State the Numbers, Box Office India and Get Rid of Your Outdated Opinions – They Are Worthless!

2021 is the time to rejoice for Indians, at least people who are into technology, because the CEOs of Google, Microsoft and Twitter are all Indian. It’s a fantastic achievement for India and its talent. But on the flip side, even with advancements in technology, the Indian Box Office reporting is still dominated by parochial uncles, the ones who embarrass themselves at parties and have nothing better to do than crib and cry every Friday. One such box office site is Box Office India, which has been at the forefront when it comes to misreporting and spreading misinformation. People who bemoan the faux and biased reporting on news outlets like Fox News and some Indian channels have seen nothing if they’ve not encountered the bile and venom that’s spewed on BOI.  

In their latest hack job, they have taken to the film 83 and its Box Office performance. They write, “The shock factor is that a huge section of the industry thought this was a very good film, in fact, many thought it was a actually a great film. The problem lies there as you are thinking that a nothing film is a great film so when it does not perform it becomes shocking”.

In their minds, a good or a great film is always tied to its box office results. A simple, rudimentary understanding of cinema will tell them that it’s a big misconception. There is a commercial aspect to cinema and there’s also an artistic side. Only in India, we hear from people that a film must be bad because it flopped. Only in India do these simpeltons who call themselves trade analysts propagate this theory. Guru Dutt, who is revered among filmmakers, not just in India but across the globe, made Kaagaz Ke Phool which was a box office flop. Today, decades later, it’s considered a classic. Agneepath did not do too well at the box office as well and it’s considered a cult classic today. Karz, which was released in 1980, was a flop and its memories still linger on. It was even remade in Kannada, Tamil and later again, in Hindi.

So the whole idea that a film must be bad because it flopped is total rubbish. Let’s also take a look at Hollywood, from which Bollywood derives its name and hence websites like BOI exist. Shawshank Redemption which sits at the top in IMDB ratings did not even bring $1 million in its opening weekend. Blade Runner, a cult classic that inspired a brilliant sequel quite recently, was another flop. Fight Club was a massive flop for David Fincher but 10 years later The New York Times called it “the defining cult movie of our time”. It’s also present in the top 20 films of all time as ranked by users at IMDB. Citizen Kane, widely regarded as the greatest movie of all time by Sight and Sound for decades, was a box office flop. And the most interesting aspect about these Hollywood classics is that they were not pulled apart by Box Office analysts and neither were reams written about how Hollywood producers got it all wrong when they backed these films.

That’s the difference between professional outlets like Boxofficemojo or Scott Mendelson who writes Box Office articles for Forbes and two-bit sites like Box Office India. They report on the box office performance of films and do not mix it with their own personal opinions or biases. And the bias is crystal clear for everyone to see – when Antim underperformed at the box office and opened to around 5 Crores, this is what they had to say, “Antim – The Final Truth had a so so first day of 4.50 crore nett if it can grow well then it will be a decent first day number…The trailer gave the film that local Maharashtra feel and that is where it has done best. CPCI is decent and Nizam / Andhra is also very good”. 

Well, the trailer gave more of a Sikh vibe because it focussed on Salman Khan playing a Sikh police inspector rather than a Maharashtrian feel. With dialogues like “Jis din ae sardar di hategi … sab di phategi” showcased prominently in the promos, along with Salman Khan, how does one conclude that it was full of Maharashtrian flavour? And why were the owners of BOI trying to justify such a low opening in the first place? 83 could be a flop but it opened 2.5 times higher than Antim, despite night curfews in place, and its first weekend business is 7 crores higher than Antim’s entire run. Why is there such hypocrisy in their reporting? A wise man once said, never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence, and so I have to go for the latter. Although I do think there’s a touch of the former in them as well.

More gems from them include the following: “When a film goes wrong in this way and when the media and most of the indsutry has loved it there will be millions of excuses barring the real one which is the film is bad and it becomes even worse at the huge cost it has been made for”. 

If they had an iota of professionalism in their bones, they would have mentioned that the budget of the film was appropriate for pre-covid times. The film was supposed to release in April 2020 but had to shift its release date multiple times due to the pandemic. 200 Crores was not that big a deal in pre-covid times. The makers could have gone the OTT route and recovered some or all of their money but they held on in the belief that this movie was made only for the big screen. Instead of lauding the producers who actively tried to support the theatrical business, which has been in the doldrums for 1.5 years, these cowards are pulling them down for having a big budget. That’s the level of unprofessionalism you get to see and expect from Indian Box Office gurus. Or Guru-Ghantals, in this case. 

