Countless Hindi films released in 2015. Only a handful made it to the radar of the two entities that count: the box-office and the critics. Movies like Piku, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tanu Weds Manu Returns turned into box-office winners, thanks to their strong scripts and more. Movies like Shandaar fell flat. As we enter 2016, here’s a list of films that failed to live up to their pre-release hype last year:
A popular joke that has been circulating since Dilwale released goes, “People who chose not to watch Dilwale will henceforth be known as Dimaagwale (smart people)“. Dilwale ending up as a dud didn’t surprise many. After all, director Rohit Shetty is infamous for churning out brainless fluff like Chennai Express and Bol Bachchan. On board were the evergreen couple, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. But even that couldn’t save this sinking ship. A wafer-thin story line complemented by bad execution and poor acting turned Dilwale into 2015’s biggest laughingstock.
The film had gone head-to-head with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajrao Mastani at the box-office. On its release weekend, the film had the upper hand at the box-office. According to a DNA report, it collected Rs. 65 crore in its opening weekend, largely because it was released on a number of screens. Those numbers had declined sharply by Monday. Dilwale netted Rs. 9.50 crore on Monday, while Bajrao Mastani collected a more respectable Rs. 10.25 crore.
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
This was a reunion between Salman Khan and the preacher of Indian familial values, Suraj Bharjatia. The result: a rehash of the 80s and 90s in the form of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. This melodramatic film had shy virginal men and women, living in palaces, and calling each other Rajkumar and Rajkumari. A typical Bharjatiya movie, this film had plenty of songs and much innocent romance. However, the outdated melodrama and old-fashioned story, against an otherworldly set, didn’t have much appeal for the audience. Result: it was a far cry from the hyped up ‘evergreen hit’ it was supposed to be, along the lines of Maine Pyaar Kiya.
Like other Salman Khan films, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo opened to high box-office collections. Also high were expectations, because the opening weekend was a four-day holiday weekend. And the film was the sole big release. With massive advance bookings across the country, the stage was set for a grand show. Instead, by the second day, collections had dropped by 5%. On the 9th day, the film grossed around Rs. 9 crore, a very low figure for a Salman Khan film. For instance, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, had grossed Rs. 17 crore on its 9th day.
Shaandaar had everything a blockbuster should have. Just like the director’s previous venture, Queen. With one glaring flaw. Thanks to poor execution of a badly written story, the film was a flop. Starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, along with a number of veterans in the supporting cast, Shaandaar had decked-up opulent sets, grand mansions, and well-choreographed songs. Also, supposed crowd-winners like jibes at LGBT people, and fat-shaming.
The film had a trailer which was popular on social media. Its songs were popular. All this led to Shahid Kapoor’s highest-grossing opening day of Rs. 13 crore. Then came day 2, and earnings dropped by as much as 35-40%.
Box-office number source: IBTimes
This Nikhil Advani film tried to cash in on Kangana Ranaut’s star image, who ruled Bollywood in 2014 with Queen, and later, with Tanu Weds Manu Returns. However, Kattie Battie was nothing like Queen. A take on modern-day love and live-in relationships, Kattie Battie was ruined by its weak script and badly written characters. Imran Khan, trying to revive a flailing career, played Kangana’s beau in the film. The debacle that Kattie Battie became pushed him right back to the bottom.
On its opening Friday, the film grossed around Rs. 5.28 crore. After that, it could earn only Rs. 19.81 crore in five days. Made at a budget of Rs 36 Crore, Kattie Battie grossed around Rs 22.8 Crores.
Yet another Nikhil Advani dud in 2015, Hero, co-produced by Salman Khan, had two star kids in the lead: Sooraj Pancholi and Aditya Shetty. A bad story, complemented by bad acting, earned this film negative reviews on its opening day. Thanks to Salman Khan, who made a big push to promote the film, Hero grossed around Rs. 31.18 crore worldwide.
The film, which minted around Rs. 26.58 crore from its domestic box office, had a below-average opening at its overseas box office.
Box-office numbers: IBTimes.com
This dance-drama directed by choreographer-turned-director Remo D’Souza, had neither the electrifying dance it promised, nor a proper script. Starring Varun Dhawan, Prabhu Deva, and Shraddha Kapoor, ABCD 2 managed to gross Rs. 100 crore within just 17 days of its release, despite negative reviews. Its box-office success was partially attributed to the below-average films it released alongside.
Box-office numbers: Mtwiki.blogspot.in
Gabbar Is Back
Gabbar Is Back promised to be different from the usual Akshay Kumar potboilers. However, Gabbar Is Back, a modern-day remake of AR Murugadoss’ Kollywood blockbuster Ramana, ended up as a below-average film. It had a badly written script, bad characterisations, and the politics it tried to depict was just inaccurate. All of which resulted in negative reviews from critics. Despite the bad reviews, the film netted a worldwide box-office total of more than Rs. 100 crore.
Box-office numbers: Financial Express
Yet another bad remake with Akshay Kumar in the lead. Brothers was an official remake of the Hollywood film Warrior. The film was a disappointment, with its juvenile portrayal of an MMA competition and an overdose of melodrama. Jackie Shroff played an old, alcoholic MMA fighter, while Akshay and Siddharth Malhotra played his sons. Shroff’s over-the-top performance was a major let down. The film culminates in a MMA fight, where Akshay and Siddharth go up against each other. Kareena Kapoor was roped in for a sexist item number.
The film had a good opening in the domestic market where it earned Rs. 15.2 crore on its first day. However, collections dropped after the second day. By the following Monday, it was down to Rs. 6.23 crore, and the slide continued through the week.