Bollywood films may not be witnessing the best of times at the box-office but the real shocker comes from the Kangana Ranaut-starrer ‘Dhaakad’ which managed to earn an embarassing figure of just Rs 2.58 crore as per ‘Bollywood Hungama’ against its monumental reported budget of Rs 85 crore.
The film, which released in cinemas on May 20, clashed head on with the Kartik Aaryan-starrer ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’. While the horror-comedy sequel had a flying start at the box-office heading for lifetime collections of close to Rs 180 crore, ‘Dhaakad’ failed to pull in the crowd despite decent marketing and buzz.
Independent film trade analyst Sumit Kadel explains the reasons behind the debacle that ‘Dhaakad’ has turned out to be. In his opinion, ‘Dhaakad’ alone is not a standalone story to have been subjected to such poor turnout. There’s a pattern, big budget films are getting severely bombed by the audience in cinemas.
Sumit told IANS, “Post-pandemic, many big films led by big stars like ‘Anek’ and ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’ tanked at the box office badly. They failed to collect even Rs 15 crore in their lifetime. Same happened with ‘Dhaakad’, audience were not at all interested in watching a woman-centric Hollywood style kind of action film.”
But, there’s a more worrying trend that’s forming the undercurrent and it’s definitely not a good news for Kangana. The actress’ stardom seems to be fading, as Sumit says, “Kangana’s box-office pull is going downwards with each passing year.”
He however is quick to point an exception, “‘Manikarnika’ (Kangana’s directorial debut) was an exception which was an average grosser.” Come to think of it, “her last clean hit was ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ way back in 2015,” Sumit furnishes the reason supporting his analysis.
“It’s not that ‘Dhaakad’ was an out and out bad cinematic experience, the film boasted of sleek action sequences, tout camerawork and a tasteful colour palette but the biggest pillar that a film rests on – the story, turned out to the be the weakest one for the film.”
“Audience wants to watch entertainers which can justify their big screen experience and their hard earned money”, the trade analyst firmly puts across his point maintaining that it’s the age of good content coupled with high production value.
For all said and done, entertainment reigns supreme for the film to work at the box-office, “High on content films with less entertainment value and social message kind of films would not work at the box office unless the content is extraordinary like ‘The Kashmir Files’,” he adds.
As for ‘Dhaakad’ the damage seems to have been compounded just because of the makers’ misplaced confidence, “They were so confident about their product that they didn’t even sell their film to digital and satellite distributors, and now looking at such poor performance of the film nobody is willing to buy it even scrap value,” Sumit concludes.
–By Akshay Acharya