Akshay Kumar is returning to the big screen, after the debacle of the much-hyped Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, with Sarfira. An official remake of Tamil OTT hit Soorarai Pottru, Sarfira is directed by Sudha Kongara, who also helmed the original. Suriya, who played the main lead in the Tamil film, is also one of the producers of Sarfira with his wife Jyotika and appears in a cameo in the movie. Suriya and Jyotika Steal the Spotlight at ‘Sarfira’ Special Screening; Power Couple Strikes a Pose for the Paparazzi.

Those who have seen Soorarai Pottru know it to be a well-made, inspiring film with good performances from its lead stars. Suriya and Aparna Balamurali even went on to win National Awards for their acting. The movie is about a pilot who aims to make air travel affordable for the poor and the less privileged by starting his own airline that offers cheaper fares. The film was inspired by GR Gopinath's book Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey.

About Sarfira

The trailer of the movie suggests that Sarfira will be a faithful adaptation of Soorarai Pottru, with Akshay smoothly stepping into Suriya's shoes. Paresh Rawal, the antagonist of Soorarai Pottru, will reprise the same role in the remake. Radhika Madan is the female lead. Others in the cast include R Sarathkumar, Seema Biswas, and Prakash Belawadi.

ICYMI, Here's The Trailer of Sarfira:

Akshay Kumar's Box Office Form

Before Sarfira arrives in theatres on July 12, Akshay Kumar has been in poor form when it comes to box office performance. Before COVID-19 struck the form, Akshay had been going through a purple streak, with most of his films becoming back-to-back INR 100 crore grossers. However, after theatres opened up to full theatrical capacity post-lockdown, Akshay has been struggling to deliver hits at the box office.

A Still From Bade Miyan Chote Miyan

Between 2021 and 2024, Akshay Kumar had 10 theatrical releases, of which only Sooryavanshi and OMG 2 were certified hits. Most of his other films were major money losers for the makers, particularly films like Ram Sethu, Rakshabandhan, Selfiee, Mission Raniganj and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. In fact, the failure of the last two films even put the financial viability of the production company, Pooja Films, in question, though the Bhagnanis keep reiterating they are doing well. So a hit in Sarfira would be much welcome for Akshay Kumar and his fans. Pooja Entertainment’s Hits and Flops: From Coolie No 1 to Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Check Out All Films Produced by Vashu Bhagnani and Jackky Bhagnani and Their Last Big Hit at Box Office!

There's a problem, though...

'Sarfira's Middling Advance Box Office Sales

As per Bollywood Hungama, Sarfira has only sold 1000 tickets in PVR, INOX and Cinepolis multiplex chains on the opening day which is not a great sign for the movie. According to TOI, the movie has earned INR 4.8 lakh calling it a 'slow start'. There is hardly a good buzz for the film, as if people have already given up on it, or are not realising that an Akshay Kumar movie is releasing this Friday.

The Reason Behind 'Sarfira's Low BO Buzz

Akshay Kumar's recent poor box office form is one of the reasons for this, and there is also a fact that the audience doesn't seem to care for remakes these days, that is, Hindi movies that they know are remakes (A major reason how Shaitaan got a reprieve). Soorarai Pottru came directly on Prime Video at a time when the entire country was in lockdown, and the film was watched and appreciated by viewers beyond Tamil audiences. So, in a way, it was a misstep to remake such a recent film that is still freshly present in the audience's memory. You can quote the success of Drishyam 2 as a counter-argument for this, but Ajay Devgn's blockbuster also benefitted from the franchise factor, and franchises continue to rule these days, be it Hollywood or Bollywood. This, in a way, also benefitted Akshay in his bad phase when the two hits he had - Sooryavanshi and OMG 2 - were both part of franchises.

The timing of the film's release is also a concern. Kalki 2898 AD is still going strong and is still ruling the cinema chatter in the country. Kill, despite a slow start at the box office, has managed to pick up the pace thanks to good reviews.

Kamal Haasan in Indian 2

What's more, Sarfira is releasing alongside Kamal Haasan and Shankar's super-hyped Indian 2/Hindustani 2. While it remains to be seen if Indian 2 can do wonders in the Hindi belt, the film is most likely going to have a better edge in the southern territories, especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The low promotional buzz for Sarfira is not helping matters either.

How 'Sarfira' Can Resurrect Itself

The only way Sarfira can reverse its poor start is by getting good reviews. If the film's budget is economical and the initial word-of-mouth response is good, we can expect Sarfira to pick up over the week, like Srikanth and Munjya did. The question is, will it?

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 10, 2024 10:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).