They further write, and I quote, “At the end of the day if you are not prepared to believe the audience verdict then the same sort of trash will be made again and again and the results most of the time will be the same”. 

This is a big facepalm moment and belies their complete lack of self-awareness because the same audience verdict has been crystal clear for films like Antim, Satyamev Jayate 2, Race 3, Dabangg 3 and so on. Perhaps they should take their own advice and stop shilling for mass-y masala films, which have been outrightly rejected even before the pandemic began. They are currently hiding behind the box office performance of films like Pushpa and Spiderman, deliberately ignoring the fact that the former is performing well only at low levels and the latter has also underperformed in India, compared to MCU tentpoles like Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War. The fact is that the North Indian/Hindi Box Office has been bleak throughout 2021, except for one film – Sooryavanshi, which too has underperformed compared to its predecessor, Simmba. These are unprecedented times and with night curfews in place and Omicron on the rise, things are likely to be bleak for some time now. At this point in time theatre owners need all the support they can get, as many more are likely to close down their shop if things don’t improve soon. 

But, no, these parasitic websites will still play their agenda and mock films that are patronised by multiplexes and for some reason (in this case, the pandemic) don’t do well. Even in times where the hospitality and entertainment industry is on life support, these vultures have the gall to display their crab-mentality openly and without shame. The article on 83  ends on a highly patronising note and states the following: “The sad part is the film is based on national heroes of the country who won a WORLD CUP and they deserved a better film which reached out to the audience”. 

Well, the filmmakers did their best, irrespective of the outcome, but the real sad part is that the Indian Film Industry deserves well-educated, unbiased and well-informed Box Office analysts rather than two-bit hacks who pretend to know everything about cinema, but in reality embarrass themselves by getting caught multiple times for spreading misinformation. State the numbers, BOI and get rid of your outdated opinions – they are worthless, and you guys probably know what people say about opinions and a***holes. 

28 Responses to “State the Numbers, Box Office India and Get Rid of Your Outdated Opinions – They Are Worthless!”

  1. What about their attack on DCH? BOI doesn’t understand cinema and never will.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post Saket. I hope BOI reads this.

    Besides their bias, they are really bad in projecting what kinds of cinemas should be made. Your post gives a counter argument.

    What good cinemas does is it pushes envelopes to create genres. Once the genre gets established over a period of time and reasonable acceptance, a large scale movie can be mounted on it.
    Behind every Star Wars there is a cult Star Trek.
    Behind every Batman there is a Joker.

    We need films with new ideas. Rarely does a large scale movie can be risked with a new idea. You need an MSDhoni to make an 83. You need a spy thriller Baby to Make a spy actioner Tiger Zinda hai or War.

    All big budget South movies are not telling any new story. All are based on revenge dramas. Its no new story. The other ones like Karnan makes something like Pushpa works.

    BTW, Pushpa has flopped in AndhraPradesh / Telangana despite an opening because of its cost.

    No exhibitor or critic is saying #Telugu movie is dying.
    Why Hindi film industry is being singled out?

    83movie has managed to get audience but the cost is high. Why not leave it on economics and be celebrating the diversity bollywood is offering now? Can it be better, hell yes.

    Is Telugu industry better? Hell NOOOO

    Who are these people who want Bollywood to only make remakes, sequels or mass entertainers?

    Genres like 83 is so rare. On top of it makers held back for 2 years to provide a theatrical experience. It calls for bravery award.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BOI is not exactly a box office site. It’s confused box office reporting with opinion. IF ONLY they just gave a table with numbers week by week plus some anecdotal occupancy data, cost, Distribution cost, Distribution share, a verdict and just stopped there. The opinion does not matter at all.

    Agree with most points.

    Although overall I feel 83 has underperformed but BOI is using it as a punching bag like other films have been used before.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome read Saket! This should be on facebook too.
    You are showing them the mirror but they dont want to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Although 83 may have underperformed BOI should not come up with such a scathing article om why the disaster is not really shocking. So many people were invested in this movie. Heart and soul plus time and money, wise like Kabir Khan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika, Pankaj Tripathi, Jiva etc. plus the 83 team itself. It is like their own child.

    And it managed to get appreciation of it’s target audience as apparent from the reviews. It will find a lot of eyeballs on OTT platform as well as DVDs. To brand it a disaster in the first week is sheer insanity on BOIs part.

    Another reason not to take BOI seriously

    Like

  6. In all honesty, the issue is also that films were barely released in the North Indian sector this year. The theatre restrictions in Maharashtra and other places were held much longer than in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. A similar case is Kerala, where I think only some 7 films released.

