Trolls come down heavily on the Akshay Kumar film for allegedly fudging box office figures
By Mayur Lookhar
Largely panned by critics, Akshay Kumar’s Housefull 4 though still raked in a mammoth Rs 34.25 crore nett on its first Monday, as reported by BoxOfficeIndia.com. After a rather average response in the opening weekend [Rs50. 75 crore nett], the huge jump on Monday took Housefull 4’s box office collection to Rs85 crore nett in four days. It was a much needed boost for the Fox Star Studios, Sajid Nadiadwala film. However, Housefull 4 and its lead actor Akshay Kumar have been targeted by trolls for allegedly inflated box office figures
Since the last two days, Twitter has been flooded with hash tags – Housefull 4 fake figures , HF4 Paid Critics Exposed, Housefull 4 BO scam exposed.
Here are few tweets trolling Kumar and Housefull 4.
Ideally such criticism is usually perceived to be the handiwork of competitor films but this Diwali Housefull 4 didn’t really have any major competition with Reliance Entertainment’s Saand Ki Aankh and Maddock Films’ Made in China, both barely getting 1000 screens. Housefull 4 got 3900 screens.
One usually tends to ignore the trolls for it’s usually perceived to be a game of one upmanship, but Bollywood and the entertainment media was taken by surprise when veteran film producer Ronnie Screwvala tagged noted trade analysts in his tweet while calling for the industry to be honest while declaring box office figures.
“Isn’t it time everyone reports Box Office numbers accurately! @KomalNahta @taran_adarsh … accuracy of information builds CREDIBILITY which the movie industry needs so badly … and not sure how long-to appease egos will Studios and all keep encouraging pumped up data on numbers,” tweeted Screwvala.
Screwvala’s RSVP had no Diwali release, but the comments by him stirred a hornet’s nest.
The two trade analysts mentioned in the Tweet haven’t commented on Screwvala’s tweet as yet.
Adarsh had posted on Twitter about Housefull 4 making Rs87.78 crore nett in four days.
“#HouseFull4 sets the BO on Day 4 [Mon]… National holiday, expectedly, gave biz big push… Tue-Thu biz is extremely crucial for strong Week 1 total… Fri 19.08 cr, Sat 18.81 cr, Sun 15.33 cr, Mon 34.56 cr. Total: ₹ 87.78 cr. #India biz. #HF4, “ tweeted Adarsh.
Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi didn’t get drawn into the alleged fake figures debate, but he out rightly questioned the need to put box office numbers out in public domain.
“IMHO sir, collections don’t even need to be in the public domain. Only the stakeholders (the studios, talent, producers, distributors, exhibitors & tax collecting authorities / govt) need to know them. Putting them out does more harm than good to the sector,” Rathi replied to Screwvala’s tweet.
Trade analyst Amdo Mehra, who is known for his forthright views, openly alleged that studios coerced media into giving fudged figures.
“Replying to the above tweet.. like charity begins at home.. so does honesty.. Studios force the media to toe the line with their inflated box-office collections and that’s the truth.. !, Mehra posted on facebook.
Screwvala’s strong tweet inadvertently piled on more troll misery for Housefull 4 and Akshay Kumar.
Later, the RSVP head honcho posted another tweet to clarify that he wasn’t targeting any movie per se.
“Just to clarify that my tweet was not directed at any one movie ( as is being wrongly assumed ) but just an overall comment for the future + my reasons to tag some of the industry authorities was because they can make a difference to the credibility – happy Diwali,” tweeted Screwvala.
No official from Fox Star or Nadiadwala’s team has commented on the trolling. A source though claimed that this trolling could be the work of people who have an agenda against Akshay Kumar.
Over the last few years, Kumar’s enjoyed fine success with films that trigger a strong sense of nationalism. Kumar’s close bond with Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earned him both praise as well as the brickbats. Kumar was much trolled for holding a Canadian passport whilst he promoted Indian nationalism through his films. Is there politics behind the trolling?
A source close to the principal opposition party ruled out their involvement. “We (Congress party) is simply not bothered at all about it. The Congress has more pressing political issues to comment on than any frivolous trolls.”
There is also a suspicion that Kumar could be targetted by trolls who back Salman Khan. Khan and Kumar are set for an Eid showdown in 2020. As of today, Khan’s Radhe is set to lock horns with Kumar’s Laxmmi Bomb.
We came across certain tweets that based Kumar and praised Khan.
All this though is just social media tussle. Kumar and Housefull 4 producers will be least bothered about what’s trending on social media. They would simply welcome the huge Monday collection and hope the film does well over the weekdays.