"Film sirf teen cheezon se chalti hai, ENTERTAINMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, ENTERTAINMENT", Vidya Balan once said in her film, Dirty Picture. Even with massive movie budget or casting a renowned star, makers can't just rely only on these factors for minting big numbers at the box office. Sometimes it work in their favour, not always. Forget 2021 or pre-pandemic years, Ranbir Kapoor's Shamshera and Akshay Kumar-starrer Samrat Prithviraj are two latest examples of flop movies that I wish to talk about today.
Some actors/filmmakers take the responsibility of their movies going dud at the ticket windows. Like producer Karan Johar did for Kalank in 2019. A section of Bollywood wants the audience to go on a guilt trip after the verdict doesn't come in their favour. Take cue of Shamshera makers.
Over a few days, we have witnessed major emotional outpour of Shamshera team on social media after it failed miserably at the box office. Here's how director Karan Malhotra and actor Sanjay Dutt defended Shamshera on Twitter.
In his statement, actor Sanjay Dutt, who played the role of Daroga Shudh Singh in the recently-released movie, stated that it was "horrible" that people didn't acknowledge the "hardwork" that the team put in.
While addressing the hatred for Shamshera, Dutt conveniently asked us to respect the team's efforts for something that didn't resonate with the audience. (No if, no but, when the dish that you cooked sucks, then it sucks.)
I find it horrible that people don’t respect the hard work we all put in.
- Sanjay Dutt
Made on a budget of ₹150 crore, the film earned ₹40.45 crore in its first week.
#Shamshera collapses... The Week 1 numbers are a shocker... Fri 10.25 cr, Sat 10.50 cr, Sun 11 cr, Mon 2.90 cr, Tue 2.40 cr, Wed 1.90 cr, Thu 1.50 cr. Total: ₹ 40.45 cr. #India biz. pic.twitter.com/kmxpgAqEFF— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 29, 2022
Now, let's see how Samrat Prithviraj director Chandraprakash Dwivedi reacted to the film's failure. Reportedly, the movie was made on a budget of ₹200 crore but turned out to be a disaster. In an interview with Navbharat Times, Dwivedi said:
YRF (Yash Raj Films) presented this story at a huge scale. But people had a problem. It’s still unclear to me what problem they had. The writers did an honest job about following the historical facts. We are well aware about our storytelling responsibilities.
- Chandraprakash Dwivedi
#SamratPrithviraj is rejected... The heavy budget on one hand and the poor outcome on the other, has sent shock waves within the industry... Fri 10.70 cr, Sat 12.60 cr, Sun 16.10 cr, Mon 5 cr, Tue 4.25 cr, Wed 3.60 cr, Thu 2.80 cr. Total: ₹ 55.05 cr. #India biz. pic.twitter.com/3z94DzBlqi— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) June 10, 2022
We spoke to renowned trade analyst Taran Adarsh on how he views the entire hullabaloo about both the aforementioned flop movies, Shamshera and Samrat Prithviraj.
During an exclusive conversation with ScoopWhoop, he shared that the makers went wrong in terms of "script level" and "taste of the audience" has changed. Audiences look for "wholesome entertainment". Speaking of Samrat Prithviraj, Adarsh added that it was due to the fact how Akshay Kumar portrayed the role.
When asked about his views on Shamshera actor Sanjay Dutt calling it 'horrible' that people don’t respect their 'hardwork', the trade analyst said:
Everyone works hard. Be it in Hum Aapke Hain Koun or in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (everyone has). You can’t say that. Your film is a bad film. Accept it.
- Taran Adarsh
Casting Akshay Kumar as Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan in Samrat Prithviraj was one of the reasons that the film failed to strike a chord with the critics and the audience. 'Coz, well, he didn't simply convince us for his caricaturish role as a ruler. Speaking of Shamshera, here's what the audience felt about the film:
Ab movie nahin achchi lagi matlab nahin achchi lagi. Accept the verdict of box office and move on. Shall we? Referring to Shamshera, sure there is a sense of attachment to the project, especially, if the makers waited for four years for it to be presented on the big screen due to the pandemic. But does that justify half-baked script and its execution? Flop and hit is a part of the game. Simple as that.