Despite the big anticipation around the movie, Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet has failed to attract audiences to the cinema halls. The movie, made at a budget of Rs 120 crore, managed to make Rs 5.5 crore at the box office on its release on May 15.
Trade pundits are not optimistic about the movie’s chances of recouping its costs because the Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma starrer has met with negative word of mouth on social media and less than flattering reviews by critics. The film opened to an average occupancy on day one. Released in around 3,000 screens across the country, the film’s first-day collection was at par with that of Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, which released on May 8 in a fewer 1,200 screens.
“While visually the film is stunning, the narrative falls flat,” says Shamminder Malik, an independent exhibitor (for north India) and trade analyst. “There are too many characters going in and out of the frame and the story drags. Also, the music has failed to make an impact. While the performances of the lead actors are good, the lack of a crisp storyline makes the film a drag in parts.”
The film is set in the Bombay of the 1960s and revolves around Kapoor’s lead character, Johnny Balraj, and his ambitions of making it as a “big shot” through any means possible. Sharma plays his romantic counterpart in the form of Rosie Noronha, an aspiring singer. The film introduces director-producer-talk show host Karan Johar as the main villain.
“It seems Bollywood is finding it tough to crack the period-drama genre,” says Suniel Wadhwa, independent distributor and box-office analyst. “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, which released a month ago, too failed to impress the audiences.” He adds, “Coming off a truly terrible first quarter, the box office rebounded a bit in May with Gabbar and Piku, but Bombay Velvet was a huge disappointment. It will end up earning less than Besharam and Roy did.”
Both Roy and Besharam starred Kapoor in the lead and failed to rake in the moolah at the box office. While the first, released earlier this year, made Rs 10.5 crore on its first day, the latter made a good opening with Rs 20 crore back in 2013. If collections do not pick up for Bombay Velvet, it would represent a third consecutive flop for Kapoor.
Though the two movies are in different genres, analysts believe that the success of Piku despite being shown in fewer theatres may mean trouble for Bombay Velvet. “The biggest driver in case of Piku was the fabulous word of mouth it received,” says Malik. “A lot of people would still prefer to see Piku having heard good things about it and wait for the verdict on Bombay Velvet before seeing it.”
Piku, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan, has made Rs 44.52 crore in its first eight days in India and Rs 19 crore ($3 million) abroad. Produced for Rs 32 crore, the film is looking at another good weekend due to its restricted release.
Release date: May 15
Cost: Rs 120 crore
Opening day collection: Rs 5.5 crore
Number of screens: 3,000