Dunki marks Shah Rukh Khan's weakest opening in 2023, falls behind Pathaan and Jawan in first-day collections

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalDec 22, 2023 | 12:24

Dunki marks Shah Rukh Khan's weakest opening in 2023, falls behind Pathaan and Jawan in first-day collections

Dunki released worldwide on December 21, 2023. Photo: X/@RedChilliesEnt

Shah Rukh Khan’s latest release, Dunki, has had a lackluster performance at the box office, collecting just Rs 30 crore net on its first day in India, marking it as Khan's weakest film of 2023, compared to the successes of Pathaan and Jawan.

While Pathaan amassed Rs 57.00 crore net on its opening day across all languages, Jawan surged with an impressive Rs 74.50 crore collection in India. According to Sacnilk's figures, Dunki managed to gather Rs 30 crore on its initial day.


Reasons for the low opening

Reportedly, Dunki didn’t pick up as expected during evening shows, resulting in lower first-day collections.

Furthermore, the film helmed by Rajkumar Hirani is not a typical commercial entertainer but a moderate film with a social message, in line with Hirani's previous movies.

Dunki stirred mixed reactions with its trailer, as it touched upon the subject of illegal immigration in Punjab and Haryana, a topic under discussion for the past two decades.

Hence, the film was anticipated to have a less grand opening compared to Shah Rukh Khan’s earlier releases like Jawan and Pathaan, which were more mainstream.

Audience’s mix response

Audience reception for Dunki has been varied. Some praised it as Shah Rukh Khan's best work in 2023, while others labeled it as Rajkumar Hirani's weakest film, considering his track record of blockbusters.

Many viewers appreciated the storyline, first-half comedy, and emotionally charged second-half, calling the movie a rollercoaster ride. However, some, including Shah Rukh Khan's fans, expressed disappointment, finding the second half tedious and the comedy lacking compared to Hirani's previous standards.


A section of the audience predicts the film's potential to gain traction based on positive word-of-mouth.

About Dunki

Dunki, translating to "donkey flight," narrates the tale of five friends—Shah Rukh Khan (Hardy), Tapsee Pannu (Manu), Vicky Kaushal (Sukhi), Vikram Kochar (Buggu), and Anil Grover (Balli).

Set against a fictional village backdrop in Punjab, the story follows their journey to England through illegal means, navigating various challenges along the way.

The film aims to deliver a social message, cautioning the youth against pursuing jobs in foreign countries despite their allure, highlighting the disadvantages.

This collaboration marks Shah Rukh Khan’s first venture with Rajkumar Hirani, a renowned director celebrated for five consecutive blockbusters over the past two decades.

Last updated: December 22, 2023 | 12:24
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy