance. Zero also stars Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Bauua Singh's best friend Guddu who suffers from night blindness, Tigmanshu Dhulia as Bauua Singh's exasperated father and Sheeba Chaddha as the mother.
Zero also features around 13 Bollywood superstars in cameo roles, including Sridevi. Salman Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Karishma Kapoor and Juhi Chawla appear as themselves in the movie.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)