Selfiee’s box office prospects suffered due to poor marketing, believe trade experts – Times of India

Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi’s Selfiee looked promising with it’s premise and the fact that it would feature two veritable stars, pitted against each other. The film even managed to get favourable reviews, but none of the potential translated into box office numbers. The film opened to modest numbers and while the final figures aren’t in yet, experts believe the final tally for Day 1 of director Raj Mehta’s movie could be between 3 to 5 crores.
After the success of Pathaan, Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada was the first film to bow out of the box office race and the same could happen to Selfiee too. ETimes reached out to trade experts to understand what went wrong with Akshay and Emraan’s entertainer.

‘Selfiee’s poor showing is alarming’
Film distributor and exhibitor Raj Bansal gave his reason for the film’s disappointing opening. He said, “Selfiee has opened very poorly as expected. Any star who has a line of unsuccessful films, will have to suffer at the box office. Unfortunately, the publicity of Selfiee was also weak. Most people didn’t even know that a film featuring Akshay and Emraan was being released this Friday.”

Trade analyst Girish Johar feels Selfiee’s lacklustre performance has brought unwarranted gloom. He said, “Selfiee’s start has truly sent shock waves within the fraternity. It has two major stars Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi and despite doing promotions across the country, the opening is not up to the mark. It is much below than what anyone expected. It is truly strange why the audiences were simply not interested. Everyone is introspecting.”

Senior trade guru Atul Mohan reasoned, “It’s shocking that Selfiee may have the lowest opening day collection for Akshay Kumar or any recent big-budget movie. However, the dismal response to Selfiee cannot be solely attributed to the remake culture. For instance, Drishyam 2, which was also a remake, was the second highest-grossing movie of the year in 2022. Akshay Kumar has delivered numerous hits in the past, many of which were remakes of South Indian films, such as Gabbar Is Back, Holiday, and Rowdy Rathore.”

Girish Johar felt there was a saving grace. He said, “The silver lining is that the reviews and word of mouth is good. We’re hoping the film stabilizes over the weekend and weekdays. But a film backed by Dharma Productions and starring two big stars not getting an opening is disappointing.”

‘Post-Pathaan effect’

Raj Bansal felt Pathaan’s upward trend was going to be followed by a downward spiral. He explained, “After a blockbuster film, the films that follow often suffer because everyone wants to compare the new film with the superhit film. It’s a mentality. There are exceptions of course. But usually, an average film coming after a blockbuster suffers at box office. After Pathaan’s success Shehzada suffered, and now Selfiee.”

Girish Johar echoed similar concerns and added, “After Pathaan’s mega success, we have two back-to-back disappointments in Shehzada and Selfiee. Selfiee has not started well at the box office but I hope it covers up the distance in the coming days. We hope that in the coming weeks with Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar and Bholaa the tides turn around.”

Atul Mohan felt Selfiee should have been marketed better. He revealed, “While the music of Selfiee was passable, the performances and production quality were commendable. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the promotional strategy for the movie was not effective. Repeatedly embarking on city tours is not sufficient marketing, particularly in light of the evolving audience preferences. Nowadays, viewers tend to make up their minds about whether to watch a movie well in advance of its release, either opting to see it in theaters or waiting for its OTT release. Additionally, the ticket price for Selfiee was highly competitive, so it cannot be blamed for the underwhelming response either.”

‘Don’t blame it on Akshay’

Girish Johar acknowledged that Akshay’s spate of misfires at the box office is concerning. He said, “Akshay Kumar’s back-to-back films not working is a concern that he would definitely look into. He would be now looking for content that appeals and is forward-looking. Maybe these projects were green-lit before COVID. The audience’s taste is evolving so fast that you have to be ahead of the curve. Having said that, I don’t think his stardom is deteriorating or anything like that. One good project and one good Friday and things will be back on track for him. Both Akshay and Emraan have had huge careers. It’s only one good project that will ring in box office windows again.”

Raj Bansal was equally hopefull as he said, “Akshay Kumar is a very good actor but unfortunately, he has been picking the wrong projects lately. It’s time he picks up the right scripts and then he shall be back in the race. People who say that Akshay is finished, are fools.”

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