When Forbes India Celebrity 100 list was released a few days ago, one couldn't have been blamed for wondering how Shah Rukh Khan managed to end the year ranked second on it. Of course, there is no doubt that he is still a huge name in India, given that he still endorses a lot of prominent brands and his business ventures have also been making him money. But to have finished so high on a list full of fierce competitors, his films would have had to play a part in it.
But what many might not know is that when it comes to the performance of Indian films overseas, Shah Rukh Khan is still the most recognised and sought-after face. Take the case of his two releases this past year -- Raees and Jab Harry met Sejal. The Rahul Dholakia-directed Raees, which was made with a budget of Rs 127 crore, only managed Rs 176 crore from the domestic market but made another Rs 91 crore overseas, taking its total collections to a respectable Rs 272 crore. In the case of Jab Harry met Sejal, the movie made Rs 67 crore overseas, Rs 5 crore more than it made in India, and was received warmly by audiences in many countries.
Another interesting aspect to the performance of Khan's films is that it is not restricted to one country. In the first four days of its release, Raees collected Rs 19.20 crore, Rs 11.84 crore, Rs 4.69 crore and Rs 2.78 crore in the Gulf region, North America, UK and Australia, respectively, apart from collecting Rs 4.48 crore from the rest of the world. In fact, in a list of top grossers overseas in 2017, Raees was ranked first. In a country like Malaysia, where an Indian film typically gets 15-20 screens, Raees got between 45 and 50. It was also the first Indian film to go to Ukraine and Uzbekistan in recent times.
Shah Rukh Khan's star power has never been restricted to India. His 2015 release Dilwale earned Rs 172 crore abroad, while his 2013 romantic comedy Chennai Express and 2010 release My Name is Khan had raked in approximately Rs 100.2 crore and Rs 100.5 crore from overseas markets, respectively. Even the 2016 thriller drama Fan, which was a huge let-down at the Indian box office, managed to collect as much as Rs 67 crore abroad.
An emerging factor to SRK's success overseas is the rise of his popularity in unconventional overseas markets like Latin America, Malaysia, Germany, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Singapore, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Norway, and Denmark. According to film trade experts, the actor is considered a lucrative selling point for an Indian film abroad, considering he typically gets 30 percent more screens than other Indian films in conventional overseas markets like US and UK.
So all things considered, it really isn't a surprise that Shah Rukh Khan finished second on the list of highest earning celebrities for this year. He may have lost out in terms of popularity in India to his long-time rival Salman Khan, but when it comes to selling films in overseas markets, our man is still the Baadshah.