Will RACE 3 Af­fect Sal­man’s Suc­cess In B-Town?

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY - Words SHARBANI MUKHER­JEE

You may love him, you may hate him but you def­i­nitely can­not ig­nore him. He’s been a part of Bol­ly­wood for the last 27 years and one will have to agree that this ac­tor has rocked ev­ery­thing that he’s done. From mak­ing the “100 crore club” a trend, to woo­ing gals in his shirt­less avatar to danc­ing away to glory in his own trade­mark steps and en­thralling the au­di­ence al­most ev­ery Eid, SAL­MAN KHAN has proved to be the ‘En­ter­tainer of all sea­sons’. And while the ru­mour mills keep in­ces­santly churn­ing about bhai­jaan’s im­pend­ing shaadi, his videsi “girl­friends” and his court cases, he’s been at his job mes­mer­iz­ing the In­dian junta like no other. How­ever, there is a twist in the ka­hani. Though bhai­jaan’s re­cent film Race3 has very com­fort­ably made it to the 100 crore club in a span of just three days, the fig­ures un­for­tu­nately, seem to be dis­mal for a Sal­man Khan film. So will Race3’ s per­for­mance af­fect Sal­man Khan’s golden rule at the Box of­fice? Let’s delve un­der the sur­face to find out more.

Race 3 ex­ploded the au­di­ence’ ex­pec­ta­tions and ended up with a whim­per.”

Ac­tor, writer, singer, painter – is there any­thing that bhai hasn’t done? Per­haps not! This charm­ing man, who has been a Bol­ly­wood in­sider, could have for sure played the card of be­ing the ladla beta of the leg­endary screen­play writer Salim Khan sa­hab. But con­trary to that, the good look­ing 20 some­thing Ban­dra boy chose to ven­ture into B-town and make a place for him­self. Post de­but­ing with Biwi Ho To Aisi in 1988 to pre­sent­ing his lover boy im­age in Maine Pyar Kiya the next year, he turned into ev­ery girls’ pin-up boy with his amaz­ing an­daaz and charisma, which was hatke from the rest. And right from pump­ing up mus­cles to learn­ing horse rid­ing and what not, this lanky young­ster turned into a dash­ing, young ac­tor, for whom many en­chantress would queue up ev­ery now and then! While all this was hap­pen­ing in the back­ground, the ac­tor went on to give the au­di­ence a string of fab films like An­daz Apna Apna, Khamoshi: The Mu­si­cal, Karan Ar­jun, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Jud­waa and many more. Who doesn’t re­mem­ber Sal­man’s por­trayal of the lovelorn Radhe in Tere Naam. But post this film, he did have a tough pe­riod both on and off screen, but the su­per­star was back with a bang in 2009 with Wanted. And since then, there was no look­ing back for him. Da­bangg, Ready, Body­guard, Ek Tha Tiger, Da­bangg 2, Jai Ho, Kick, Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Tube­light, Ek Tha Tiger and now Race 3… gave Sal­man Khan fans a rea­son to re­joice ev­ery Eid and the 100 crore club be­came an un­der­state­ment. Race to the Bot­tom? How­ever, the much an­tic­i­pated Eid re­lease, Race 3 wasn’t ex­actly what the Sal­man fans were ex­pect­ing. Be­ing a fab fran­chise, Race films have had a huge fan fol­low­ing and with Sal­man join­ing in, fire­works on­screen were ex­pected. The film how­ever ex­ploded the au­di­ence’ ex­pec­ta­tions and ended up with a whim­per. Per­haps a sec­tion of bhai fans were danc­ing to Self­ish and Heeriye in the theatres, but the oth­ers (which was def­i­nitely a large num­ber) were giv­ing all sorts of duhais to not watch the film. Crit­ics too sav­agely tore apart the film by ap­par­ently say­ing that the film was a ‘scat­ter­shot snooze­fest’ and that the movie has been ‘noth­ing but a re­cy­cled bin of too many car chases, ex­plo­sions, buffed up char­ac­ters strut­ting in slo-mo, and wilted lines’… The twit­ter­atis also went berserk and out­poured their ‘hon­est’ re­views on the so­cial me­dia plat­forms. Tweets like ‘The move is called #RACE3 be­cause most film crit­ics have given it a rat­ing of 3 out of …100’ and ‘#Race3 is a sus­pense thriller where au­di­ence spends 3 hours on the edge of the seat des­per­ately try­ing to guess what the story is’ were up and many hi­lar­i­ous memes have been made on the same. Film In­for­ma­tion mag­a­zine in an ar­ti­cle also cited, “The Box of­fice per­for­mance of Race 3 has left the trade bit­ter as it failed to live up to the ex­pec­ta­tions from a film of such a big can­vas. Race 3 may have en­sured huge prof­its for pro­duc­ers but it has left its distrib­u­tors gasp­ing for breath, thereby mak­ing a dent in the fran­chise value of

