Home Bollywood View: Bollywood cannot afford out-of-the-boxoffice thinking

View: Bollywood cannot afford out-of-the-boxoffice thinking


Bollywood is hungry for success. The industry has suffered huge economic losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic having to stop production. After movie theaters reopened, many films, including big-budget releases, were rejected by audiences.

The leader of this year’s commercial success is the small-budget blockbuster “The Kashmir Archives,” directed by Vivek Agnihotri, whose political agenda is barely disguised, drawing audiences to theaters for its controversial treatment of sensitive subjects. But its unusual success story does not represent a Bollywood boom. The comedy-horror Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, directed by Anees Bazmee, did well at the box office, as did Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s socially loose biopic Gangubai Kathiawadi.

While the verdict on Raj Mehta’s comedy Jugjugg Jeeyo has yet to be announced, it seems there has been a lot of bad news for “safe” films such as Farhad Samji’s action-comedy Bachchan Pandey, Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s historical novel action drama Samrat Prithviraj, Ajay Devgn – director Off Runway 34, Ahmed Khan’s Heropanti 2 capsized at the box office.The pre-release hype and big budget didn’t help, and the two

The films, Prashanth Neel’s KGF: Chapter 2 and SS Rajamouli’s action film RRR were huge national successes.

While many largely hero-driven films will be released in the coming months, troubled Bollywood producers are keenly aware that the industry must have a higher percentage of commercial success to see light at the end of the tunnel. They also know that hype, millions of trailer views on YouTube, huge budgets and names don’t automatically make for a success story. Audiences have become more selective and unpredictable, and films released on streaming platforms shortly after their big-screen releases have created the option of watching at home at relatively low prices.

The highly anticipated Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha, directed by Advait Chandan, is on the way. Khan’s last film was 2018’s “Thugs of India” directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, a rarity for the star. Laal Singh Chaddha has to work for low morale in Bollywood.

Shahrukh Khan’s last film as the hero was Aanand L Rai’s 2018 romantic comedy “Zero,” which didn’t do well at the box office. Khan will appear as the main character in Siddharth Anand’s Pathaan, which will be released next year. Like Laal Singh Chaddha, Pathaan’s success will largely depend on it.

The third-generation Khan Salman releases two films in 2021. Prabhu Deva’s Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai was a serious commercial flop, while Mahesh Manjrekar’s Antim: The Final Truth was a box-office disappointment. His upcoming film, Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali, directed by Farhad Samji, is scheduled to hit theaters in December after he couldn’t turn his two most recent films into box office success.

Pushkar-Gayathri-directed Vikram Vedha is another ambitious big-budget film that brings together Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan. Roshan’s last film was the 2019 Siddharth Anand-directed war blockbuster. Like Aamir Khan, Roshan only works on one project at a time, which is why Vikram Vedha’s success is crucial to him. Saif’s last film, Bunty Aur Babli 2, directed by Varun V Sharma in 2021, failed and he needs to succeed too.

Ranveer Singh has suffered two failures – 83, a sports biopic directed by Kabir Khan in 2021, and Jayeshbhai Jordaar of Divyang Thakkar, which is released this year. His upcoming film Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus is vital to Singh, and he sure knows if “83” will fail, anything is possible. Aside from Shetty’s 2021 action film Sooryavanshi, Akshay Kumar hasn’t had much success recently. The prolific actor is looking forward to several releases, including Aanand L Rai’s Raksha Bandhan and Abhishek Sharma’s Ram Setu. Devgn also has several productions in the pipeline, including Amit Sharma-directed sports biopic Maidaan and Indra Kumar’s comedy “Thank God”.

Ranbir Kapoor faces a tricky situation. His last film was the critically acclaimed Rajkumar Hirani-directed 2018 biopic Sanju, which topped the box office. Kapoor is looking forward to two big-budget events – Karan Malhotra’s Shamshera and Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva. If both films were blockbusters, he would be a massive superstar. If not, he may not be able to take on leadership roles on similarly budgeted projects in the future.

Bollywood will only regain its confidence when most of the upcoming movies starring big stars are commercially successful. Until then, the producers couldn’t sleep well at night.

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