Forget making back its money, it looks like Brahmastra is taking down investors of PVR and Inox with itself. With early reviews pouring cold water on Brahmastra’s prospects, India’s largest theater chains PVR and Inox have cumulatively lost over ₹800 crore in market capitalization today.
In Indian mythology, Brahmastra is known as a weapon of unstoppable destruction, which can only be stopped by its counterattack astra (weapon). Ironically, the movie could end up being a victim of the weapon it is named after.
Brahmastra opened to tepid reviews despite healthy advance bookings worth ₹23 crore. Movie reviewer and analyst Taran Adarsh gave the Ranbir-Alia starrer a two-star rating, saying that the movie is a king-sized disappointment.
Rating: ⭐⭐#Brahmāstra is a king-sized disappointment… High on VFX, low on content [second half nosedives]… #Brahmāstra could’ve been a game changer, but, alas, it’s a missed opportunity… All gloss, no soul. #BrahmāstraReview pic.twitter.com/5EOKJrtbiY
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) September 9, 2022
If Brahmastra tanks, it could not only be one of the biggest Bollywood flops, but it could also derail the Hindi movie industry’s hopes of a revival at a time when several South Indian movies have broken records nationwide.
Made on a budget of ₹410 crore, Brahmastra has names like Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Tollywood star Nagarjuna, and even Shah Rukh Khan in a cameo, with Karan Johar as one of the producers. Essentially, this is the who’s who of the Indian film industry, packed with immense firepower.
However, analysts suggest it might end up generating less than half of the money poured into making this movie, which has already been delayed by several years now.
“The lifetime box office (collection) for the film is estimated to be in a wide range of ₹130-200 crore, based on the strong advances,” says a media note by Elara Capital. This analysis was made before the weak reviews poured in.
If Karan Johar & Co. were trying to repeat the large-screen magic of movies like RRR, they might have to try again.
Some viewers also made interesting observations. “It’s basically a badly written Crime Patrol episode dialogues (sic), mixed with a very bad Ekta Kapoor plot,” one viewer said after watching the movie today.
Another viewer explained that beyond the visual effects, the movie was a hotch-potch of bad story-telling, and character development, among other issues.
However, not everyone felt the movie was disappointing.
#Brahmastra is all fun when it comes to action scenes, vision & granduer, but there isn't a strong thread i.e. story, that brings it all together. Full marks to #AyanMukerji for the efforts, but wish, the premise was better.
⭐⭐⭐ (0.5 extra for visuals, scale & efforts)
— Himesh (@HimeshMankad) September 9, 2022
While expert reviews and commentary on social media might influence Brahmastra’s collections over the weekend, word of mouth and the audience reception will decide the movie’s fate eventually.
“We believe a positive word of mouth and audience acceptance can help the film breach the upper end,” said Karan Taurani of Elara Capital. However, it looks like the first round of disappointed viewers are spreading the bad word out.