Nothing terribly surprising in box office, so I am mashing it in with a couple of other stories as well.
Mohenjo Daro and Rustom are continuing steadily along the path they set their first weekend. Mohenjo still has way more screens and Rustom is still making way more money. Sad! I mean, Mohenjo wasn’t the greatest movie in the world, but I still think it deserves a bigger box office than Rustom.
And Rustom isn’t even doing that great! I mean, it’s okay. $2,941 per screen in America, which is solidly decent for a second week. But it’s not “oh my God, people love this movie and can’t stop watching it!” good. It’s just “okay well publicized movie with a decent word of mouth” good.
Oh, Happy Bhaag Jayegi came out too! It’s box office so far is weak but steady. It’s not going to break any records or change any careers, but it is going to make a profit for the producers and distributors and won’t actively hurt any careers. I really want to watch it, but it is playing on so few screens, I may not be able to. Unless I give up and just stay up past midnight on a worknight, blech!
In other news, remember the rumor that Shahrukh might be replacing Ranveer in Bhansali’s next? Update is, Ranveer is back in. What they heck happened there? Supposedly, Ranveer dropped out because he got the newest version of the script, and felt his part was too small, that he was playing second lead to Shahid Kapoor. So Bhansali started hinting that he would get someone else, floating Shahrukh or maybe Hrithik. And Ranveer snapped back into line once he realized he could be replaced, and once Deepika intervened and convinced him.
But, I just don’t buy that narrative of events. I can believe that Ranveer made a career decision to drop out at the last minute because he thought the character would be a step back. But I can’t believe he would change his mind on that. Certainly not because he was threatened to be replaced. That’s the kind of gamesmanship that works in Hollywood, where the director and film are more powerful than the star, and where stars can hold out for a bigger paycheck, but not in India, where your career and your star image is the most valuable thing you own.
If you decide a film is bad for your star power, that’s it, there’s nothing that is going to make you change your mind. Because damage to your Stardom is the worst possible result. It’s one thing to do Lootera, say, knowing that it may not really help you to prove yourself as a box office winner. It’s a whole other thing to do, say, Krrish 3 as the villain, knowing it will confirm you as merely a second lead for the rest of your career. This isn’t anything you play with, or change your mind about just because of a higher paycheck or some petty playground “oo, I can get someone even better than you! How does that feel?” kind of game.
And I also really can’t believe that Bhansali leaked Shahrukh and Hrithik just to get Ranveer back in line. If he really wasn’t talking to Shahrukh and Hrithik’s people, that is a very dangerous game, to put out that news without getting the okay from them. And if he was talking to their people, why would he ever go back to Ranveer if these much bigger stars were a possibility?
So, either this whole thing was made up just to build buzz. Or, Ranveer really did drop out, and Bhansali reached out to Shahrukh and Hrithik to get the okay to just float the rumor even though there was no way either of them was ever going to take the part, and meanwhile Deepika was working on Ranveer to convince him to do the role just as a favor to her (that I find totally believable, he already did that tiny part in Finding Fanny just to help her out). But more likely, the whole thing was just to build buzz. And I fell for it!
And speaking of buzz and odd casting, Ram Gopal Varma just announced Sarkar 3. With no Abhishek and no Aishwarya, but still with Amitabh. What the heck kind of a movie is this going to be? Sarkar 1, which was like 300% better than Sarkar 2, was all about the rise of Abhishek and his interactions with Amitabh. Sarkar 2 was all about Aishwarya and her interactions with Abhishek and Amitabh. What made both movies really shine was looking at Amitabh as a fixed player and seeing how these new players came in to his orbit and were changed by him. So now Sarkar 3 is going to be all about Amitabh, so where’s the interest and excitement? I mean, it’s a great role for Amitabh, but his character is pretty established and developed. What could possibly happen to give him the necessary character challenges to make a good movie? Especially considering all the other things that have already happened to him in the last 2 movies that apparently had no effect on his basic personality!