In a recent article published in the entertainment section of a newspaper, it was alleged that producer Aditya Chopra is very upset after the box office failures of Jayeshbhai Jordaar and Samrat Prithviraj ,Two films produced by Yash Raj FilmsAccording to the article’s author Subhash Jha, Yash Raj’s sutras are trying to blame Akshay Kumar for the failure of Emperor Prithviraj. The source reportedly commented, “He wouldn’t listen. The film required a dedicated concentration. He wouldn’t even grow a real moustache, as he was doing other projects together… why couldn’t he just do one project.” could, and why not give your best?
While we will never really know if Aditya Chopra is actually furious, or if Akshay Kumar should be blamed There seems to be a churn with the Hindi film audience. Films headlined by A-list stars, which at least recovered their costs a few years back, are now struggling to break-even.
Gautham Jain of Ormax Media said in an interview, “After the pandemic, Metro multiplex viewers are now clearly dividing films into two buckets: to be viewed on the big screen and those to be seen on any other screen. Since most of the Hindi films released so far except Sooryavanshi, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 or Gangubai Kathiawadi fall in the bottom of the second bucket, Hindi films have not set the box office on fire. ,
This trend has affected not only Akshay but also other A-list male actors. Ranveer Singh’s borderline frantic energy levels during promotions could not salvage Jayeshbhai Jordar and 83’s luck. Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey earned around Rs 27.9 crores, Ajay Devgn’s Runway 34 almost broke less than Rs 20 crores, as per the last updated figures. , and Tiger Shroff starrer Heropanti 2, didn’t even reach the halfway point in terms of recovery. Samrat Prithviraj was made on an estimated budget of Rs 200-300 crore (whom do you talk to) but as per reports, it has also earned Rs 100 crore at the box office. Kangana Ranaut-fronted Dhaakad too did poorly at the box office despite its big budget. Apart from the smashing success of The Kashmir Files, Gangubai Kathiawadi which grossed over 129 crores domestically, and more recently, Bhool Bhulaiyya 2 Starring Kartik Aaryan, no other Hindi language film that released this year has managed to leave a mark.
The change in dynamic probably started when actors like Rajkummar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana and Pankaj Tripathi started doing well at the box office. Real, feel-good, high-concept films almost became a sub-genre in Bollywood, and the reliance on the three Khans, one Devgn and one Kumar, began to dwindle over the years. Too much variety entered the business, and several female-centric films starring talented actors like Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu and Kangana Ranaut did well too.
But films like Pushpa and KGF 2 have got success. opened a new debate, In an effort to create more politically correct cinema or films with a social message, did Bollywood filmmakers leave behind the ‘suspension of disbelief’ element that made our mainstream films special?
Talking about the success of KGF 2 and dubbed southern language films in general, actor Sanjay Dutt said in an interview, “I am not saying that slice of life movies or rom-coms are bad. But why have we forgotten our audiences from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, which form a large segment of our audience. Corporatization is good, but it should not hinder our taste in films.” expressing the opposite opinion, Karan Johar said in an interview with Film Companion, “When I read the review of KGF, I think if we made it, we would be killed. I loved it with all my heart. But what if We made it? I guess we are also not given a path and we are trying to be someone else.”
However, if you look closely, successful films have one more thing in common. The visible hard work of its stars and crew. Viewers can often smell the half-hearted effort from the trailer itself. No amount of sharp editing can hide a weak/repetitive story or poor acting. Alia Bhatt’s honesty and brilliance was as evident as transforming herself into Gangubai. Allu Arjun adapted Surrendered completely to his appearance and his exaggerated manner of dialogue and character. Ram Charan and Jr NTR danced, fought animated tigers, and performed the most spectacular stunts as they convinced us of their patriotism and valor in RRR.
Meanwhile Akshay Kumar was the subject of memes, which compared his look and dialogue delivery in Samrat Prithviraj to his comic character in Housefull 4. This probably sounded the death knell for the film even before its release. Not to mention how much he used to look older and is actually from Manushi Chhillar, who plays his wife. In Runway 34, Ajay Devgn was portraying the role of another stylish, irritable yet controversial figure and Tiger Shroff clearly needs to reinvent himself as his abs can come across as acting brilliance at times.
Another possible reason Bollywood movies with A-list stars are not doing well at the box office This is because now we don’t need to go to any cinema hall to see them. Think about it. Perhaps until a decade ago or so, we didn’t see or have access to the life of a movie star on a daily basis. We used to go to the theaters once or twice a year to see his movies and we bought movie magazines to read more about him. But with the explosion of social media and the bloom of an ubiquitous paparazzi who follow celebrities everywhere from movie parties to funerals, the exclusivity of a movie star is fast diminishing. After waiting for months, that thrill of seeing him on the film screen is really no more.
The pandemic combined with cutting edge content on the OTT platform has also been a gamechanger. The audience might have felt that movies like Minnal Murali or shows like Rocket Boys, Paatal Lok and Scam 1992 were extremely entertaining without the presence of even a single ‘Bankable’ star. The bar has been raised high on standards of quality and innovation, and if it’s not reached, audiences won’t even be able to visit theatres.
Bollywood has enjoyed over the years the superiority of regional language film industries. Although filmmakers such as Mani Ratnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan or actors such as Rajinikanth, Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan have enjoyed pan-India popularity and respect, Bollywood has always given southern actors a ‘chance’ to achieve real stardom or success by being a part of one. Hindi language film.
Perhaps the pandemic and changes in the way content is consumed globally have also blurred the lines between cinema of different languages. We may eventually move towards an Indian film industry where talented actors cross language barriers to find unified narratives that can appeal to the majority of audiences. Five years from now, pan-India films may become primarily films, with smaller budget regional language films or Bollywood films continuing to have their own market.
Somehow, audiences with a more diverse, demanding and hopefully sophisticated palette can only mean better movies for all of us. Many big budget movies are set to release this year and beyond, and hopefully audiences will give their favorite stars another chance and come back to theaters and queue up for popcorn.