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Five Bollywood films and its box office disaster We look at some of the high-budget Bollywood films that performed so poorly at the box office that it turned into a nightmare for the makers

By Arundhuti Banerjee

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Actor Tiger Shroff and Akshay Kumar

As the report came out, Vasu Bhagnani, the owner of Pooja Entertainment Production House, which produced multiple Akshay Kumar starrer films in the recent past, including Bade MiyanChote Miyan, which bombed at the box office, sold his Mumbai office and lay off 80 percent of his employees. We look at some of the high-budget Bollywood films that performed so poorly at the box office that it turned into a nightmare for the makers

From the time the first look of Ali Abbas Zafar's Bade Miyan Chote Miyan came out last year, the hardcore Akshay Kumar fans were not as excited as they usually were during the announcement of the film. While the original film starred Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda and the vibe of the film was very different, apart from the title, nothing was common between these two films. This was apparently one of the more expensive films released this year, with a budget of Rs 350 crore. The film was produced by Vasu Bhagnani under his banner, PoojaEntertainment. It turned out to be a disaster, with a poor collection of Rs 90 crore. As the production house has taken a lot of financial losses in the recent past, including multiple projects starring Akshay and Tiger Shroff, all of which bombed commercially, the company had no option but to sell their office to clear all the debt. The report came on Monday morning in the media that Bhagnani sold his office and took multiple steps to come out of the situation.

Here we look at some of the films, driven by Bollywood stars, that performed at the box office miserably and left producers in a disastrous situation.

Selfiee was a remake of the Prithviraj Sukumaran starrer Malayalam film Driving License, directed by Raj Mehta and produced by Dharma Production, starring two promising stars of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi. Released on February 24, 2023, the film was made under a budget of Rs 100 crore, and despite extensive promotional activities, the film only earned Rs 23.63 crore. It was really one of the biggest commercial disasters for the production house to bear as two bankable actors of the Hindi film industry failed to bring the audience to the theatre.

Adipurush: The box office result and critics response to the film Adipurush was a testimony to how no cliché, religious sentiment, or the presence of a superstar can save a big-budget film if the story and screenplay are problematic. The film, released on June 16, 2023, was placed as one of the most expensive films in Indian cinema, budgeting between Rs 700 crore and Rs 500 crore. It was a film released at a time when the socio-political environment was quite excited for the Ram temple building and expressing devotion to the Loard Rama. Based on mythology, the film was directed by the national award-winning Om Raut and starred Baahubali star Prabhasalongside Saif Ali Khan. However, the film received huge backlash for the misrepresentation of the holy text of the Ramayana''s visual treatment. Despite a lot of pushing from the makers end to encourage people to watch the film, it turned out to be a commercial disaster and only managed to secure Rs 354 crore.

Mission Raniganj: Based on the real-life incident of the Raniganj Colleagues collapse of 1989, this was one of the small-budget films of Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. The film was released on October 6, 2023. While most of his films are budgeted over Rs 100 crore, this film, produced by Vasu Bhagnani under his production company Pooja Entertainment, was made under Rs 55 crore. The film was directed by xx and also featured Parineeti Chopra, KumudMishra, Pavan Malhotra, and Ravi Kishan, among others. Though the film received appreciation for attempting to tell a story of bravery, even the strong presence of Akshay could not recover the making budget of as little as Rs 55 crore; the film only earned Rs 45.66 crore.

Ganapath: When the film Ganapath was announced in 2020, it was hyped with multiple elements, including the promise of a franchise and the exciting reunion of Tiger Shroff and KritiSanon, the on-screen pair who came together after nine years since their debut. Soon, things changed. The film was directed by Vikas Bahl and produced by Vasu Bhagnani under his banner, Pooja Entertainment. Made under a budget of Rs 190 crore, the film, after its theatrical release, only managed to earn Rs 13.38 crore. The film was highly criticised for its poor storytelling and VFX. It was such a bad film that even the presence of Amitabh Bachchan could not save the project. With such poor business at the box office, it is highly doubtful if there will be any sequel to the film, in the minds of the makers.

Maidaan: This was one of the passion projects for the makers, including the producer Boney Kapoor, director Amit Sharma, and the lead actor of the film, Ajay Devgn. The biographical film on the football icon Syed Abdul Rahim went through a lot of ups and downs from its making to its release, and somewhere in the process, the budget of the film increased. The film started its production in 2019 but then started to face roadblocks since 2020 due to a global pandemic followed by a natural disaster of a cyclone. Due to such a situation, the makers had to reshoot some parts of the film. Eventually, the film is made with a budget of Rs 235 crore. Though the film received a lot of positive responses from critics and film reviewers, it managed to recover only Rs 68.09 crore from the box office collection.

Arundhuti Banerjee

Content Editor

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