Magic of Super Stars not worked, ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ did not perform well

Raksha Bandhan-Lal Singh Chaddha

Mumbai: From the owners of the cinema hall to the film world and the audience, Aamir Khan’s films ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ and Akshay Kumar’s ‘Raksha Bandhan’ have become popular. There was tremendous excitement for the film, but the performance of both films was weak. Both the much-awaited films, which were released on Thursday amid a campaign of a boycott on social media, received mixed to negative reviews. Aanand L Rai directorial ‘Raksha Bandhan’ earned Rs 8.20 crore at the ticket window in the country on the first day but the figure was restricted to Rs 6.40 crore on Friday.

Aamir Khan’s ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ earned a relatively better Rs 12 crore but earned only around Rs 7 crore on the second day. Mumbai-based exhibitor Akshay Rathi, which operates cinema halls in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, said it is “a time of turmoil for the box office.” The films should do well, but it is a tumultuous time at the box office. There is not enough balance in the cinema viewing pattern of the audience, it is haphazard.

Rathi told the media, “These actors have the potential to start well at the ticket window but we have not seen such strange figures for them in a long time. These are disappointingly low.” Rathi said that in his theaters, Laal Singh Chaddha opened with around 25 percent and Raksha Bandhan with 15 to 20 percent occupancy. Laal Singh Chaddha directed by Advait Chandan is the official remake of Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump. It is said that ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ was released on 3,500 screens across the country and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ on 2,500 screens.

Raksha Bandhan-Lal Singh Chaddha

Raj Bansal, Rajasthan-based distributor of multiplex chain Entertainment Paradise in Jaipur, said the response has been less than expected and earnings may fall further. Bansal said, “We had some expectations because of the Raksha Bandhan festival but both the films had low openings. Also, there is negativity to Hindi cinema but if a film is good then the negativity doesn’t matter. We were expecting ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ to earn Rs 17-18 crore and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ Rs 10-12 crore on day one but the earnings are very less.’ Popular single-screen theaters in Mumbai such as Getty, Gemini, and Maratha The temple have also seen a weak performance despite cheap ticket prices.

Manoj Desai, executive director of these cinemas, said, “We have low ticket prices like Rs 130 for a stall and Rs 160 for a balcony, but still the shows are not housefull. People are saying that ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ is long and slow while with ‘Raksha Bandhan’ people feel that the film didn’t justify the theme.” Laal Singh Chaddha’ and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ are those recent films that performed poorly at the ticket window. Movies like ‘Shamshera’, ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’, ‘Runway 34’ could not perform well despite star power. Bollywood films that crossed the Rs 100 crore mark this year include Alia Bhatt’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ and Kartik Aaryan starrer ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’.

Bansal said that 2022 is proving to be the ‘worst year of Hindi cinema’. According to Rajendra Singh Jyala, Chief Programming Officer, INOX Leisure, the reason for the poor performance of Hindi films is the lack of good content. Singh told the media, “The subject matter reigns. ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ did extremely well and so did films like ‘RRR’, ‘KGF’, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’. If the content is good then people will come and if the content is not good then people will not come. He said, ‘The collection is less than yesterday. People are not interested in watching both films.

The reason for this is the easy availability of movies on OTT. People in the age group of 15 to 35 years are not coming to theatres. Rathi believes that Hindi cinema has become ‘elitist and too urban’. He said the filmmakers need to analyze the situation. He said, “Hindi films have distanced themselves from the grassroots audience. The storytelling style or setting alienates a large section of the common people of India. Our cinema has become elitist and urban in terms of audience engagement, whereas, films from the south are accessible to the masses.