    Like

  7. The animosity for Ranveer maybe connected to his acting in Zoya akhtar’s european kind of films. DDD and Gully Boy. They have not forgiven DCH till now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Omicron does not seem to be affecting Spidey collections.

    Like

    • I’ve made this point before — Spiderman is underperforming compared to previous MCU tentpoles like Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. It’s not going to cross Avengers: Infinity War’s total, which is a 3.5-year-old film. And this is going to be the case with inflated ticket prices.

      Like

    • 34% (4.45/6.75) drop for Spiderman: NWH. Close to 83 drop which had 42.5% (7/11.96)

      Like

  9. “Guru Dutt, who is revered among filmmakers, not just in India but across the globe, made Kaagaz Ke Phool which was a box office flop” – add Mera Naam Joker, Swades, Lakshya and many more.. as per BOI even Dil Chahta Hai is a flop despite recording over a crore footfalls on their own site.

    “When a film goes wrong in this way and when the media and most of the indsutry has loved it there will be millions of excuses barring the real one which is the film is bad and it becomes even worse at the huge cost it has been made for” – Covid lockdowns and restrictions seem to be an “excuse” for the legends of BOI.

    “Even in times where the hospitality and entertainment industry is on life support, these vultures have the gall to display their crab-mentality openly and without shame.” – no doubt. Makers of 83 need to be applauded (so do the makers of Bell Bottom) for biting the bullet and sticking to their guns instead of taking the easy way out with OTT.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. tonymontana Says:

    Well done, Saket. Couldn’t have put one better.

    Box office sites such as these feed on the stupidity of fan wars in India that are never on the merits of the film but on useless tripe such as opening weekend, opening day, and total gross. Have been saying this for ages. You never have much scope to develop a forum for cinema in India because we all end up discussing the BO performance of worthless films.

    Sites like BOI that spread misreporting and encourage the already held misconception that link a BO performance of a film to its merits must be brought to court by production houses. They discourage talent, newer ideas, innovations and hold on to very regressive ideas. Sorry, but a box office hit that glorifies misogyny and toxic masculinity is far from being a ‘good’ film.

    There is crap that sells like hotcakes in the hinterlands of India. Porno clips are inserted in B movies that run houseful by testosterone charged creepy men throughout night shows India. Does the audience have the last word? Ha

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Sanjana:
    The comments are closed in other thread..Didn’t intend to bring anything from there to this this thread..but adding note here to requesting you to stay in this blog.
    Sanjana, we need you here..Your comments and views on many subject areas are all valuable in the spirit of this blog which we need..Please Please continue to write and stay in this forum.

    Thanks,
    Rajesh

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 83 box office debacle: List of reasons why Ranveer Singh’s brilliant sports film failed commercially

    Lack of promotions, exorbitant ticket pricing, negativity against Bollywood, inopportune release timing and budgeting gone wrong have together resulted in a brilliant, if not the best Bollywood movie of 2021, set to incur huge losses after its underwhelming box office performance

    By Russel D’Silva

    https://www.bollywoodlife.com/box-office/83-box-office-debacle-list-of-reasons-why-ranveer-singhs-brilliant-sports-film-failed-commercially-bollywood-news-1978284/

    Like

    • Lack of Promotion – Dont agree. In fact it was over promoted.

      Negativity against Bollywood- What? Where?

      Tix price – This was a serious issue but no 3 issue

      Budget – This is surely over by 70 cr. Every cricketer should have been given 20% fixed and rest on profit share

      Release time – This really is the No 1 reason. MS Dhoni got 55% from Maharashtra. If Maha were opened 100%
      Day 1-3 wohld have been close to 70 cr. And then from Day 5 onwards omnicron.

      Overall this movie would still not be a disaster because with disasters we see a collapse.

      Like

      • Surprised at the collection of Pishpa in Hindi
        I had a friend come from abroad after couple of years and after landing went to watch dubbed version of the movie as his kid wanted to see it.
        Wondering whether you need patronage of under 14 for films to become huge now. The Doctor movie in Tamil had it and it was the first post theater reopening big hit in TN if I am not wrong.

        Like

  13. anybody registered on boxofficeindia.com? what are the advantages registering on this junk site? do they share some privileged data with those registered?

    Like

  14. Is there any burner type phones in India? Where one could get virtual numbers to hide real number from those calling and those receiving your calls? Like Google Voice, Burner App in the USA?

    Like

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