the brand Race. It net­ted Rs 28.50 crore on the first day, which was a good to­tal, (but not a great one), con­sid­er­ing that it was the last day of Ramzan. Col­lec­tions on Satur­day jumped to Rs 37 crore – again a won­der­ful fig­ure but def­i­nitely not out­stand­ing, given that Eid fell on that day. The Sun­day fig­ure was Rs 37.50 crore, and that took the week­end to­tal to Rs 103 crore. The film held on for a week in sin­gle-screen cin­e­mas on the week­days but faced a per­cep­ti­ble fall in mul­ti­plexes. Col­lec­tions on the week­days were: Mon­day- Rs 15 crore, Tues­day-10 crore, Wed­nes­day- Rs 7.50 crore, Thurs­day- 6 crore. In this way, it added Rs 38.50 crore to its kitty in the week­days, tak­ing the first week’s to­tal to Rs 141.50 crore. The film is ex­pected to net Rs 175 crore or there­abouts.” But what makes the sit­u­a­tion fur­ther odd is ads pu up by the mak­ers on the Box of­fice col­lec­tions

Even though the re­views from Sallu miyaan’s fans have been mixed but it has not re­ally af­fected Sal­man Khan’s hu­mon­gous pop­u­lar­ity. ”

of the film. They ap­pear to be more of a farce per­haps more to save face. Dis­tribut­ing Losses? In Race 3, Sal­man Khan has also de­buted as a dis­trib­u­tor. Ac­cord­ing to a trade in­sider, “Busi­ness wise, it’s a log­i­cal step by his com­pany be­cause Sal­man has pro­duced a num­ber of big­gies till date in­clud­ing Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan. Now, with the lat­est step of turn­ing dis­trib­u­tor, he will have a say and hold over the wide reach of films.” The movie has been dis­trib­uted by SKF and the ac­tor’s fa­ther Salim Khan has looked into the dis­tri­bu­tion as­pect of the film per­son­ally. But has it ben­e­fit­ted him as a dis­trib­u­tor? Maybe or maybe not be­cause distrib­u­tors are al­ways the first to suf­fer losses when the film doesn’t do well. Not over as yet How­ever, die-hard Sal­man Khan fans need not worry as yet, be­cause bhai­jaan is im­mensely loved by the pub­lic. And even though the re­views from Sallu miyaan’s fans have been mixed but look­ing at the big­ger pic­ture, it has not re­ally af­fected Sal­man Khan’s hu­mon­gous pop­u­lar­ity. But the ques­tion post this de­ba­cle is whether the lit­mus test lies in that. And will this Tiger will be able to roar loudly with his other movies. But know­ing the uber ta­lented man that he is, we are sure that the Bharat ac­tor will have some tricks up his sleeves and will re­veal them soon. Till then, let us all ap­plaud and en­joy Sal­man Khan and his dhamakedaar pop­u­lar­ity.

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