Dabangg 3: Bad film or bad timing?

While some say the nationwide unrest is why people are not watching the film, others blame its bad writing'.

Salman Khan’s latest release Dabangg 3 is shaping up to be one of his worst critical and commercial disasters in recent times, including flops like Tubelight and Race 3. The actor’s last bona fide hit was Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015, after which all his films have underperformed.

Dabangg 3 has done less business over its first weekend than all of Salman’s recent releases.

In fact, the film’s 2 hours 40 minutes playtime was reduced by ten minutes on the second day. A sure sign of desperate efforts to save a faltering film.

Some trade experts feel Dabangg 3 has shown lower collections than the previous films in the franchise because of the current agitation taking over the nation. Experts feel that since Salman’s viewership largely comprises young people, who are currently taken up with more important issues than watching Dabangg 3, the movie has failed to rake in money.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan opines, “The students’ unrest has affected the movie for sure. In numbers, the losses would be in the range of 25-30 percent. If things don’t calm down soon, then it would be bad for the film. But at the same time, if we look into economics, the film has booked table profit for all concerned, thanks to ancillary sales. The movie was already in plus before release.”

Fellow trade insider Girish Johar agrees with Mohan. “Earlier, I was expecting around 10 per cent loss due to the unrest, but as numbers flow in, I guesstimate the dent to be around 20 per cent in all cities, as the protests were held nationwide. It’s quite obvious as students are the ones who mostly throng the theatres for the first-day-first-show experience of Salman’s heroics. But since many of them were protesting for an important issue, film watching took a back seat for them.”

Perhaps a more likely explanation for the weak opening is the super-weak writing and execution. But we will let that be.

According to industry expert Amod Mehra, “The collections are bad as the film failed to create any buzz. Blaming the nationwide unrest is just a lame excuse. No matter what political scenario, good films do well,” he asserts in conclusion.

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