Kabir Khan– a Bollywood film director who directed Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Tubelight, Sultan, New York, and others, is known for his fascination with Pakistan and love for the Mughals. His recent released ‘83’, despite being a decent film featuring prominent actors like Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, could not perform well at the box- office. Reportedly, the movie, which was made at an estimated cost of Rs 270 crores, stands to lose over 150 crores at the box office. However, the director is going a little soft in the head to blame the pandemic for the disaster that 83 had to witness.
Kabir blames pandemic as 83 fells facedown
Big Budget Indian movies are aimed at making overseas earnings. But 83 failed to do so. Thus, Kabir was heard tranquillizing himself to blame it all on the pandemic.
The blame-game session began when he said, “We made the film and waited for 1.5 years because we were very sure that we wanted people to see it on the big screen. We had designed it for the big screen or the cinema viewing experience.”
However, he mentions that it’s impossible to precisely plan a film’s release ever since the pandemic has hit the nation. He asserted, “With the threat of pandemic still looming large even after 2 years, it’s impossible to plan with great degree of accuracy when it comes to the release of films. Unfortunately, the day we released ’83’ was when the explosion of the third wave took place.”
He added, “Not just for us but for everyone, it came out of nowhere, no one could have foreseen it. At the onset of the third wave, there were around 6,000 cases a day in India, 15 days later we are clocking 1.6 lakh cases a day. By the second day of the film’s release, 3 states had declared night curfews. On day 4, Delhi, which is a big territory, decided to shut down its cinema halls, severely impacting the film’s business. By 6th day another 2 – 3 states shut down their cinemas, another 10 – 11 states went under night curfew. At some places theatres are running at 33 per cent occupancy or 50 per cent occupancy. So it’s been really disappointing for us in terms of not just being able to make it available to people in the theatres.”
Kabir resorts to holding trade analysts accountable
Slamming the trade analysts for reporting the numbers without the context, “There has been very unprofessional behaviour on the part of certain trade analysts where they are reporting numbers without taking the pandemic into the context. This really surprises me because while reporting something you have to take into account the factors that lead to a situation, if not then you are not staying true to your profession.”
In a failed attempt to placate himself, the director went on to put it all on time. He asserted, “The film has a strong word of mouth, it’s not translating into theatre footfall because the access to theatres is not there in major places of exhibition. The fear is still playing on the minds of people. There were so many films that were supposed to come immediately after us, they all pushed their release dates. They had the benefit of time, we didn’t have that benefit.”
Furthermore, he said, “Literally, the day of the release was the day when the cases started piling up in the country. The third wave has been the fastest; the rate of infection is far greater compared to the earlier two waves. The speed with which it hit us, no one could have really planned in a situation like this.”
Pandemic is not responsible for 83’s box office disaster
Well, Kabir, we understand the trauma you’re going through and the efforts to soothe everything are quite appreciable. However, we at TFI, have already unveiled the truth behind the failure of 83. After diving right into the movie to investigate the reasons behind the dismal show of 83, we revealed a few reasons behind the same.
83 came a week after movies like Spiderman- No way home and Pushpa had been released. And both of these movies have been a major cash-grabber as the audience has flocked to the theatres in huge numbers.
Secondly, 83, despite how well it was made, came across as a documentary-style movie.
Another reason is that India has grown into a giant of the game and thus the audience is exhausted with cricketing action. And, last but not the least; the movie could have easily been done without some of the plot points like showing Pakistan in a good light.
Thus, it is not the pandemic but 83 itself which needs to be held accountable for its failure at the box office.