There is a reason why Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the 'GOAT' when it comes to presenting larger than life films, especially period dramas. Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat were both huge hits, with Padmaavat even entering the Rs 300 crore club. This despite the fact that both the films came to the theatres with their share of controversies. Some historical war dramas in recent times have worked even without SLB presence, like Kesari and Tanhaji. However, not all filmmakers were able to replicate the SLB's box office successes despite some of their efforts to capitulate on the present saffron wave. Such a recent example is Samrat Prithviraj, directed by Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi, and starring Akshay Kumar, Manushi Chillar, Sanjay Dutt and Sonu Sood. Samrat Prithviraj: Shows of Akshay Kumar, Manushi Chhillar-Starrer Cancelled Due to Zero Occupancy.
In this special feature, we look at five recent historical dramas that failed to work at the box office, despite the fanfare in which they were realised.
Despite Akshay Kumar's last minute persistent efforts using his political 'friends' to promote the movie, Samrat Prithviraj has turned out to be a box office failure. At the time of writing this article, the movie has earned Rs
55.05 crore on an estimated budget of Rs 200 crore. Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review: Akshay Kumar Wages a Rather Cold War To Draw Whistles!
Before Sanjay Leela Bhansali owned the genre, Ashutosh Gowariker scored two major hits in the period dramas with Lagaan and Jodha Akbar. However, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker failed to replicate the successes later in his career, with Panipat being the latest misfire. While the movie was decent enough, Panipat suffered from the miscasting of Arjun Kapoor in the lead role, Sanjay Dutt's lazy performance as the antagonist and a very ordinary direction from Gowariker.
Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi
Riding on a wave of controversies mostly because of its lead actress who went on to replace the film's director to become herself one, Manikarnika saw its budget ballooning thanks to the change in the captain and the resultant reshoots. Kangana Ranaut might have won a controversial National Award for her performance, but the film didn't even breach the Rs 100 crore mark, earning Rs 92.19 crore on a budget of Rs 125 crore. Manikarnika Movie Review: Kangana Ranaut’s Dominant Show Gives an Energetic Appeal to This Faltering Historical Drama.
On paper, this was a fascinating project as Ashutosh Gowariker goes way back in time to the Harappan civilization. However, right from the time when posters came out, Mohenjo Daro kept being trolled for not doing justice for the era the film is set in. Despite Hrithik Roshan's starry presence, the movie failed to do wonders at the box office earning only about Rs 58 crore.
Thugs of Hindostan
Thugs of Hindostan could have been Bollywood's answer to Pirates of the Caribbean. Instead the movie turned out to be an embarrassment of riches for all involved. Aamir Khan's 'Jack Sparrow' act failed to impress anyone, and the action sequences left the viewers underwhelmed. Though TOH took a thundering start at the box office, it earned Rs 151.19 crore against a reported budget of Rs 300 crore!
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 11, 2022 11:12 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).