Mumbai: It all started with Dabangg. The film released back in 2010 and was the first of Salman Khan’s Eid releases to hit gold. After getting off to a very good start and enjoying a superhit run, the subsequent super success of Bodyguard (2011) pretty much established that Salman Khan and Eid were now synonymous with each other. However, after a double hat-trick of Eid successes, it all came crumbling down when neither Tubelight (2017) nor Race 3 (2018) worked commercially. No wonder, all eyes are now on Bharat to reverse the trend for Salman Khan.
“It’s been one unbroken streak for Salman Khan once he scored a century with that Rs 100 crore club success, Dabangg. Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Kick, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan were all Eid releases. Such is the dominance of Salman Khan during Eid that no other film, whether big or small, dares to come in front of his films on the festive occasion. However, Tubelight as well as Race 3 proved to be dampeners,” says an insider.
In fact, Tubelight took the lowest Eid opening for a Salman Khan-starrer, was received poorly at the box-office, prompting even Salman to admit that the release strategy went all wrong for the Kabir Khan directed film. Later, Race 3 was all style and no substance, and even though the start was still right for the film, there wasn’t much sustenance.
Salman Khan has in fact jokingly mentioned that even his flops go past the Rs 150 crore mark, as was the case with Race 3. “However, the joke can’t be extended any further as even Salman Khan would agree that he needs a big hit with Bharat,” says a trade expert, adding, “You can’t afford to have three successive disappointments on back-to-back Eids. There is a certain dominance that you enjoy when you stamp your name on a festive occasion. One more flop and other superstars may well begin to plan their films on Eid from 2020 onwards.”
Fortunately for Salman Khan, he’s got a dream team in place for Bharat.
However, it would be interesting to see how it all actually turns out, considering the fact that Bharat has a different kind of theme and set up, with a strong patriotic flavor to it.
“The last few Eid successes of Salman Khan like Sultan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Kick have been hardcore mass commercial affairs. Of course, Bharat is commercial as well but then one waits to see the kind of seeti-taali maar moments in there. Since the film traverses generations — right from the time of Partition to the current times, it could well throw in some surprises as well,” an observer comments.
Bollywood is looking forward to a quintessential blockbuster that brings in paisa-vasool moments. Salman Khan and his fans would certainly be aiming for Bharat to be one up on that....