Caption: Shah Rukh Khan in Pathaan (L), Prabhas in Salaar (R). (Courtesy: ShahRukhKhan, Prabhas)
The year, 2023, started with a bang. All thanks to Shah Rukh Khan. The superstar returned to the big screen, ending his 4-year hiatus, with Siddharth Anand's Pathaan. It was released on January 26. Backed by Yash Raj Films, Pathaan rewrote the box office record books and how. It became the highest-earning Hindi film of all time. Months later, in August, the Bollywood box office chart was reset by Sunny Deol's Gadar 2. Well, well, Shah Rukh Khan returned to the big screen, for the second time, to regain his throne. SRK's Jawan, released on September 7, continues to steamroll and script history with its massive earnings (worldwide). The Atlee film has crossed the lifetime business of Gadar 2 and Pathaan.
While the Jawan fever doesn't seem to end anytime soon, all eyes are on December. The last month of the year is going to witness not one, not two but a total of three power-packed box office clashes. It will begin with Ranbir Kapoor's Animal and Vicky Kaushal's Sam Bahadur. Both films will be released on December 1. Next, on December 8, Vicky Kaushal's wife, actress Katrina Kaif's Merry Christmas, and Sidharth Malhotra's Yodha will face off. Here comes the ultimate battle — Shah Rukh Khan's Dunki vs Prabhas' Salaar. Don't know about you, but we just can't keep calm.
As we wait for the blockbuster clashes, let us break it down for you.
Animal vs Sam Bahadur
The December movie mania will begin with a face-off between Vicky Kaushal and Ranbir Kapoor. Vicky's Sam Bahadur will open in theatres on December 1. The release date was announced last year. Sam Bahadur, helmed by Meghna Gulzar, is a biopic on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. Vicky plays the titular role in the film.
The makers of Animal, which was earlier slated to release alongside Gadar 2 and OMG 2, have also locked the same slot. Previously, the release date was August 11.
The Sandeep Reddy Vanga directorial also stars Rashmika Mandanna, Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol.
Merry Christmas vs Yodha
We are no strangers to the cold war between the makers of Merry Christmas and Karan Johar, whose production house, Dharma Productions, has bankrolled Yodha. (Read more about it here). Sriram Raghava's Merry Christmas will arrive in theatres on December 8. The film marks Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi's first collaboration. Whereas, Yodha, headlined by Sidharth Malhotra, has also picked December 8 as its release date.
Dunki vs Salaar
Here comes the biggest box office clash of the year 2023. Shah Rukh Khan-led Dunki and Prabhas' Salaar will open to theatres on Christmas. While the release date of Dunki was announced by SRK and the film's director Rajkumar Hirani last year, the makers of Salaar made the big announcement of the revised release date last month. Salaar is directed by Prashanth Neel, who is known for his KGF franchise.
Notably, Dunki vs Salaar will mark Prashanth Neel and Shah Rukh Khan's second box office clash. In 2018, Prashanth's KGF: Chapter 1 locked horns with SRK's Zero. Both films were released around Christmas. Last time, KGF: Chapter 1 walked away as the winner. It will be interesting to see who will cross the finishing line with flying colours.