Maidaan and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan had both premiered in theatres on Eid Ul Fitr 2024. While Maidaan had preview shows on the evening of April 10, both the movies had a proper release on April 11 and came to the theatre halls with much anticipation and excitement. Well, at least, for the makers and the cast. Looking at the cold response the films got at the box office in their first four days of theatrical release, it looks like the audiences refuse to share the teams' enthu, as both films are looking at major losses in their theatrical business. Maidaan Movie Review: Ajay Devgn’s Sports Biopic is a Compelling Watch When Not Burdened by Weak Drama and Chak De Hangover.

While Bade Miyan Chote Miyan received universally negative reviews (from credible sources, that is), the same cannot be said about Ajay Devgn's starrer Maidaan. While not receiving high acclaim from all fronts, the Amit Sharma-directed sports drama, produced by Boney Kapoor, had at least received much better reviews than BMCM and a warmer word-of-mouth response from the audience. Yet the business has been quite low.

Box Office Performance

According to Bollywood Hungama, Maidaan earned only Rs 23.42 crore by its first Monday, with a weekend collection of Rs 22.22 crore in India and a global total of Rs 33.72 crore. In contrast, Ajay Devgn's previous release, Shaitaan, earned Rs 55.13 crore in its opening weekend in India and a global total of Rs 208.7 crore.

The Budget

Reports suggest that Maidaan was made on a budget of Rs 100 crore, which is understandable given its 60s setting and extensive football scenes. However, given its underwhelming performance in its first weekend, surpassing Rs 50 crore seems challenging, let alone recovering its reported budget from theatrical revenue.

Watch the Trailer of Maidaan:

So What Went Wrong?

Maidaan may have received a more favourable response from critics and audiences (who bothered to watch) than Bade Miyan Chote Miyan - with Ajay Devgn's performance getting unanimous praise - but that didn't mean everything was in its favour.

Multiple Delays

A Still From Maidaan

Maidaan faced several delays in its journey to theatres. While these delays didn't compromise the quality of the final product, they did cast a negative impression on the film. Consequently, the pre-release buzz was affected, and despite the energy of AR Rahman's songs, they failed to generate sufficient hype to attract audiences.

The (Unjustified) Runtime 

A Still From Maidaan

Maidaan stretches over three hours, and its runtime wouldn't be a concern if the film remained consistently engaging. While it shines in the emotionally charged third act, earlier segments feel prolonged and lacklustre. Moreover, echoes of Chak De India linger throughout. Despite being a biopic on football legend SA Rahim, several scenes inadvertently draw comparisons to Shah Rukh Khan's acclaimed sports drama, putting Maidaan at a disadvantage.

The Competition

A Still From Bade Miyan Chote Miyan

Although both Eid releases performed weakly in their opening weekend, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan has definitely hampered Maidaan's collections. BMCM had an edge in earnings over the four-day weekend since people would have preferred a two-hero big-budget action entertainer over a three-hour-long sports film that would have worked better in the long run. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Box Office Hit or Flop: Akshay Kumar-Tiger Shroff's Film is Turning Out to be Colossal Disappointment - Here's Why.

Eid Factor?

A Still From Runway 34

Despite the hype surrounding the festive occasion and its 'blockbuster' past in Bollywood, Eid hasn't proven lucrative for releases since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. In 2022, both Ajay Devgn and Tiger Shroff had Eid releases with Runway 34 and Heropanti 2 respectively, both failing commercially. In fact, Runway 34 is Ajay Devgn's lowest opening grosser at Rs 13 crore, which hints that Eid may not be his lucky release period. Even Salman Khan, known for Eid blockbusters, faced disappointment with Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan in Eid 2023. With this year's Eid releases also faltering, will Salman revive the Eid magic with AR Murugadoss' Sikandar next year? Only time will tell.

Sports Film Genre

83 (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Sports as a genre has garnered a mixed response at the box office. While films like Lagaan, Chak De India, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Dangal (the genre's biggest blockbuster) have been hits, there have also been numerous duds. Since the success of Dangal, Bollywood has struggled to replicate its triumph in this category. Particularly disappointing was the fate of Ranveer Singh-led 83, which despite positive reviews and grossing over Rs 100 crore domestically, failed to recoup its high production costs. Now, it seems Maidaan may face similar challenges and what's more, it may face an even worse fate at the box office.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 17, 2024 10:11 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website