Back-to-back mega flop movies from Bollywood in recent months has resulted in heavy loss for film distributors and theatres, apart from the producers of the films. The latest big-budget Bollywood movie Brahmastra Part One: Shiva was released today with poor reviews from film critics, and it seems the movie has a new victim, the investors of theatres.
Made with an ambitious budget of ₹410 crore, Brahmastra released today with much less than expected advance booking. Ahead of its release to the public, the movie was poorly reviewed by film critics, with Taran Adarsh calling it a ‘king-sized disappointment’, who gave it just two out of five stars.
While the movie did receive some favourable reviews from some critics, the stars given to it range from 2 to 3.5. Most reviewers said that while the VFX and CGI in the movie are good, the story is poor. And moments after the bad reviews of the movie started to appear, the stock price of major multiplex chains in the country started to fall.
According to estimates, PVR and INOX, the two major listed theatre chains, lost over ₹800 crore in market capitalisation today. The stocks had started to gain in recent days, but they crashed today, coinciding with the release of Brahmastra.
The PVR stock, which had reached a high of around ₹2,200 in the beginning of August, had opened at ₹1,942 today at the NSE. But soon after the reviews of the Brahmastra started to arrive in the media, the stock crashed and reached ₹1,829 at around 12 pm, falling by more than 5%, and is currently trading at around that price.
Similarly, INOX had reached a high in the first week of August and had opened at ₹522 at the NSE today. The share price fell by almost 5% to reach around ₹490 at around 12 pm today. It is notable that graphs of both PVR and INOX share prices show exactly the same pattern.
It is being analysed that the poor opening of the movie Brahmastra is the reason for this fall in the share price of the multiplex chains. According to analysts, the movie will do a lifetime business in the range of ₹130-200 crore, which will not be enough to recover the cost of ₹410 crore. This will mean a massive loss for the makers of the movie.
Brahmastra is produced by Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Namit Malhotra, and Director Ayan Mukerji, under the production companies Dharma Productions, Starlight Pictures, and Prime Focus in association with Star Studios, which is a subsidiary of Disney Star. Ranbir Kapoor and Marijke DeSouza are also producers of the movie. Fox STAR Studios is distributing it in India, while Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is handling international distribution.
Brahmastra has Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in lead roles and has big names like Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna, and even Shah Rukh Khan. While the makers had high expectations from the movie, they had to face the ongoing general negative outlook towards Bollywood movies among the public.
If Brahmastra fails this weekend, this will be a big loss for all these companies, along with the theatres, and investors in the companies. If the movie flops, it will join the recent big budget flops like Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan and Samrat Prithviraj, Anurag Kashyap directed Dobaaraa, Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera from Yash Raj Films etc.
With very few mega hits in recent times, Bollywood filmmakers have been trying to recreate the success of Southern larger-than-life movies like RRR, KFG, Bahubali etc, and made Brahmastra, Shamshera etc movies on a similar scale, but they have failed to excite the audiences due to poor storylines.
With the massive budget of ₹410 crore, it will be difficult for the makers to recover the cost if the analysts are right that it will collect a maximum of ₹200 crore. If that happens, even revenue from OTT platforms will not cover the costs, because with recent flops, OTT platforms have stopped big money for Bollywood movies, and it is unlikely that any streaming company like Netflix or Amazon Prime will pay big money to acquire the movie.
PVR and INOX head for a merger
In related news, theatre chains PVR and INOX are considering a merger of both companies. PVR has called a meeting of its shareholders and creditors on October 11 to seek their approval for the scheme of merger with rival Inox Leisure. Earlier in June, both PVR and Inox Leisure had said they had received clearances for their merger from exchanges NSE and BSE.