Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's blockbuster Jawan continues to break records since its release last month. The action thriller, which features Khan in a dual role, has now become the highest-grossing Indian film in the Middle East, having brought in $16 million so far, according to distributor Yash Raj Films.
Jawan is also notable for its generous dose of South Indian star power. It marked the Bollywood and Hindi-language debut of actress Nayanthara and director Atlee, known for his blockbuster Tamil films.
Made on a budget of $38 million, Jawan has so far grossed $140 million at the box office, of which $44 million came from overseas, including the Middle East. It is now the highest-grossing Indian film of 2023 and the second highest-grossing Hindi film in history.
Nelson D'Souza, the vice president of international distribution at Yash Raj Films, told The National that Jawan's popularity in the Middle East is unprecedented.
“Jawan has become the first film not only to cross a whooping $16 million but also become the number one Indian film in the Middle East with 661,315 admissions in the UAE and 234,888 admissions in Saudi Arabia as well as huge numbers in Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain,” he said.
“The film continues to perform exceptionally well even in its fourth weekend and has now made a very strong and distinctive mark in the Middle East emerging as the number one Indian film with its phenomenal collection figures.”
Before Jawan, the highest-grossing Indian film of 2023 was Pathaan, released in January and also starring Khan and distributed by Yash Raj Films.
Khan plays both father and son in Jawan, which means soldier. As doppelgangers, they team up to fight corruption Robin Hood-style, supported by an all-women squad. Nayanthara plays a law enforcement officer tasked to nab Khan's characters, but soon finds herself torn between duty and conscience.
South Indian actor Vijay Sethupathi plays Kalee, a notorious arms dealer in cahoots with politicians.
The film is also known for its star-studded cameos, featuring a memorable appearance by Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, as well as by actor Sanjay Dutt.