Earlier this year, a small-budget film ‘The Tashkent Files’ had a dismal opening of Rs. 35 lakhs but the word of mouth was so positive and its content was so shocking that viewers started coming in with each passing day. It collected just Rs. 3.42 crore in Week 1 but in its long lifetime, it collected Rs. 16.97 crore! It was a true sleeper hit of 2019. But there were more films that weren’t as lucky. This feature looks films which deserved more but underperformed in 2019.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
As compared to other films, the collections of ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ weren’t as bad (Rs. 19.31 crore). But the content was strong and today’s audiences are ready for a same-sex love story. Moreover, the makers made it in a very clean and feel-good way. Hence, it was contrary to the perception that such films have a lot of intimate scenes. Due to all these reasons, its box office performance was disappointing.
Trade, moviegoers and industry were shocked at the way this film’s lifetime earnings were a mere Rs. 5.58 crore! It had talented names associated like Sushant Singh Rajput, Bhumi Pednekar and Manoj Bajpayee and was directed by ‘Ishqiya’ (2010) and ‘Udta Punjab’ (2016) director Abhishek Chaubey. And the word of mouth was terrific. No one expected it to be a blockbuster as the treatment was niche but the way it wrapped up under Rs. 10 crore was a damper.
‘Hamid’ is a sweet, little film which would have been loved by audiences, had they gone out to see it. But as it released in lesser screens and the awareness was next to zero, its lifetime collections were approx. Rs. 10 lakhs only. However, it’s getting noticed on Netflix, thankfully.
Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota
It is a path-breaking action comedy, peppered with some memorable performances. The makers thought releasing it on the Holi festival would be beneficial, and that it will have an advantage of a four-day weekend. Sadly, nothing of that sort happened and the film just earned Rs. 2.23 crore in all!
It had slightly more awareness than ‘Hamid’ and also had a known name like Shweta Tripathi. Audiences weren’t that interested, however, and also the word of mouth was good but not outstanding. Hence, it was able to earn only around Rs. 13 lakhs.
It earned Rs. 10.88 crore despite releasing a week before ‘Chhichhore’ and clashing with ‘Dream Girl’, both of which were monstrous hits. It trended well which shows word of mouth was very positive. But this one-of-its-kind courtroom drama definitely should have earned at least double of what it did.
The Zoya Factor
‘Section 375’ at least earned more than Rs. 10 crore. ‘The Zoya Factor’, shockingly, didn’t even cross the Rs. 3 crore mark. It had everything going in its favour – entertaining plot, taut execution, funny moments and fine performances. The viewers however, just decided to skip this film altogether. It shocked one and all and proved how extreme and unpredictable is the box office in the Hindi film industry nowadays.
Saand Ki Aankh
It was one of the three Diwali releases and though it earned Rs. 23.36 crore in its lifetime, it was less, considering its potential. Had the makers not released it on the festival of lights along with a biggie (‘Housefull 4’) and a medium sized flick (‘Made In China’), it would have had a far better chance.
It was surely the surprise of the year as no one expected it to be heartwarming and that Sooraj Pancholi can perform so beautifully. By the time viewers knew about this film and that it’s well made, it was out of cinemas, earning just Rs. 54 lakhs approx.
Out of all the films mentioned, it earned the maximum – around Rs. 33 crore. Yet, it was too meagre considering its budget of around Rs. 90-100 crore. Also, it was a well-made political period actioner and deserved a big screen watch. What went against the film however was the long length, flop songs and low hype due to the presence of Arjun Kapoor in the lead role.
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