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Despite good reviews, why is Ranveer Singh’s 83 a slow starter at the box office? Trade answers

While audience continues to throng theatres for Spider Man: No Way Home and Pushpa: The Rise, Ranveer Singh-starrer 83 has got off to a slow start despite good reviews and positive word of mouth.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi |
December 30, 2021 8:16:15 am
83 box office collection83 couldn't live up to the expectations of the film trade experts.

The box office expectations from Kabir Khan’s sports drama 83 were quite high when it released in the cinemas on Christmas weekend. Given its positive reviews, film trade analysts were expecting it to create records at ticket windows. However, the film failed to live up to its box office expectations even as positive word of mouth continues to flow in.

Starting its run at the box office, the Ranveer Singh starrer earned Rs 12.64 crore on its opening day. Its first-weekend collection was recorded at Rs 47 crore despite it being a festive weekend. However, it witnessed a major dip on the first weekday as it earned Rs 7.29 crore on Monday and Rs 6.7 crore on Tuesday.

The rising fears of Omicron variant and increasing Covid-19 numbers had a role to play? Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh doesn’t believe so. “The good reviews from the critics and film industry have not translated into box office numbers. People just didn’t come in. Except for the three metros, nowhere else did we see a footfall in the theaters. The movie just did not click with people. Why should we blame coronavirus? Is it not there for those who are coming out to watch Spiderman: No Way Home and Pushpa: The Rise?” he says.

Film producer and trade analyst Girish Johar believes 83’s performing below expectations has to do with the fact that sports drama is not a mass entertainer, which may have affected its performance on single screens.

“I think the buzz around the movie was industry and critics driven. It was not that hot at the audience level. Maybe they perceived it as a docu-sports drama. Those who have watched and loved it is mostly the generation that already knows about the 1983 World Cup whereas, for the youngsters who don’t know what transpired during 1983, they wanted to watch it only from the film’s perspective. But, from what I have heard, they didn’t like the character development and it didn’t offer them the entertainment which they thought it would,” Johar told indianexpress.com.

Johar suggested that 83 couldn’t fulfil the criteria of a mass entertainer and had “more of smart urban content” which could only attract the multiplex audience. “I am not saying it is a badly made film, but maybe the problem was in its conceptualisation only. It was not a massy film,” he explained.

The audience had alternatives in Allu Arjun’s Pushpa: The Rise and Tom Holland-starrer Spiderman: No Way Home, which clicked at a mass level.

pushpa Pushpa The Rise is directed by Sukumar.

“The mass belt got its winner in Pushpa which had everything to cater to the interest of India’s audience. It was also a cheaper option. The ticket pricing was very high for 83 which pinched the audience. When people are getting a hardcore masala entertainer in Pushpa at a lower price, why would they go for an 83 which doesn’t fulfil their requirement?”

Marvel’s Spiderman: No Way Home had a strong opening and first-week collection. Even in its second week, the film maintained a stronghold at the ticket counters. The film is inching towards Rs 200 crore mark with Rs. 179.37 crore already in its kitty. According to Cinetrak, which provides box office updates for Indian movies, the film has earned more than Rs 230 crore so far. An AndhraPradeshBoxOffice.com report on Monday had pegged the collection of Pushpa at Rs 227 crore.

With states like Delhi closing down theatres in the wake of rising Covid numbers and Omicron fears, it has come as another dampener. “Omicron and the strict restrictions played a spoilsport for 83,” Girish Johar shared, adding that shutting of cinema halls once again will immensely impact the film industry. “The film industry had just started to get back on its feet, and once again it has suffered a blow. With Delhi closing cinema halls, the future once again looks bleak,” he added.

Taran Adarsh said the ‘game is over’ for the film industry with cinema halls shutting down again. “The game is over. It is disastrous. The industry was just starting to get back on track and now once again it has been hit by Covid-19,” he said.

Now, with the release of Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey being postponed, it remains to be seen if 83 will get some time to recover from its slow start at the box office.

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