The actor has not been able to hold his ground in comparison to peers like Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan.
“Success is not a good teacher, failure makes you humble.” Shah Rukh Khan, who once said these words, doesn't shy away from acknowledging hurdles. And as he turns 52 on Thursday, one of his biggest challenges appears to be reinventing himself.
After a negative role in 1993's Darr turned into a positive for him, Khan was stuck in the romance genre for several years. However, he also managed to surprise the audience along the way with offbeat roles in Swades, Chak De and the 2016 release Dear Zindagi. In recent times, however, the Badshah of Bollywood has not been able to bring audience to the theatres in large numbers and that has stirred debate about whether it is time for him to up his game especially when the competition is getting tougher.
In the past five years, Khan has starred in seven films. The best performers have been Chennai Express and Happy New Year while Fan, Dilwale, Jab Harry Met Sejal and Dear Zindagi did not set the box office on fire.
Despite the success of his two films, Khan has not been able to hold his ground in comparison to actors like Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan.
At a time when Aamir’s Dangal broke records in the overseas market, especially in China where the movie was a roaring success, Salman Khan has moved mountains with films like Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Akshay Kumar has raced ahead with an average of two-three movies a year, King Khan needs a blockbuster to fight off the competition.
In 2013, Aamir left Shah Rukh behind with collections worth Rs 348.73 crore for Dhoom 3 as against Rs 278 crore for Chennai Express. In the following year, both Salman and Aamir zoomed past Shah Rukh as PK raked in Rs 448.74 crore and Kick and Jai Ho together earned Rs 432.16, while Happy New year was able to add Rs 240.83 crore.
Salman Khan had two releases in 2015 — Bajrangi Bhaijaan that grossed Rs 422 crore and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo made Rs 267 crore. On the other hand, Shah Rukh could earn only Rs 194 crore from Dilwale.
Although Shah Rukh had two releases in 2016, he didn’t stand a chance in the face-off with his fellow Khans. Salman’s Sultan emerged as a hit with collections worth Rs 418 crore but Aamir won the match as Dangal raked in Rs 495 crore. Shah Rukh’s Fan and Dear Zindagi could gross only Rs 84 crore and Rs 91.82 crore, respectively.
Shah Rukh's attempt at the gangster genre in 2017 proved to be fruitful for him. His crime thriller Raees got him Rs 176 crore at the box office leaving behind Salman Khan's Tubelight that grossed Rs 156 crore. And Aamir's recent release Secret Superstar that is still running in the theatres, couldn't add more than Rs 51.96 crore due to stiff competition from multi-starrer Golmaal Again.
However, SRK's try at romantic comedy, Jab Harry met Sejal, failed miserably. It barely managed to keep running in cinema halls and could only earn Rs 57.71 crore in India.
Despite a rough patch at the box office, Shah Rukh Khan still rules the entertainment industry with his many brand endorsements. He ranked number 8 in Forbes list of World’s Highest Paid Actors recently. In 2015, Khan took top spot on the list of highest paid Bollywood actors.