While he famously said no to his Phantom director Kabir Khan’s 2009 anti-terror drama New York because he was doing Kurbaan at the time, his last three releases -- Bullett Raja, Humshakals and Happy Ending -- were major box office duds.
All hopes are now pinned on Phantom, Saif's August 28 release, to resurrect his acting career.
Kabir Khan says, “It isn’t as if I am not aware of Saif's films' poor performance. While my last film Bajrangi Bhaijaan featured a superstar, I'd like to believe that Phantom will draw in audiences with its content.
“We may not get the kind of opening for Phantom that we got for Bajrangi Bhaijaan but we’re prepared for that. Hopefully once word about the content gets out, we'll be on a more firm footing.”
Trade analyst Atul Mohan adds, “Hopefully this film will put Saif back back in the game.
“Phantom has several things going for it -- director Khan has had an impeccable box office records with Bajrangi and Ek Tha Tiger as his biggest hits, the film is produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, who's almost never had a flop, and co-produced by UTV, who are known for their brilliant marketing strategy.”
Then there's Katrina Kaif, who has her own fair share of fans.
Moreover, after a week-long lull (with All Is Well, Manjhi The Mountain Man doing poorly at the box office) Phantom may help stir things a bit.