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Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Shamitabh’ a shambles, ‘Baby’ grows stronger at box office

MUMBAI: In spite of all the pre-release ballyhoo, ‘Shamitabh’, like its mute protagonist, has received lukewarm response at the box office. The Amitabh Bachchan- and Dhanush-starrer has garnered a meagre Rs 12.5 crore (Rs 125 million) in its opening weekend.

Directed by R Balki, ‘Shamitabh’, which released on 6 February, could only muster Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million) on its opening day. The collections improved marginally to Rs 4.25 crore (Rs 42.5 million) and Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) on Friday and Saturday respectively, taking the opening weekend net collection to a mere Rs 12.5 crore (Rs 125 million) only.

ShamitabhBachchan, who also starred in Balki’s last two films ‘Paa’ and ‘Cheeni Kum’, failed to weave his magic for the third time.

The critics too haven’t minced their words in slamming the film, with film critic Rajeev Masand describing the film as being high on concept, but low on content.

He said, “The first half hour of Shamitabh works as an affectionate postcard to the movies as Balki communicates our hero’s unending fascination for films through striking sequences. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for Shamitabh. Brimming with smart ideas and powered by the performances of its two principals, it’s a shame this promising film comes undone by the Curse of the Second Half. Watch it though for bravely treading new ground.”

‘Shamitabh’ tells the story of two individuals who dream of becoming an actor. The story revolves around two different people who have unique qualities and are exceptional in their own fields. But their ego does not allow them to work together. The clash between the two actors Dhanush and Amitabh (Dhanu SH-Amitabh) forms the story.

Komal Nahta stated, “On the whole, Shamitabh is good at the concept level but that’s about all. With a screenplay full of holes and lack of entertainment for the large mass base of audience, it will fail at the ticket windows. Although business in premium multiplexes in a few big cities will be okay, it will be grossly insufficient to cover the heavy investment in the film. Collections in most single-screen cinemas and small centres will be very poor.”

baby-imageThe film also stars Sarika’s younger daughter Akshara Hassan, who makes her debut with this film.

There was more bad news in store for the earlier releases with both ‘Hawaizaada’ and ‘Khamoshiyan’ failing miserably. Ayushmann Khurrana, still looking for his second hit after his maiden ‘Vicky Donor’, has hit the ground again with his latest flick ‘Hawaizaada’. The film garnered a mere Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million) after Week 1.

TV actor Gurmeet Choudhary’s maiden Bollywood venture, ‘Khamoshiyan’ fared slightly better with the first week collection of Rs 9 crore (Rs 90 million).

Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar’s ‘Baby’ keeps growing stronger at the box office. The film pocketed a cool Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) in its third week, taking its net collection to Rs 80 crore (Rs 800 million).

The industry is looking forward to a reversal in fortunes with the release of the Arjun Rampal-Ranbir Kapoor starrer ‘Roy’ on 13 February.