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Khan beats Khan, waits for Khan Whose name is Khan?
- Aamir the idiot lords it over Salman the warrior; SRK needs a biggie
London Dreams (October 2009) – Flop
Main Aurr Mrs Khanna (October 2009) – Flop
Wanted (September 2009) – Hit
Ghajini (December 2008)
Taare Zameen Par (December 2007)Superhit
Fanaa (May 2006)
Dulha Mil Gaya (January 2010) – Flop
Billu (February 2009)
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (December 2008) – Hit

Khan 1 has knocked out Khan 2 and is now waiting for Khan 3 to enter the ring.

The multiplex box office has proved which Khan can and which Khan can’t, as Aamir’s 3 Idiots roars into Week 5 with 22 shows while Salman’s Veer whimpers into Week 2 with far less.

This round of Aamir vs Salman has proved to be a no-contest, with Rancho the prankster-philosopher sending Veer the warrior packing without landing a punch.

The why is summed up by trade analyst Taran Adarsh. “Aamir has been choosing his films very carefully and he chose 3 Idiots because it is young, contemporary, honest, engrossing and a very well-made film. On the other hand, Veer deals with a dated concept; the historical inaccuracies coupled with the lacklustre performances made it a flop from day one, despite Salman’s star power.”

This was confirmed by Virendra Marya of INOX. “The footfalls have been below expectations and Salman’s star power has not helped.” Not a single show at the two Fame multiplexes went full in the opening week.

Rajesh Mukut of MM Moviez, the regional distributor of Veer, was not willing to write it off as a flop yet, claiming it was “doing better at single-screen cinemas”.

Veer, a historical drama full of sound and fury signifying nothing, is set to be one of Salman’s biggest flops in his 20-year career while 3 Idiots, a simple lesson in life made easy and funny, is on course to be Bolly’s biggest box-office hit.

“Ghajini’s (Aamir’s record-breaking 2008-09 blockbuster) lifetime collection in Bengal was Rs 3 crore. In just its fourth week, 3 Idiots has earned Rs 9 crore-plus in the state,” said Arun Mehra of Aum Moviez, the distributors for the Rajkumar Hirani film.

Of the Rs 9 crore, a little more than a crore has come from the Fame plex at South City alone. “In terms of box-office collections for 3 Idiots, it is number two among all multiplexes in India,” said Rishi Negi of Fame Cinemas.

With one Khan being most wanted and the other being not Wanted in the semis, the stage is set for the final showdown — Aamir vs Shah Rukh.

The man who proclaims My Name Is Khan has a critical date with the box office, that now belongs to Aamir, on February 12. “The Shah Rukh-Kajol promos have generated a lot of interest and we have started getting a lot of enquiries for the film already,” says Marya of INOX.

“I have watched 3 Idiots four times for Aamir, but could barely sit through Veer despite Salman. I can’t wait to watch My Name Is Khan because I think SRK will rock in the Karan Johar film,” says college student Shalini Gupta, a Khan-Khan-Khan fan.

Soon, one of them will be the last Khan standing. Who?

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