Fenil’s Bollywood Talk # 825


The first big clash of 2024 will take place tomorrow. Maidaan will arrive in cinemas today evening while Bade Miyan Chote Miyan will be released tomorrow. A lot is riding on these movies but surprisingly, the buzz is not skyhigh.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan stars Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff in leading roles with Prithviraj Sukumaran as the antagonist. Alaya F and Manushi Chhillar are the leading ladies and the film also has a special appearance by Sonakshi Sinha. It is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment. The film is mounted on a huge scale and has some exciting action scenes. Prithviraj’s face, interestingly, hasn’t been shown in the trailers, and he’s shown wearing a mask. Both Akshay and Tiger are action stars and their pairing seems interesting. Moreover, the film seems like a clean entertainer aimed not just at the masses but also at families.

However, the songs haven’t worked. The trailer did make a mark but has got a mixed response. Some have found it exciting while others haven’t.

The film was all set to release today, that is, April 10. Many felt it was a bad decision since the big Eid holiday is on Thursday, April 11. Yet, the makers decided to go for a Wednesday release. The ticket sales, as expected, were not encouraging at all. This prompted them to change the release plans on Sunday, April 7. They decided to go for paid previews, that is, commence shows from 6:00 pm onwards on Wednesday.

Even then, the advance booking for Wednesday wasn’t up to the mark. Hence, the Wednesday release was cancelled and now, the film will have a release on Thursday, April 11. The sad part is that though it’s arriving on a holiday, the advance has not yet picked up. Many multiplexes, especially of national chains, have opened bookings for 3-4 shows only and even these are practically empty.

Yet, there’s hope that Bade Miyan Chote Miyan will get spot bookings. If all goes well, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan should open at around Rs. 15 crores on April 10. With good word of mouth, it should jump to Rs. 25 crores on Friday or Saturday. The film is quite costly and hence, it really needs to entertain the audience to recover its investment.

Maidaan, meanwhile, is a period sports flick directed by Amit R Sharma of Badhaai Ho fame and produced by Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla, Arunava Joy Sengupta and Zee Studios. It stars Ajay Devgn, Priyamani and Gajraj Rao and is based on the golden era of Indian football, between 1952 and 1962. Ajay plays Syed Abdul Rahim, an accomplished Indian coach in this film.

Maidaan went on floors way back in August 2019 and faced a tough time in getting completed due to Covid-19 restrictions. A grand set of the football stadium was destroyed in the cyclone that hit Mumbai in June 2020. Getting foreign actors was also a problem due to limited international flights and quarantine rules. It is the last film of the pre-pandemic era to get a release in cinemas.

There’s a lot of buzz about Maidaan within the industry. Boney Kapoor has shown the film to several personalities months in advance and they can’t stop raving about it. However, the public hasn’t had any idea about this positivity around the film. The trailer got a fine response but it hasn’t excited the audience to throng the cinemas and buy the tickets ASAP. As a result, most of the moviegoers are going to adopt the wait-and-watch strategy.

Like Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, its makers were also planning for a full-day release on April 10 and then finally settled for paid previews today. Tomorrow, when it’ll have a full-fledged release, the aim should be to open in double digits, at around Rs. 10 crores. But that won’t happen and it’ll open at Rs. 7-7.50 crores, it seems. The word of mouth mostly will be positive but the reports should encourage the audience to book their tickets. Once that happens, there won’t be stopping this film.

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