Box Office hullabaloo isn’t new. Easy to find endless doltish conditioning conjectures out there that navigate why a film fails at the box office. But the “This and That” whereabout never actually says what went wrong! Even Alfred Hitchcock had to do a self-analysis, given his failing films at the box office. Someone who had been a radical authoritarian when it came to ‘film-making.’ Then what exactly is this pretence of Bollywood here?

A few years back, I was assembling a thesis presentation on how pop culture got its initiation in the World, followed by the World Wars. And it was back then when I read that in the 1930s, Hitchcock admitted that his reputation crumbled when he faced some of the biggest BO flops. “Rich and Strange” was one of his creations that tanked. Hitchcock said, “My mistake with ‘Rich and Strange’ was my failure to make sure that the two leading players would be attractive to the critics and audience alike.” He confessed that during that era, he sorely lacked the self-critical scrutiny required in his filmmaking endeavours. This deficiency led to negligent casting choices, stemming from his failure to meticulously analyse his own work.

One word inference from the above is “Learn.”

2024 has been a torpid year for Bollywood so far. With no fanatical big shots, Bollywood wallops with the ‘blind spot’ again. Two big films, ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ and ‘Maidaan’, came out futile.

Why? How?

Stale, stagnant titles! I know ‘old wine in a new bottle’ makes sense. But that’s some fantastic wine, not ‘soda water’ (sighs). What made the maker think a title like “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” would work? A title should succinctly convey the essence of the film, ensuring that its intended audience discerns its relevance and potential appeal. Take “12th Fail,” for example. Or the upcoming south films that are expected to storm at the BO, ‘Pushpa 2,’ ‘Devara,’ ‘Game Changer.’

Second, Unbelievable costs! The spectre of financial success looms large, with each production’s fate hinging on its ability to recoup its extravagant expenditures. With a dwindling number of films being produced by studios, coupled with escalating costs over time, the prevalence of underperforming releases becomes increasingly apparent.

In another tweet, Taran Adarsh mentions, “WAKE UP, SMELL THE COFFEE… The debacle of two prominent films this #Eid—#BadeMiyanChoteMiyan and #Maidaan—should serve as a wake-up call for the industry… The star fees—including the exorbitant expenses of the paraphernalia associated with stars—need to be brought under control.”


And he adds, “No biggie till May 2024.” But the question remains, “Shall they work?”

Third, Disastrous Marketing! There are instances where marketing strategies veer disastrously off-course. One of the most detrimental missteps occurs when false expectations are cultivated within the audience, when a movie is portrayed as belonging to one genre, only to reveal itself as another entirely. Faced with the challenge of promoting a unique or unconventional film, studios occasionally opt to market it as a conventional genre piece. In short, “Silly reels won’t work.”

What can be done?

Take a break! Sitting ‘idle’ is no shame at times.