Shah Rukh Khan's latest movie Zero starring Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif is scheduled to release on December 21. A lot rides on the release of Shah Rukh Khan's Zero as his previous couple of movies failed to make much of an impact at the box office. While When Harry Met Sejal fell short of making Rs 100 crore, Raees made only a little over Rs 100 crore.
However, Zero has a couple of things going for it. To begin with, it has been directed by Aanand L Rai, known for making movies like Tanu Weds Manu and Tanu Weds Manu Returns. He has also produced off-beat movies like Nil Battey Sannata, Manmarziyaan and Tumbbad. Rai's experience as a filmmaker is one of the stronger points of the movie.
Zero's plot also appears to revolve around a subject that has hardly been touched upon in Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan plays a dwarf man from Meerut and Anushka Sharma portrays a NASA scientist with cerebral palsy. The uniqueness of the lead pair is likely to attract audiences to the theatres.
The filmmakers that include Red Chillies Entertainment have put social media to optimum use for Zero's promotions. From a Snapchat filter to a Twitter icon, the makers have pulled all the strings to make Bauua Singh the talk of the town.
Perhaps the greatest factor working in favour of Zero is Shah Rukh Khan. While his recent couple of movies may not have been blockbuster hits, the star power of the actor is enough to set the cash registers ringing.
However, it must be kept in mind that Rohit Shetty's Simmba starring Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan is scheduled to release next weekend, leaving only a week for Zero to make the most of it. Shetty's action-packed films usually tend to do well in the box office.
Moreover, unlike Thugs of Hindostan that released on Diwali, Zero is releasing on a usual Friday. It also does not have a national holiday or extended weekend to pump up footfall. Ranbir Kapoor's Sanju was also one of the biggest openers of the year with Rs 34.75 crore. Salman Khan's Race 3 also made Rs 27.50 crore on Day 1, while Padmaavat made Rs 18 crore.
So, while Zero may not be able to overtake Thugs of Hindostan's opening collection of Rs 50 crore, it is expected to earn in the range of Rs 25-30 crore and become one of the biggest openers of the year.
Trade analysts also believe that while the opening collection is expected to be strong, only good content and positive word-of-mouth can make the movie a hit. Otherwise, it is bound to end up disastrous like Thugs of Hindostan.