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Dunki Day 1 Box Office: SRK's Modest Start

Bollywood  •  21 Dec, 2023  •  93,576 Views  •  ⭐ 3.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia

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Shah Rukh Khan's Latest Release Sees a Modest Opening Day Revenue. Shah Rukh Khan, a dominant force at this year's box office with his hits Pathaan and Jawan, seems to be facing a lukewarm start with his latest film, Dunki, directed by Rajkumar Hirani.


Opening Day Revenue Predictions for Dunki

Dunki Release: Shah Rukh Khan Film Makes Blockbuster Reviews!
Image Credits: Gold Andhra News

Despite the star power of Shah Rukh Khan, Dunki's day one at the box office is projected to be the actor's most modest opening of the year. Early estimates suggest that the film might garner approximately Rs 30 crore on its first day. Morning shows witnessed a 26.45% seat occupancy, while the afternoon screenings saw a slightly lower turnout at 21.77%. The film's overall Hindi occupancy on day one hovered around 24.11%. Notably, Dunki's release on a regular weekday could be a factor in its initial box office numbers. Expectations are that the film might experience an upswing during the upcoming Christmas weekend.

Dunki's Release and Reception

Dunki': Shah Rukh delivers a cinematic masterpiece ahead of Christmas -  Indiaweekly
Image Credits: Indiaweekly

Shah Rukh Khan's third movie of the year, Dunki, made its debut in theatres on a Thursday, amidst high expectations. The premiere show was held at 5:55 am in Mumbai's renowned Gaiety Galaxy theatre, generating a buzz online, with scenes from the venue resembling a grand celebration. Nevertheless, the film didn't attract as many viewers as anticipated throughout the day.



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Another potential obstacle for Dunki could be the release of Prashanth Neel's Salaar, scheduled to hit theatres on Friday. Prior to its release, Salaar is already giving tough competition to Dunki at the box office. Salaar has managed to secure impressive pre-release business, recording Rs 35.23 crore from the sale of 16,83,871 tickets, even before its opening day.

Review of Dunki: A Tale Spanning Continents

Dunki Movie Review: A Perfect Blend Of Rajkumar Hirani's Directorial  Prowess And Shah Rukh Khan's Star
Image Credits: English Jagran

In a brisk 30-minute opening, Dunki, featuring Shah Rukh Khan, blossoms into a cinematic gem by Rajkumar Hirani, intertwining themes of ambition, friendship, and unexpected emotional layers. In Dunki, director Rajkumar Hirani's trademark skill in portraying deep emotions and essence through his characters is evident. Teaming up with Shah Rukh Khan after a five-year break, the film, however, doesn't quite capture the magical touch typical of Hirani's works. The plot might be underwhelming, but the cast skillfully keeps the story afloat.
The plot revolves around four friends from a village in Punjab, who dream of life in England. Facing obstacles in obtaining visas and tickets, they encounter a soldier who proposes to lead them to their desired destination.
Dunki begins with the story of Manu, Balli, and Baggu, who migrated to London illegally 25 years ago and now long to return to India. Manu reaches out to Hardy, also known as Hardayal Singh Dhillon (portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan), for help. The story then takes us back to 1995 in Laltu, Punjab, showcasing their initial dreams and Shah Rukh Khan's character's efforts in assisting them both legally and through the hazardous Donkey Route.

Strengths of the Film

Dunki Movie: SRK Film - Budget, Cast Pay, Main Details!
Image Credits: Gold Andhra News 

Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu put forth strong performances, managing to shine through the film's weaker plot. Dunki weaves in captivating twists, clever punchlines, and heartfelt moments, merging a narrative about migration with a tender romantic subplot. The film highlights the struggles Indians endure while trying to acquire visas to foreign countries, focusing on issues like financial background, education, and English language skills.
Rajkumar Hirani draws inspiration from real-life events to bring to light the perils associated with the Donkey Route.



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Areas of Improvement

Dunki Release: Twitter Erupts with Praise
Image Credits: Gold Andhra News 

The movie misses the depth and emotional resonance typically associated with Hirani’s films, lacking the strong connective thread seen in his previous works like 3 Idiots and PK. The story, though occasionally humorous and impactful, doesn't consistently showcase Hirani's renowned storytelling prowess.

Cast Performances

Dunki Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan's Stellar Performance Will Leave You  Speechless! - Talkies Corner
Image Credits: Talkies Corner

Shah Rukh Khan is impressive in his role as Soldier Hardy, carrying the film's momentum. Taapsee Pannu showcases her acting talents effectively, and Vicky Kaushal, in a brief appearance, adds to the film's appeal. Boman Irani, portraying an English teacher, provides humour effectively. Dunki stands out more as a product of Rajkumar Hirani's vision than a Shah Rukh Khan movie. The film manages to engage in parts, but overall, it doesn't fully deliver. The actors perform admirably, but the chemistry between Shah Rukh and Taapsee is just passable. Hirani's signature touch in concluding love stories is present, making the film worth a single watch. Devoted fans of Shah Rukh Khan may find it somewhat underwhelming.


As the curtains fall on Dunki's opening saga, it's clear that Shah Rukh Khan's latest venture, while not smashing records, still holds a certain charm. Despite facing stiff competition and a modest beginning, Dunki's unique storyline and strong performances offer a glimpse into diverse narratives and the struggles of migration. While it may not resonate with all, it undeniably adds a different flavour to Shah Rukh Khan's repertoire and Rajkumar Hirani's directorial finesse. As audiences and critics alike navigate through its layers, Dunki stands as a testament to cinema's evolving landscape, beckoning viewers to explore its depths beyond mere box office numbers.

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