Explained: Understanding the #BoycottBollywood trend and the future of Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer Brahmastra | The Financial Express

Explained: Understanding the #BoycottBollywood trend and the future of Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer Brahmastra

What can trigger people to call for a boycott of the Hindi film industry? An actor’s opinion about India’s situation, a joke made on Koffee with Karan, nepotism, a scene around religious beliefs, or a tweet? The Hindi film industry is struggling with poor box office results, but can we blame the boycott trend completely for flops? To understand it better, we got in touch with the leading trade analysts in the country. Here’s what they have to say.

Explained: Understanding the #BoycottBollywood trend and the future of Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer Brahmastra
Brahmastra is releasing in theatres on September 9.

For the past few months, a Twitter trend – #BoycottBollywood has been gaining momentum. It asks the audience to completely withdraw support from the Hindi film industry. The trend is visible before the release of every film.

On May 29, when the makers of Laal Singh Chaddha released the trailer, #BoycottLaalSingh Chaddha started trending on social media. That’s not all, a few days ahead of the film’s release on August 11, the hashtags like #BoycottAamirKhanmovies and #BoycottKareenaKapoorKhan targeted the film and the actors. Similarly, when Akshay Kumar announced his film Raksha Bandhan directed by Anand L Rai, netizens wanted to boycott the actor. Recently, we’ve been seeing #BoycottBrahmastra trending on Twitter. Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s film is set to release in theatres on September 9.

What can trigger people to call for a boycott of the Hindi film industry? An actor’s opinion about India’s situation, a joke made on Koffee with Karan, nepotism, a scene around religious beliefs, or a tweet? The Hindi film industry is struggling with poor box office results, but can we blame the boycott trend completely for flops? To understand it better, we got in touch with the leading trade analysts in the country. Here’s what they have to say.

Komal Nahata, leading trade analyst, explains, “This boycott culture started after the sudden death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Some four or five disgruntled people from the industry are to be blamed for it. These people started bad-mouthing Bollywood and spreading lies. If there are so many issues, then these people should leave the industry and not be a part of it. As they were the insiders, people thought what they were saying was the truth. But the reality is – these are the frustrated people who couldn’t make it big. They feel Bollywood has been unfair to them and this was the best time to paint it black. That became a movement and the repercussions can be witnessed before every release. One of these people has been arrested recently.”

Also read: Wondering why Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan didn’t open well at the box office? Know it from top trade analysts

He adds, “No trend, holiday, IPL match or unforeseen situation can impact a film, unless the script is bad. Laal Singh Chaddha was a rejected film and it was not liked by the audience. Probably, without the #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha trend, the film would have managed to earn Rs 65 crore at the box office, now it has earned some Rs 60 crores, it’s some 4-5 crore less. If the film would have been good, no boycott brigade can impact a film. Even if you are leading the boycott movement but your family wants to watch the film, you will have to go for it. Only the content can make or break a film.”

“A lot is at stake with Brahmastra,” Nahata says while talking about how the film can impact the industry for the better. “If the content is good, no one can stop people from watching Brahmastra. Look at the music of the film, it has become so popular. Why was the brigade not able to stop that? They don’t have a reach and that’s the truth. Music sales is generating revenue for the industry. It’s just that the films are flopping, the boycott brigade is taking the credit.”

Taran Adarsh, film critic, and trade analyst, further explains, “There are times when your past catches up – some interview or tweet done years ago can haunt you. This is exactly what’s happening. But I also feel that any film, including Brahmastra, can brave IPL, examination period, bad climate and even boycott calls if the content is good. Brahmastra is an important film – a huge amount of money is riding on it and expectations are humongous. The past two weeks have not been kind to Bollywood but we cannot blame anyone but bad scripts. The second half of Laal Singh Chaddha was pathetic, so was the case with Shamshera. Bachchan Paandey, Samrat Prithviraj, Jersey, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Raksha Bandhan, and others are all big starcast films but these didn’t work. There have to be corrections on all fronts to rectify why films are not working. The advanced ticket sales have been good for Brahmastra as compared to other films. Boycott cannot impact a film if it’s good.

While commenting on if Ayan Mukherjee’s hard work behind Brahmastra will help the film work better at the box office, Adarsh says, “If you invest eight years or 80 years, invest 5 crore or 500 crore – it doesn’t matter if the content is not good. When the lights are switched off and the movie begins, only content matters for the viewers. No one cares how many years you’ve put in. It took Razia Sultan 10 years, Mughal-e-Azam took a long time to release, but what eventually matters is the content. No one asked you to spend eight years on a film, we need good films.”

Also read: Pallavi Joshi on Anurag Kashyap’s comment on The Kashmir Files: I don’t care about what he said

Producer Girish Johar says, “I feel these are bots passing time on social media. I find no sense in them and I don’t think they impact the box office. The actual ticket-buying audience might not even use Twitter. The content released so far has not been up to the standard and that’s why the audience has rejected it. The audience is clearly going to watch films – look at the sales of Karthikeya 2 box office numbers. The audiences have evolved during the pandemic as they were exposed to good international content. They want the same from the Hindi film industry now.”

“The early advance booking of Brahmastra has opened well. The film needs to perform well as a lot is riding on it. The Astraverse is something new. The film has Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Alia Bhatt and it is catering to Marvel lovers. It’s a good one. Whatever reasons we gave to debacles earlier, Brahmastra has ensured to not have anything of that sort. The film looks fresh and not regressive, the film is promoting Indian culture and mythology, in Shamshera, we blamed Ranbir for not being the perfect choice as he looks better in an urban look, we are getting that also. There’s no reason for the film to flop. It has a special appearance by Shah Rukh Khan. Unless the film is tacky, no one can stop it from being a hit,” he adds while talking about how Brahmastra is what the audiences would like.

Brahmastra is releasing in theatres on September 9.

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

X