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Jawan Box Office Predictions: Shah Rukh Khan Is About To Break His Pathaan Record

Can Shah Rukh Khan break his own "Pathaan" record with the upcoming "Jawan"?

After a string of commercial disappointments and creative misfires, the so-called "King of Bollywood" Shah Rukh Khan decided it was time to take a step back. With a larger-than-life persona and global following, Khan realized that he wasn't living up to his standards — and the expectations that fans had. After a self-imposed exile at the box office that lasted over four years, Khan kicked 2023 off with "Pathaan," an over-the-top spy-thriller that leaned heavily into his charm and deity-like aura.

A box office tsunami both in its native India and stateside, "Pathaan" was a unicorn for Yash Raj Films, the studio that arguably turned Khan into the legend that he currently is. The fourth film in the YRF Spy Universe cinematic franchise, "Pathaan" created absolute pandemonium at the box office, reminding audiences (and competitors) that Khan's throne wasn't for the taking. Released on January 25 to coincide with India's Republic Day, "Pathaan" became the first Hindi film to gross over ₹100 crore on its first day — that's more than $10 million USD.

With an infectious response, positive reviews, and chart-busting tracks, "Pathaan" quickly became the second-highest-grossing Hindi film of all time, with a global cume of $130 million — a total far higher than Oscar-winning films like "The Whale" and "Women Talking." In fact, it's the highest-grossing Hindi film in both the United States and Canada. More importantly, it's also the highest-grossing film of Khan's career.

For Khan, "Pathaan" was the perfect comeback story. But he's not done, as September 7 sees the global release of "Jawan," his upcoming action-thriller from veteran Tamil-language director Atlee. With an all-star pan-Indian cast and extremely confident promotional strategy, "Jawan" is going to decimate the records "Pathaan" set at the box office. 

Why audiences are hyped for Jawan

"Jawan," which translates to "Soldier," is on track to be the Bollywood actor's highest-grossing film of all time, usurping "Pathaan." What makes "Jawan" so special? It's the crew Khan has assembled. Note that Khan, who first debuted in the early '90s, is the "King of Bollywood," not Indian cinema. The country produces north of 1,500 films a year in over a dozen languages, making India one of the most diverse film-producing nations. This also means that films are extremely region-dependent, with the North and South Indian film industries in frequent competition with one another.

In recent years, Bollywood has lost its clout, with South Indian films dominating. Just look at the global, Oscar-winning sensation that was "RRR" or the Kannada-language "KGF: Chapter 2," which grossed over $150 million USD in 2022. Khan realized that the Southern film industry was producing consistent, mass-appealing hits, so why not bring that formula back to Bollywood? For "Jawan," Khan handed full control over to Atlee, a Tamil-language director who is nothing short of a superstar. The creative behind hits like "Mersal" and "Theri," Atlee is a cinematic force to be reckoned with — a strategic filmmaker who creates the Indian equivalent of four-quadrant pictures. 

Set to release in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, "Jawan" is Khan's take on a classic Tamil-language masala film with a Bollywood twist. They even brought maverick South Indian composer Anirudh on board to craft the film's acclaimed soundtrack. Beyond that, Atlee and Khan have roped in a number of South Indian superstars to round out the film's cast, with heavy hitters like Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi appearing. This combination makes "Jawan" a juggernaut that appeals to all Indian cinemagoers — not just Khan's Hindi-speaking fans. And from the hype "Jawan" has generated, the film could become one of India's biggest.

Jawan's impact on social media

Atlee and Shah Rukh Khan have shrouded "Jawan" in mystery since its initial announcement. But beyond expectations, "Jawan" was a question mark for Indian audiences... until the duo released the first look for the action-packed epic. The first trailer for "Jawan" created chaos on social media, with the teaser receiving over 100 million views across all platforms on its first day.

What led to those impressionable numbers? A trailer that showed off several different and diverse looks for Khan, an actor who has mostly coasted off of his good looks. In "Jawan," Khan looks like a force to be reckoned with, with one version of his character being bald — something truly compelling to audiences. After a solid first trailer, it became clear that "Jawan" was something special, and that was only confirmed with the release of the first track "Zinda Banda." 

An explosive, party track, "Zinda Banda" became one of the most-viewed Indian songs on the day of its release. And a few weeks later, the third single, "Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya," received similar acclaim, topping the charts on the likes of YouTube, Spotify, and more. As it stands, all of the songs from "Jawan" are cultural behemoths — receiving considerable airplay. Head to social media and you'll see fans of Khan showing off their moves to his new tracks, going viral with their videos.

But the real showstopper is the second trailer for "Jawan," released just one week before the film's release. A blitzkrieg form of marketing, the trailer debuted in the most iconic way possible: on the Burj Khalifa. Yes, on the Burj Khalifa, making it the largest screen in the world. And take a look at advanced bookings and realize that the box office of "Jawan" will break records worldwide. 

Jawan will become Shah Rukh Khan's biggest film... and maybe India's

Set to release in a matter of days, "Jawan" is creating unprecedented levels of hype in India. The film will debut in a number of premium formats around the world, most importantly in IMAX. "Pathaan," which was also released in the format, made over $2.5 million in IMAX. As it stands, "Pathaan" had one of the highest-grossing debuts for an Indian film of all time. If all goes well, "Jawan" will trump "Pathaan" with relative ease. 

While advanced booking for "Jawan" opened up weeks ago in international markets, tickets for the film only became available in India on September 1. Veteran Indian film analyst Taran Adarsh confirms that "Jawan" sold over 100,000 tickets in national cinema chains on the first day showings became available. Analyst Himesh Mankad says that these numbers are on track to dethrone the advanced tickets sold by "Pathaan." By the end of the weekend, "Jawan" will have sold over 200,000 tickets via advance booking — giving "Jawan" one of the biggest Indian film debuts of all time. On the Indian ticketing app BookMyShow (similar to Fandango), "Jawan" has amassed over 500,000 impressions — one of the highest for the platform. 

Even the Tamil and Telugu-language versions of "Jawan" are selling well, confirming that Khan was right to bring in South Indian talent for his latest. It's currently unclear how well "Jawan" is doing in foreign markets, like the United States and Canada, but Khan's following will definitely show up. With unprecedented hype, "Jawan" will dethrone "Pathaan" as Khan's highest-grossing film, with a worldwide total north of $125 million. If it breaks the $150 million barrier, "Jawan" could join the top three highest-grossing Indian films of all time... a victory that would cement Khan's dominance twice in one year.