In the last few years, big ticket Bollywood entertainers have used Diwali holiday – and India’s craze for movies – to their advantage. The combination of a holiday with the promise of an ensemble cast have brought viewers to theatres. There have been instances where the films were able to win over the audience, but there have been times when the audience couldn’t even sit through the entire film.
While Diwali was always reserved for a Shah Rukh Khan release, the last few years have had several top guns of Bollywood – Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan who have released their films during the festival of lights. As we celebrate Diwali today, here’s a look at a few big ticket films of the millennium that released amidst fanfare but turned out to be a dud:
Mission Kashmir (2000):
After his debut with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Hrithik Roshan became an overnight sensation because of which the buzz around his next release Mission Kashmir was sky high. The film was so highly-anticipated that the opening day collections of this Diwali release was higher than that of the multi-star film, Mohabbatein, which released on the same day. However, the audience was eventually let down by the content and the film proved to be an average grosser at the Box Office. Mohabbatein, on the other hand, emerged as a successful film.
Kyon Ki (2005):
Kyon Ki had everything going in its favour prior to its release as the film marked the collaboration of Salman Khan with Priyadarshan and Kareena Kapoor for the first time. The film’s music was popular and the audience expected it to be another tragic love story like Tere Naam and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. However, after taking in a fairly good opening, the film sank at the Box Office due to poor content and was termed a flop. The movie clashed with Garam Masala at the Box Office and the comic entertainer turned out to be a smash hit.
Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar teamed up for the second time after the success of Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. The film clashed with Shah Rukh Khan’s Don and flopped. The expectations from Jaan-E-Mann were sky high and despite fairly positive reviews the audience were left wanting for more.
The launch pad of two star kids – Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, Saawariya was probably one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2007. Despite the clash with Shah Rukh Khan’s Om Shanti Om, there was an immense excitement about the film due to the attractive theatrical trailer supported by a melodious music album. However, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial was slammed for the slow narration, dark treatment and illogical storyline. After embarking on a very good start, the film crashed at the Box-Office.
2006 to 2009 is considered as the best phase of Akshay Kumar’s career as the actor consistently delivered record openers and his films went on to do huge business at the Box Office. After doing a string of comedy films, Akshay Kumar was back to the action genre with Blue and the theatrical trailer of the film generated enough excited. It was touted as India’s first underwater adventure film and there was a three-way clash between Blue, Salman Khan’s Main Aur Mrs Khanna and the Rohit Shetty directorial, All The Best. The pre-release excitement was so high for the film that the opening day number of Blue was more than twice the combined collection of All The Best and Main Aur Mrs Khanna. What next? The film carried terrible audience reviews and tanked in the coming days.
Main Aur Mrs Khanna (2009):
Alongside Blue, another film that released on Diwali 2009 was Main Aur Mrs Khanna. This was the second film starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor during the Diwali weekend and coincidentally, the fate of the film was same as their first film. Main Aur Mrs Khanna was ridiculed by the audience and critics alike. The reactions, as well as collections, were so terrible that the film was officially aired on D2H on the third day of its release. The film which proved to be a winner in the Diwali 2009 weekend was Rohit Shetty’s comedy, All The Best.
Action Replay (2010):
To feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai in a time-travel film was enough to grab audience eyeballs. However, right after the first show of Action Replayy, the negative word of mouth spread like wildfire and the film tanked. On the flip-side, Golmaal 3, which released on the same day, emerged a blockbuster.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One is the most marketed film in the history of Indian cinema. The promotional campaign of the film started around 10 months prior to its release. The prolonged promotional campaign obviously resulted in humongous expectations from the film, however, the audience was terribly let down by the content. The film failed to deliver on what it promised and despite earning over Rs 100 crore at the Box Office, Ra.One is remembered as one of the most disappointing Shah Rukh Khan films till date.
Just like Ra.One, even Shivaay was a well-marketed film whose theatrical trailer left the audience spellbound. Devgn promised to serve the audience with never-before-seen action sequences. While the action of the film was appreciated, it was majorly ridiculed for the pointless storyline. The audience couldn’t quite relate to the characters in the film and it eventually proved to be a major disappointment at the Box Office.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there were films like Happy New Year, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil that released during the Diwali weekend and while the films were underwhelming, they did enough business to be termed a hit and found acceptance from a considerable section of the audience.
This Diwali will see the release of Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar. It’ll be interesting to see if the two films live up to the expectations or not.
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