Do you think it’s possible someone at Eros is reading my posts and going “hey, this white lady’s right! We shouldn’t spend money on Bhansali, it’s a bad bet!”? Do I have that much power? What should I do with it next?
Eros is out of the Bhansali biz!!! They are spreading it around that they were never actually in the Bhansali biz, that they weren’t co-producing Rani Padmavati with Viacom 18 as early reports had it, that they turned Bhansali down flat. Either way, Bhansali still needs money, and now supposedly Reliance Jio might be in the mix.
Business is so confusing! Jio is the telecommunications subsidiary of Reliance, which has been doing a big push lately to expand access through out India. Thank goodness, because the last time I was in India, I couldn’t stream videos on my phone and I thought I would DIE!
But, Reliance already has a film branch! Remember? They’ve been producing/distributing all those movies with the big image of the new Bandra-Worli sea link bridge as their logo?
(Also, Reliance films was in the Spielberg business for a while. Remember? They produced Lincoln so Spielberg would come entertain at Tina and Anil’s party?)
Only, wait a minute, Reliance films is the other brother! Anil, the younger one, who I always think of as the “spoiled” one. Reliance Jio is a Mukesh subsidiary, meaning this would be the first foray into film for the Mukesh half of the Reliance company. And a bit of a drifting into his brother’s territory. Plus, it’s just plain odd! That a telecommunications company is thinking about getting into film. Unless there is some really interesting vertical integration going on, thinking that they provide the content as well as the streaming abilities.
That’s the Jio half of the story, what about the Eros half? Firstly, Eros was aaaaaallllll in on Bajirao, and it did very well for them. Eros was the one pushing hard to get extra screens in America, Eros was the one refusing to let go of the release date, Eros was the one promoting it on all their platforms. And then we all heard about how Eros made so much money and the film did so much better than expected.
But now Eros wants out of the Bhansali business. Reports are saying that they don’t want to risk that much money after their last string of flops on another expensive film. But it can’t just be that, right? It has to be something about this movie in particular that makes them not want to take a risk. Either something about this movie, or something about Bhansali.
To me, this says that maybe Bajirao wasn’t quite the slam dunk everyone says it was. Sure, it proved Ranveer had what it takes to be a star, it proved that Shahrukh isn’t impenetrable, all of that was good for Bajirao. But how good was that box office REALLY? That massive promotional push and all those screens, that isn’t free. And the overseas money is great, but you don’t get as big a percentage of it as you do of the Indian money, and Bajirao did just okay in India. And no one really really knows how much Bhansali spends on these things, there’s the official reports, but then there are rumors that it was much much more in reality.
And now with Rani Padmavati, Eros isn’t even interested? Or else, they want to distance themselves so much that they are lying that they were never interested? There is something about this film/filmmaker that just seems toxic. Oh, and that’s not even mentioning the rumor that was floated a few weeks ago that Shahrukh WAS offered a role in it, and he doubled his rates, knowing that Bhansali wouldn’t be able to meet the cost, just to get out of doing it.