Has film’s box office performance put an end to Boycott Bollywood trend?

From Akshay Kumar starrer Samrat Prithviraj to Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, many movies have faced the brunt of the ongoing cancel culture against Hindi films in the form of Boycott Bollywood and have been somewhat negatively impacted by the same. There have been multiple reasons, mainly related to the past controversial statements made by the leading actors, due to which their films were targeted on social media by the boycott Bollywood brigade.

There had been similar calls to boycott Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer Brahmastra, one of the most anticipated films of the year, before its worldwide theatrical release on September 9. Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘beef’ remark which he had made more than a decade ago on one of the food talk shows, Alia Bhatt and he being star kids, and in Kangan Ranaut’s words ‘the flag-bearer of nepotism’ Karan Johar backing Brahmastra were some of the reasons behind the boycott Brahmastra call.

However, with a huge opening day collection of Rs 75 crore in its gross worldwide box office numbers, Brahmastra shut down trolls and the boycott brigade. The fantasy adventure epic, also starring Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna, Mouni Roy, and Shah Rukh Khan in a crucial cameo, collected Rs 225 crore in its opening weekend and by the tenth day of its release, the film minted Rs 360 crore globally, as shared by the makers.

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Talking about the domestic nett collections, the big-budget entertainer has become the second highest grosser of the year earning approximately Rs 213 crore and will soon go past The Kashmir Files, which had minted Rs 252 crore at the box office, as per Bollywood Hungama report.

There have been several arguments about whether Brahmastra can be declared a flop or a hit considering its huge budget of over Rs 400 crore. However, Ranbir Kapoor has categorically said that the Brahmastra budget is not just for a single film but for the whole trilogy, adding that the figures floating around related to its budget are incorrect.

While the exact budget of the film is unclear, especially after Kapoor’s recent statement, it makes it even more difficult to state in black and white whether the film is a blockbuster hit or not.

Also, the normal practice is to issue domestic and overseas figures separately, which isn’t the case with Brahmastra. The film’s team, the makers and the studio backing the project have all only been sharing the gross worldwide box office numbers, which leaves doubt on how well the film has worked in the domestic market and overseas market separately. Also, most of these figures, as per a report in IANS, came from the upmarket multiplex properties in metros screening the 3D version as the film. Brahmastra’s performance, as per the report, on the single screens and in the interiors was way below par. In fact, in smaller towns screening the 2D version, the shows were being cancelled because of the lack of an audience.

So, even though the gross worldwide numbers are being officially shared by the film’s team, it remains unclear whether Brahmastra has managed to make a profit at the box office, courtesy of its unclear budget.

However, in the analysis of box office numbers, one must not fail to acknowledge that Brahmastra is the only film that has managed to draw the audience to the theatres despite the Boycott Bollywood and Boycott Brahmastra trends.

Earlier, only four Hindi films namely Gangubai Kathiwadi, The Kashmir Files, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and to some extent Jug Jugg Jeeyo managed to draw the viewers to the cinema halls. However, notedly, these four films did not face the wrath of social media users and nor was there any call for boycotting the above-mentioned film.

So, at a time when big-budget films with superstars headlining the project failed to deliver at the box office, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s film gave a ray of hope to the film industry. So, credit where it’s due!

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