Recently, #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha was trending on Twitter. I didn't even bother to get into the whys of it because of how boycotting upcoming high-budgeted movies has become so common. Let's have a look at some of the Bollywood movies that were boycotted and how did they do at the box office.
1. Padmaavat | ₹570 Crores
Padmaavat was one of the most controversial and boycotted movies of recent times. But despite the protests, assaults on the set, the death threats, and the bounty on Deepika Padukone's head, the worldwide collection for the movie was over ₹570 crores.
2. My Name Is Khan | ₹223 Crores
Before the release of his movie, My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan made a remark about Pakistani players not being selected for the IPL, which led to the movie's boycott. Shah Rukh's posters were defaced, his effigies were burnt and his patriotism was questioned. Despite that, the movie went on to be one of SRK's biggest openings and earned around ₹223 crores worldwide.
3. Bajirao Mastani | ₹356 Crores
Petitions to boycott, shows cancelled, protests in several cities, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani has seen it all. The protesters claimed the film “distorts history” and showed Bajirao in a poor light. It seems all this just aided in the popularity of the movie since the movie earned over ₹350 crores at the box office.
4. PK | ₹854 Crores
Made with a budget of ₹85 crores, Aamir Khan starer PK earned ₹854 crores worldwide. Even after being boycotted and earning a lot of backlashes ahead of its release. Some claimed it hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus while others claimed the sub-plot of the film supported Love Jihad. But regardless of it all, PK won a lot of critical acclaims.
5. Dangal | ₹2,024 Crores
Even Dangal, based on India's wrestling stars, the Phogat sisters, was boycotted prior to its release. Reason? Aamir Khan made a controversial statement on the "rising intolerance" in the country. People called him anti-national and #LetsBoycottDangal started trending on Twitter. But did that stop it from becoming one of the highest grossed movies in Bollywood? Definitely not. In fact, Dangal had a worldwide total of ₹2,024 crores.
6. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela | ₹200 Crores
Another of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's movies, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, faced multiple criticisms prior to its release. Even a case was filed against the director and star cast of the movie for hurting religious sentiments. But again, despite the boycott, the movie did well at the box office and earned over ₹200 crores worldwide.
7. Lipstick Under My Burkha | ₹26 Crores
I didn't even want to get started on this one, but here we go. Way before the movie could face any boycott, the CBFC refused to certify the film, even after it earned several accolades, citing that the movie is "too lady-oriented". And then it was boycotted by religious leaders for hurting religious sentiments.
Made with a budget of ₹6 crores, Lipstick Under My Burkha was well-received by the audience and earned ₹26 crores, along with numerous national and international awards.
8. Gangubai Kathiawadi | ₹200 Crores
Even Gangubai Kathiawadi wasn't spared by the boycott brigade, as #BoycottGangubaiKathiawadi trended on Twitter. Even after the 'boycott', the movie grossed successfully at the box office earning an estimated amount of ₹200 crores.
And that makes me wonder, were these really boycotts? Because they aided in the movies' popularity, enticing curiosity in the audience to watch them. And now the same is happening with Laal Singh Chaddha. How will that turn out for the movie? Well, time will tell.