The season of flops is back – but a Tamil film is creating records reports our cinema buff from a sweltering city; and two megastars have shot a film together after a very long time – which is creating its own heat…
BY Rodrigues C
THIS October heat has taken Mumbai by surprise with temperatures touching 37.4°C, though still below the highest 38.4°C of October 17, 2015.
Fortunately, the nights are slightly cooler, giving respite to millions as well as Bollywood events which are usually held in the evenings.
Well, South cinema’s royalty Rajinikanth was in the city braving the heat for a movie shoot with Amitabh Bachchan.*
The legends started shooting in Mumbai on October 25 for the temporarily titled, TJ Gnanavel-directed film ‘Thalaivar 170’, which also features other notable stars in Fahadh Faasil, Rana Daggubati and Manju Warrier, Ritika Singh and Dushara Vijayan as well.
The film was announced in March and is Rajinikanth’s 170th project. Due to the fact that Rajinikanth and Bachchan were together after 33 years, the shoot made big news in the country with hordes of paparazzi setting up camp outside the sets of the shoot. The duo last worked in the Hindi film ‘Hum’, directed by Mukul Anand, which was released in 1991. Their shoot wound up on October 29.
Reality TV show ‘Bigg Boss’ premiered earlier this month. The show is a huge draw primarily because it has been hosted by Bollywood stalwart Salman Khan for the last few years.
Aired daily for about three to four months, the show has contestants locked in a house and being eliminated weekly. It is mainly in Hindi and is popular in the UK too with certain sections of South Asian entertainment buffs.
Many Bollywood celebs, especially the ones whose movies are up for release make an appearance on the show.
Kangana Ranaut, who is in the news because of her new movie ‘Tejas’, recently appeared on ‘Bigg Boss’.
Ranaut’s latest movie has bombed at the box office and the actress is facing flak online.
On Saturday (October 28), a day after her movie’s release, Ranaut made a plea to viewers asking them to visit theatres to watch movies, but many online users pointed out that Ranaut had earlier asked viewers to boycott Bollywood.
‘Tejas’, made at a budget of about £6 million, collected just about £400,000 during its first weekend.
Ranaut’s last box office success was way back in 2015 in the form of ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ Since then, her flops include ‘I Love NY’, ‘Katti Batti’, ‘Rangoon’, ‘Simran’, ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’, ‘Mental Hai Kiya’, ‘Panga’, ‘Thalaivii’, ‘Dhaakad’ and ‘Chandramukhi 2’.
In fact, a much smaller movie ’12th Fail’, directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, collected £800,000 worldwide in its first weekend.
Another film that was a huge disaster this month is Vikas Bahl’s ‘Ganapath: A Hero is Born’, featuring Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon and Amitabh Bachchan.
In terms of percentage, the film is being labelled as one of the biggest box office flops of all time in India.
‘Ganapath’ was made at a budget of £20m and collected only about £1.2m at the box office, which is a loss of 94 per cent as it stands going into this week.
The last Bollywood film that delivered good numbers at the box office was ‘Fukrey 3’, which minted about £12.7m in September; it was made at a budget of £4.5m.
Another movie that is grabbing headlines and for a good reason is Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Tamil film ‘Leo’. Released on October 19, the film has gone on to become a huge blockbuster, amassing over £50m worldwide, £30.1m in India and £20m overseas.
After ‘2.0’, ‘Ponniyin Selvan 1’ and ‘Jailer’, it’s only the fourth Tamil movie to reach this feat.
The Thalapathy Vijay starrer’s dubbed Hindi version wasn’t released in some of India’s bigger multiplex chains in North India because of the eight-week streaming (OTT) window rule. Multiplexes in South India allow films to be released on OTT after about four to six weeks.
Meanwhile, Bollywood is gearing up for one of its most anticipated releases of the year ‘Tiger 3’, which hits screens this Diwali on November 12. Internationally the movie’s tickets went up for sale last week. In the UK, the movie has sold more than 3,000 tickets so far generating a revenue of £25,000 already.
For now, it seems like Bollywood is sailing over troubled waters. But ‘Tiger 3’ may change all that. Shah Rukh Khan has already lit up Bollywood this year with back to back hits ‘Pathaan’ and ‘Jawan’.
Now, it’s the turn of the other Khan to show his mettle. Let’s just wait and watch.
*Bachchan and Rajinikanth both appeared together at the International Film Festival of India in 2019 when they were both presented with special awards for their long service to the Indian film industry – ACV was there to witness and record…