Why did Shehzada and Selfiee fail at the box office? Trade experts debate – Times of India

Pathaan’s box office blitzkrieg had set the ball moving in the right direction. Industry experts were hopeful that the releases that follow will be able to benefit from the Pathaan trend. But Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada and Akshay Kumar-Emraan Hashmi’s Selfiee followed but neither film managed to light up the box office. It caught the film industry unawares because the films featured three big stars and there seemed to be a genuine buzz around the projects. Trade experts Taran Adarsh, Atul Mohan and Girish Johar give us their opinion on what went wrong with these two releases.

Taran Adarsh: Shehzada and Selfiee trailers had failed to create a solid impression

“Both Shehzada and Selfiee underperformed for various reasons… One, a lot many viewers had watched the original films Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and Driving License, respectively. Of late, there’s a lot of negativity for remakes and that could be another reason why most moviegoers didn’t want to patronise the Hindi versions.The other important reason is, the first trailer of both Shehzada and Selfiee weren’t appreciated, in fact failed to create a solid impression. The first impression ought to be forceful and impactful, which was lacking here.The Hindi content was substandard. Both Shehzada and Selfiee suffered due to poor writing/adaptation, which went against the films when they opened.In the case of Selfiee, the overexposure (Akshay Kumar) was one of the key factors that kept the audience away. Akshay had five releases last year (4 theatrical, 1 OTT), Selfiee was his sixth film in exactly a year. Although Akshay acted very well in the film, the audience just stayed away from cinemas screening the film.”

Atul Mohan: We can’t blame remake culture for Shehzada and Selfiee’s poor showing

“The audience’s taste has evolved since Pathaan, and it seems that the benchmark set by SRK’s film has become exceedingly high to surpass. If we analyze each case separately, Shehzada, which was a poor remake of a cult classic, failed to meet expectations. However, Selfiee was a better product, with decent to good reviews despite being a remake. The ticket prices for the opening day of Selfiee were attractive, indicating its potential success. We can’t blame the remake culture entirely, as both Kartik and Akshay have delivered some of their biggest career hits through remakes of old Hindi and South Indian movies. Both films had a similar marketing strategy of aggressive city tours, but neither spoke much about the product itself. As I’ve mentioned before, the audience has become increasingly discerning with their choices. They can sense whether a movie is worth their time and money or not, often before anyone else.”

Girish Johar: Akshay Kumar and Kartik Aaryan must chose future projects carefully

“Both Shehzada and Selfiee, despite getting decent to good feedback… didn’t work at the box office. With Shehzada, Kartik managed to get a good start, clearly indicating that his fan-base is increasing and he is being loved by the audiences. Meanwhile, Selfiee despite a big budget production with 2 A-list stars, Akshay and Emraan and a big banner like Dharma backing it, couldn’t even open. In fact, it started at shocking numbers at the box office. Clearly, audiences couldn’t connect with the films. Though both were commercial, both were remakes and probably the cinegoers didn’t want a rehash versions of remakes. Further, both were promoted well despite that, audiences didn’t venture out. For Akshay Kumar sir, he clearly needs to re-plan his outings, have a relook at his strategy of selecting content. I feel this is the time he should challenge himself, do different content, not merely focus on giving 3-4 films annually, but rather what story he wants to tell to his fans. Akshay sir is a very critical, one-man industry. He’s an important wheel of the fraternity. He is like that batsman who whenever on crease, fans want him to score. He is a huge star and with one good Friday, one knock, he will be riding high again. Emraan has loyal fan base, he should be seen more often and not merely concentrate on OTTs. Meanwhile, Kartik Aaryan has a very strong and bright future ahead of him. He needs also to select his outings carefully.”

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