Monthly Archives: October 2018

Salman Khan must put business before emotions before producing films like LoveYatri, Hero and Tubelight

When it comes to superstardom, there arrives a point where you either change or self-destruct. The release of LoveYatri could well be that point in Salman Khan’s case. This is the third film that the star has produced in quick succession after Hero and Tubelight, all to an underwhelming response. When viewed from the perspective that LoveYatri was probably an entirely unneeded film for Khan to be associated with, the failure becomes more pronounced.

Salman Khan/Image from Twitter.

The reason any star decides to don the mantle of the producer is either to attract material that otherwise might not have come their way or gain more control over the destiny of the project. Looking at the way Khan operates, there has rarely been a situation in the last three decades where he didn’t get either. In fact, Khan notoriously refused films such as Baazigar and Chak De! India, which not only became blockbusters but also boosted the career of one of his biggest contemporaries, Shah Rukh Khan, at different stages. The reason why Salman began producing independently with Chillar Party (2011) was purely ‘emotional’ where he felt that his brand could help small, meaningful films get noticed. Jointly directed by Vikas Bahl (Queen, Shaandar and the upcoming Super 30) and Nitesh Tiwari (Dangal), Chillar Party made money and also won the National Award for Best Children’s Film in 2011. The reason one could say that the film never really did anything substantial for Khan has to do with the fact that he never really saw himself transforming into a bonafide producer.

The second film that Khan produced under his banner, Salman Khan Being Human (SKBH) Production was Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) for completely different reasons. Rumour has it that KV Vijayendra Prasad, the writer of the film had initially pitched the film to Aamir Khan, who despite liking the basic idea wanted a major overhaul but when Prasad refused, Aamir suggested Salman Khan’s name. Unlike Aamir, or Hrithik Roshan, who was also rumoured to have been offered the part, Salman Khan immediately gave Prasad the signing amount. This was also around the time when the 2002 hit-and-run case was in its final phase and there was a possibility of no major production plunging right away into the film with Salman and therefore, he probably decided to produce it himself.

Since the success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Khan has produced Hero (2015) that launched Suneil Shetty’s daughter Athiya Shetty and Aditya Pancholi’s son, Sooraj Pancholi, which much like this year’s LoveYatri came across as an utterly pointless exercise for Salman. The actor nonetheless had fun with the production where he also sang the title track of the film and featured in a video at the end. But the biggest disappointment for him as a producer came in the form of Tubelight (2017), the much-hyped film that reunited him with his Bajrangi Bhaijaan director, Kabir Khan. The film managed to collect a face-saving amount, Rs 200 crore, but when you consider Khan’s overall box office appeal and the fact that the budget of the film was a whopping Rs 135 crore, then there is no other way to describe Tubelight but as underwhelming.

Despite Tubelight’s lackluster performance Khan’s attitude towards producing – more emotional than business-driven – separates him from the other stars who are doubling up as producers such as Aamir, Shah Rukh, Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, among others. In this aspect, the sinking of Race 3 (2018) that he co-produced with Tips Industries is a bigger blow. The film was a typical tentpole production and there was enough riding on Race 3 for everyone involved to expect that it, in a sense, would undo the damage of Tubelight. Also, Race 3 is just the kind of production where the fabled ‘Salman Khan touch’ ought to have worked. The manner in which the franchise underwent a complete change to accommodate Khan’s wishes, which included changes in the script and replacing directors Abbas-Mustan with Remo D’Souza, it wasn’t tough to predict that all the whims would be forgotten once the film raked in the big bucks. The film was a disaster and in all likelihood, pulled the plug on the franchise.

A look at Khan’s upcoming projects reads like a desperate bid to glory days. Barring Bharat, Khan’s supposedly working on the sequels to No Entry, Dabangg 3, Tiger Zinda Hai Sequel and Kick. If there were ever a reason for him to think seriously about producing, then the LoveYatris of the world shouldn’t feature on his to-do list.

Badhaai Ho box office collection: Ayushmann’s Khurrana’s film rakes in Rs 45 cr in extended opening weekend

The extended Dusshera weekend ended with Ayushmann Khurrana’s Badhaai Ho overshadowing Arjun Kapoor’s Namaste England completely. Although both the films were pulled ahead to release a day earlier, Badhaai Ho managed to raced ahead Namaste England to garner Rs 45 crore in the first four days of its release.

Posters of Badhaai Ho and Namaste England. Image via Twitter/@FlickNookIn

The film earned an additional Rs 13 crore on Sunday, scoring a big extended opening weekend. Also starring Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao, the film opened to rave reviews. On the other hand, Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra’s Namaste England was unanimously panned by critics for its trite and immature storyline. The film could only score Rs 6.55 crore over the extended weekend, reports From the holdover titles, Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan’s YRF big-ticket, Sui Dhaaga, has almost exhausted its run. Currently showing in about a 100 screens, the film has raked in Rs 78.70 crore.