New Delhi: Akshay Kumar’s latest release ‘Selfiee’ is his lowest opening in over a decade. The actor has seen a string of flops and the criticism around his choice of films is ever-increasing.
‘Selfiee’ — which also stars Emraan Hashmi, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Diana Penty and has been produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions — opened Friday with a disastrous Rs 2.55 crore box-office collection.
‘Selfiee’ is Kumar’s fifth consecutive flop at the box office with the lowest first-day collection — lesser than Rs 6 crore earned by Kartik Aryan’s ‘Shehzada’ on the first day of its release last week.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh has called the first-day performance of ‘Selfiee’ a “disaster” with “shockingly low numbers”.
#Selfiee has a disastrous Day 1… Sends shock waves throughout the industry… One of the lowest starts for a film that has several prominent names attached to it… Fri ₹ 2.55 cr+. #India biz. pic.twitter.com/juk8aCCvZq
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) February 25, 2023
Adarsh also shared the figures of the film’s opening from several multiplexes.
“#Selfiee at national chains… *Day 1* biz…#PVR: 64 lacs #INOX: 43 lacs #Cinepolis: 23 lacs Total: ₹ 1.30 cr Nett BOC. SHOCKINGLY LOW NUMBERS,” Adarsh tweeted comparing its first-day performance with this year’s releases of Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan” and Kartik Aryan’s “Shehzada”. “2023 releases… national chains only – *Day 1* biz… #Pathaan: ₹ 27.08 cr #Shehzada: ₹ 2.92 cr Nett BOC,” Adarsh added.
According to Sacnilk website, the film had an overall 9.95 per cent Hindi occupancy on the first day.
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Notably, each of Kumar’s 2022 films — ‘Ram Setu’, ‘Raksha Bandhan’, ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ and ‘Bachchhan Paandey’ — have not done good business — with their first-day collections ranging from over Rs 8 crore (Raksha Bandhan) to 15 crore (Ram Setu).
Before the release of the film, Akshay Kumar, in an interview with Aaj Tak’s ‘Seedhi Baat’, talked about his series of flops and the reasons for Bollywood films not doing well lately.
“This is not the first time that it has happened to me. There have been times that my 16 films have not performed in a row, and then there were times when my eight to nine films failed. This happens because of one’s own fault,” Kumar said.
He further said that the audience has changed. “One has to change themself, rework, dismantle, and create oneself again. A film getting flopped is like an alarm, which says that one must change themself (sic).”
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Social media expresses displeasure
Directed by Raj Mehta and produced by Dharma Productions, Prithviraj Productions, and Kumar’s own Cape of Good Films — ‘Selfiee’ is an official remake of the Malayalam film ‘Driving Licence’.
ThePrint in its review of ‘Selfiee’ called this remake a “lukewarm” attempt while trying to do positive PR taking digs at the “cancel Bollywood” culture that started with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020.
After watching the first-day show, many on social media expressed displeasure at Kumar’s choice of films and Bollywood’s attempt at making remakes of south Indian movies, which are readily available on OTT platforms.
One user on Twitter threw light on the state of the Indian audience in the world of OTTs.
I really liked #Selfiee's trailer.
Then I went and watched #DrivingLicense on OTT.
The reason is very simple, wouldn't wanna spend 200 Rs to watch Akshay on big screen. Makes no difference
That's the state of Indian Audience right now..
— Hurais (@CFCSrk_) February 25, 2023
Another user said that the audience is no more interested in watching remakes.
Pathaan still pulling the crowd to theatres even after a month but recent releases like #Shehzad & #SELFIEE fails epically at BO. Seems like the audience are no more interested in watching remakes.#AkshayKumar's recent #SelfieeMovie opened with 2cr NBOC. pic.twitter.com/YOa6MtC17x
— shinenewshyd (@shinenewshyd) February 25, 2023
Attacking Karan Johar, actor-filmmaker Kangana Ranaut, too, took a swipe at Selfiee’s opening. Comparing it with the collections of her last film ‘Dhaakad’, she wrote on her Instagram story, “Karan Johar’s movie Selfiee has hardly made Rs 10 lakh on the first day, I don’t see even one trade or media person talk about it, forget mocking or bullying him the way they harass me….”
Akshay Kumar is of the opinion that the fault is his. In the Seedhi Baat interview that he gave before the release of ‘Selfiee’, he said: “Don’t blame the audience, blame yourself. The reason why a film is not working is never because of the audience or any other thing, it is because you have selected or maybe have not given the right ingredients in the film, and you have to change.”
In the same interview, Kumar was asked: “Aaj aapke paas naam hai, shohrat hai, bangla hai, par maa nahi hai (You have everything today, but you don’t have your mother)”, an emotional Kumar said, “Chal, aage chal” — a life path the actor seems to be treading on.
(Edited by Richa Mishra)
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