No one, even in their wildest dreams, would've ever imagined the fate of 8x10 TASVEER to be so bad. Akshay Kumar - like SRK, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan - has cemented his status as a dependable star. His movies have set new records and Akshay has no one but himself to compete with today.
No one expected 8x10 TASVEER to start like SINGH IS KINNG at the box-office, but no one expected 8x10 TASVEER to start as low as 25% - 35% at plexes [and lower than that at single screens] either. Years ago, the then superstar Amitabh Bachchan faced a similar crisis when ALAAP refused to take off, despite Bachchan movies scaling heights at the box-office.
The makers of 8x10 TASVEER decided to keep the film under wraps till the day of its release. No screenings were held even for the cast and crew of the film [that's what Nagesh Kukunoor's partner Elahe Hiptoola told me], prior to its release. Nagesh also sent me a mail, which I wish to reproduce verbatim: "I just want to make a personal, humble and unusual request to you that you not divulge the ending of my film in your reviews. Given that it is a thriller and a murder mystery, its USP is the finale. I hope to reach as wide an audience as possible and I fear that the revelation of the climax may turn many viewers away."
Obviously, the finale was being cited as its USP, besides Akshay's presence, of course.
A prominent film-maker, while discussing 8x10 TASVEER, pointed out that suspense-thrillers are a dicey proposition. Once the suspense is out in the open, the word spreads faster than fire, which could desist those who haven't watched the film till then.
But why are we ignoring several suspense-thrillers that worked in the past. Films like BEES SAAL BAAD, TEESRI MANZIL and JEWEL THIEF, even GUPT and RACE attracted viewers in hordes.
8x10 TASVEER went horribly wrong because the writing went for a toss in the second hour. While watching an early morning show [8 a.m. at Fame Big, Andheri], I could overhear the conversation of some youngsters after the movie ended. Everyone was unanimous that Nagesh Kukunor didn't know how to [convincingly] conclude the film.
Businesswise, 8x10 TASVEER is a supreme disaster. The collections are so sad that it's next to impossible to recover its cost [approx. Rs. 40 cr.?]. Its investors are sure to lose a big chunk of their investment. Sad indeed!