With ‘Jawan’ and ‘Pathaan,’ Shah Rukh Khan Thrills Bollywood Fans

Bollywood fans flocked to theaters when Shah Rukh Khan returned to a starring role in January after a four-year hiatus. That film, “Pathaan,” has made nearly $130 million, more than the Jennifer Lawrence comedy “No Hard Feelings” and “Air,” the Nike tale starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Now Khan and his supporters are back for more.

When “Jawan” opened in India on Thursday, eager audiences gathered in early-morning lines to watch the latest from the actor known as the King of Bollywood. He has starred in dozens of movies produced by one of the world’s largest film industries.

“Jawan,” a revenge thriller in which Khan plays the jailer at a women’s prison, was released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. A review in The Guardian called it “a great showcase for Khan to play everything under the sun: godly badass, dandyish army vet, total sweetheart.”

Red Chillies Entertainment, Khan’s production company, told Variety that “Jawan” collected $15.6 million globally on its opening day, the highest total in Bollywood history.

The record it broke was also held by Khan: “Pathaan,” produced by Yash Raj Films, generated $12.7 million the day it was released, according to Variety.

“Thank u so much,” Khan posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday. “I keep trying in my small humble way to make our country proud in terms of making cinema.”

Although Khan had made cameo appearances in the past few years, the spy adventure “Pathaan” was his first starring role since “Zero” in December 2018, which struggled commercially. In “Pathaan,” part of a larger film universe, Khan’s character tries to prevent a deadly virus attack.

“Pathaan,” which is now available to rent or buy on major American platforms, made about $77 million in India and $52 million more internationally. It is currently 24th at theglobal box office this year, behind “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” “Evil Dead Rise” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

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