‘Paisa Bolta Hai’: It’s A Joyless Eid For Bollywood At Box-Office

| Updated : April 30, 2022, 5:22 pm
Updated : April 30, 2022, 5:22 pm

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The opening day collections of Tiger Shroff’s ‘Heropanti 2’ and Ajay Devgn’s ‘Runway 34’ have sent shockwaves in the industry. While ‘Heropanti 2’ netted just Rs 6.5 crore despite being an action-packed film fronted by Tiger Shroff, ‘Runway 34’ could eke out only 3 Rs crore nett.

The terribly tepid response to both the movies has dampened the spirits of exhibitors and the industry alike. Eid is usually associated with Salman Khan who has been pumping out blockbusters on the festival since his 2009 ‘Wanted’. Even his underperformers such as ‘Tubelight’ and ‘Race 3’ on Eid did more business than hits of other stars.

Vishek Chauhan, an exhibitor from Bihar, told The New Indian that both the releases are non-openers. “I am disappointed. ‘Heropanti 2’ is the weakest Tiger Shroff film ever. The initial score is poor and I’m not expecting much from it. ‘Runway 34’ was meant to be an urban film so its opening in Bihar isn’t good either. But people who have come to see it are satisfied with it. It will grow a bit during the weekend. This is the worst Eid for us in many, many years,” he said.

When asked about the response to these movies compared to Eid releases of Salman Khan, he stated, “Salman can’t be compared with any Bollywood star. His presence alone guarantees full houses at least for the first three days. He’s bigger than his films and people come to cinemas to only watch him on the screen.

“Salman has whipped out superhits such as ‘Dabangg’, ‘Bodyguard ‘, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, ‘Kick’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Sultan’, ‘Bharat’ and ‘Wanted’. Even his underperformers ‘Race 3’ and ‘Tubelight’ made money for us. We had to call the police during the release of ‘Race 3’. Even when an elephant sits, he’s still taller than mules,” he added.

‘Bollywood needs to go back to their roots. Most of the Mumbai directors have started making niche movies. That’s why the masses have made a decisive shift towards South movies. I am getting a lot of queries about the screening of ‘KGF – CHAPTER 2’ from Muslim audience, who want to see it after Eid, than the new releases. This says everything about the state of Bollywood at present,” he stated.

‘Race 3’ and ‘Tubelight’ had clocked up Rs 170 crore nett and Rs 120 crore nett in 2018 and 2017 respectively.

Veteran trade expert Raj Bansal reckons lights are out for both ‘Heropanti’ and ‘Runway 34’. “I liked ‘Runway 34’. It’s a well-made movie but the appreciation isn’t translating into box-office numbers. ‘Heropanti 2’ did decently in some multiplexes on Day 1 due to bulk booking, but was extremely dull in mass circuits. I don’t think both the movies will even earn Rs 50 crore nett in their life-time,” he said.

There are allegations that producer of ‘Heropanti 2’, Sajid Nadiadwala, splurged a lot of money to book tickets of his movie to create the buzz around it. But the film producer and business expert Girish Johar feels, this isn’t a new practice.

“Producers buying the tickets of their own movies isn’t a new phenomenon. It has happened before as well. Personally, I think that when a producer makes a movie spending crores of rupees, he/she pulls out all the stops to make it a hit. Hence, they spend a few crore on buying tickets for their own movies. But such a practice cannot save a bad movie,” he opined.

On being asked why ‘Heropanti 2’ took such a bad opening despite being an action film toplined by Tiger Shroff, he said, “The music of the movie didn’t take off. There is not a single superhit song in the film. If it had one superhit song, the opening would have been in double digits.”

“See, you can’t compare the stardom of Salman with Tiger and Ajay. Undoubtedly, Salman’s films have slayed the box-office on Eid. Compared to the last few years, this Eid is definitely paled in comparison as far as the business goes,” he added.

Devang Sampat, the Chief Executive Officer of Cinepolis chain of multiplexes, said he’s expecting more footfalls during the weekend. “On Day 1, we (Cinepolis) sold around 150000 tickets for both films combined. We are hearing good things especially about ‘Runway 34’ and expecting the sales of tickets to show a spike on Saturday and Sunday,” he proclaimed.

From the look of things, even the combined business of ‘Heropanti 2’ and ‘Runway 34’ won’t touch Rs 100 crore nett in India and producers are gearing up to cop huge losses. In fact, after an abysmal start, ‘Heropanti 2’ is showing a sizable decline in collections on Day 2 and is heading towards becoming a huge flop. From Sunday onwards, ‘KGF – CHAPTER 2’ – which has netted approximately Rs 350 crore (Hindi Dubbed) till now – will replace ‘Heropanti 2’ in many screens in mass belts.

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