Explained: The 4 reasons why Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada has underperformed at the box office – Times of India

Shehzada could have been Kartik Aaryan’s followup blockbuster after Bhool Bhulaiya 2. That was not to be. And it isn’t because remakes are not in favour any longer among Hindi-speaking audiences. If that was the case, how do we explain the super-success of Drishyam 2?

No, the fault, lies not in the stars but in the marketing strategy. Firstly, the sudden decision to postpone the release by a week weighed heavily on Shehzada’s box office prospects. Suddenly, Shehzada was doing a face-off with an international franchise. Ant-Man…cheetee ne haathi ko hara diya.

Secondly some wise guys from the marketing team of Shehzada decided to give a free ticket to everyone who purchased a ticket. This buy-one-get-free strategy never works. It makes the consumer suspicious. Zaroor kuch gadbad hai (Something smells fishy)…

Thirdly, most media shows were postponed to Friday. Never do that. It shows a lack of confidence in your own product, unless it is Yash Raj or Disney+Hotstar, who as per policy, do not show their films to reviewers before release day.

The fourth and most damaging factor that went against Shehzada was, director Rohit Dhawan was seen doing what his father David Dhawan had been doing for years.

Salman Khan had his big baby-swapping hit in David Dhawan’s Judwaa. It was now Kartik Aaryan’s turn to hit the Bhai notes. And in case you miss the Junior’s Sal(lu)te there is Kartik sportingly doing Salman’s song Character Dheela song from Ready.

The Salman references run faster in Shehzada than the Allu Arjun references. As every man woman and child knows by now, Shehzada is the remake of Allu Arjun’s Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo which came just before the COVID pandemic.

All through the enjoyable circus of absurdity Kartik Aaryan gets to be a one-man-show. He sings, dances, clowns around and gives his father Valamiki (Paresh Rawal) tit for tat.

A favourable sequence is in the end of the film, just before the character gets dheela, when Kartik buys a brand new scootie for his duplicitous dad (who is no longer his dad, long story). They both ride off together into the night. Hopefully in search of a more thoughtful remake for the next time.

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