Although it’s said that content is king, there are times when even maverick filmmakers, superstars and stunning budgets fail to save a film from bombing at the box office. Despite trailers garnering immense publicity and hype signifying good buzz for the film, its eventual fate at the box office shows how marketing isn’t an assurance. Irrespective of the budget, star cast, music and content, the film’s fortune is sealed on Fridays.
Here’s a brief review of the films, advertised as some of the costliest, turned out to be damp squids:
Made at a whopping budget of Rs 75 crores, Shaandaar was one of the most awaited movies of the year 2015. However, it took just one day for the Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer to crash despite a fresh pairing, super hit songs, exquisite locations and plush sets. What the film didn’t have was a script!
Yet another disaster of 2015, Bombay Velvet has become a blemish in the career of director Anurag Kashyap. The rejection of the film by the viewers was so unanimous that the Rs 125 crore film could not even touch the Rs. 30 crore mark and emerged as the biggest flop in the history of Hindi film industry. Bombay Velvet has now earned a cult as big as Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.
A heartthrob of Bollywood, a brilliant emerging director, a Mexican babe and a collection of melodious songs, but none was enough to save the film. What was projected as a dream crossover project and an internal platform for Hrithik Roshan was left in tatters due to a weak script? Father Rakesh Roshan even managed a Brett Ratner cut of the film for American spectators. 150 crores down the drain!
Producer Boney Kapoor poured all his money into financing this extremely ambitious project. At a time when the film’s budget hitting 1 crore was considered to be gargantuan, this film was mounted on a huge budget of Rs. 9 crores. Considering how shoddy the film turned out to be, one may assume that the original director, Shekhar Kapur was wise enough to leave the project mid-way. Critics panned the film for its poor dialogues, weak screenplay and an extremely daff story-line. Megastars like Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor and Sridevi were wasted.
Shah Rukh Khan’s dream venture falter and faltered badly. Made at a striving budget of Rs 13 crores, at that period, the 3-hour long film was not received well by the critics and audiences alike.
Renowned filmmaker Harry Baweja roped in VFX teams from countries like Australia and New Zealand for launching his son in a much-hyped film. But the platform proved to be a debacle for Harman Baweja as his girlfriend Priyanka Chopra parted ways after the film’s failure. Harman’s career went down the drain and what was left with him was just a tag of Hrithik –lookalike.
It’s a well-known fact that perfectionist Aamir Khan spends a lot of time preparing for his roles. To look at completely his part, the star grew long hair and mustache portraying the role of India’s freedom fighter, Mangal Pandey. But the 35 crore film directed by Ketan Mehta failed to receive appreciation for its brittle script and treatment.
Touted as the perfect launch pad for star son and daughter, Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, Saawariya was not well received in the domestic market. Made at a huge budget of Rs. 40 crore and shot on ‘blue-coloured’ sets, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali film lost the completion with Shah Rukh Khan’s film Om Shanti Om.
Making a comeback with this mega project starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and a guest appearance by Govinda, Mani Ratnam’s Raavan had its fate sealed miserably at the box office. The 100 crore film could make only 50% of its business.
Ajay Devgn’s home production was made at a budget of Rs. 30 crores, a huge sum at a time when going beyond Rs. 15 crore was considered risky. Neither its Christmas release nor its unlucky similitude with 1965 classic The Sound Of Music, could salvage the film’s business as it crashed leaving producer-actor Ajay Devgn much loss. An elongated screenplay, lukewarm performances by the lead stars and an insipid execution let the film sink without much effort.
Released in 2009, Blue was considered to be the most expensive film of that year made at 129 crores. The film had garnered attention for its international treatment, expensive action and choreography, big stars like Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt, and a long schedule in the Bahamas. But the feeble content about an under-sea bounty left many audiences disappointed. Special appearance song by Kylie Minogue did no service to the producers’ loss.
The film shut down Shashi Kapoor’s production company. The film was made at a budget of Rs. 9 crores, a huge figure in 1991. This superhero film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor bombed so badly that it also had a detrimental impact on Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor relations.
RGV Ki Aag
Undoubtedly the biggest disaster to have gown down in the history of Bollywood, RGV Ki Aag was not only a failure at the business but also a depressing subject. The film had already grabbed eyeballs for being a remake of Sholay but after much criticism from all corners, Ram Gopal Verma decided to go forward with his own version avoiding any semblance with the original film. Horrendous casting, bad storytelling and an even traumatic execution, the film deserved to be a catastrophe and a lesson in arrogance for the maker. Amitabh Bachchan played the role of Babban – a remixed version of Sholay’s, Gabbar.
Investing Rs 87 crore on Abhishek Bachchan was always going to be a gamble, but one had to bet on close friend Goldie Behl to take a chance with Drona. Fortunately, Goldie Behl never again made a film.
Ranbir Kapoor’s career has always been about highs and lows but the unimaginable extremes his films touch is a case study. On one end he delivers path-breaking films like Barfi, on the other hand, there are the likes of Besharam, where one wonders what goes behind the thought process of such a promising star to choose such scripts. The 85 crore film could only yield a meager 35 crore.