After Pathaan became a hit, Bollywood was optimistic. After four years, Shah Rukh Khan’s masala blockbuster grossed an estimated Rs 1,050 crore internationally to become the second-highest Hindi film of all time, after Nitesh Tiwari’s sports drama Dangal (2016), which grossed Rs 2,024 crore worldwide.
Pathaan’s popularity indicated that moviegoers will see a film with viewer-friendly content even if critics didn’t give it four stars.
The industry received a powerful message. Even with stars and enormous resources, remakes fail to draw audiences. Selfie, Raj Mehta’s adaptation of Lal Jr.’s Malayalam Driving Licence, was the biggest flop.
The Akshay Kumar-Emraan Hashmi film made less than Rs 25 crore. Shehzada, Rohit Dhawan’s version of Ala Vaikunthapurramaloo, grossed Rs 47 crore. Kartik Aaryan, the film’s hero, suffered from Shehzada’s failure.
On Eid, Farhad Samji’s action comedy Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, an adaptation of Veeram, premiered. The first Friday was average for a Salman Khan picture, but his supporters made the next two days better. The film made Rs 181 crore, not much more than its Rs 150 crore budget.
Ajay Devgn’s action movie Bholaa, a remake of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Tamil film Kaithi, earned an estimated Rs 120 crore worldwide.
Bholaa, like KKBKKJ, collected more than its Rs 100 crore budget. Because of OTT and satellite rights sales, these two films are not failures. Khan and Devgn would have been happier with a stronger box office performance.
Kerala Story’s success
The Kerala Story, a controversial social play by Sudipto Sen, depicts conversion and radicalization. In 10 days, the non-star picture made Rs 137 crore in India. Given its Rs 15-20 crore budget, the performance is remarkable.
Why is TKS a hit in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu despite official and unofficial bans? Despite left-liberal criticism, Sen’s depiction of women in sad situations has impacted many viewers. Will TKS’s criticism hinder its success? Will not.
Critics slammed Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s social drama The Kashmir Files, which had a comparable budget but generated Rs 340 crore last year. The controversial film on Kashmiri Hindus’ exodus garnered many spectators who praised Agnihotri’s handling of the issue. Left-liberals, who viewed the film and helped to its box office success, criticized TKF for its prejudice and history falsification.
Pathaan’s record-breaking success suggested Bollywood’s return from 2022’s failures. Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva, Drishyam 2, and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 were successful last year, while many more flopped quietly. Too much terrible news.
Most films have failed to create an impact since the start of the year. Salman Khan can draw crowds on opening weekend. However, if the film disappoints, its prospects of success are substantially lower than earlier subpar Salman Khan triumphs. Akshay Kumar has had setbacks. He needs a few hits to join his fellow A-list actors. Ranveer Singh and Kartik Aaryan have fallen.
TKS’s triumph wakes up Bollywood. Most filmmakers won’t produce contentious films, but they should realize that making a remake or any other picture with a known male actor without enough focus on the topic is no longer an option.