On paper, the project seemed great… The names associated with JOKER were A-listers all [Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, producer Farah Khan, UTV]… The concept was tempting, rarely attempted on the Hindi screen [of course, Rakesh Roshan attempted it first]… Also, JOKER was Akshay’s third release this year, after two Blockbusters in a row [HOUSEFULL 2 and ROWDY RATHORE]. Sonakshi was aiming for a hat-trick as well [DABANGG, ROWDY RATHORE]… The timing was just right!
But JOKER is an unmitigated disaster at the box-office. It ranks amongst the lowest openers of Akshay’s career. Seriously, how could a project like JOKER backfire so badly? JOKER is being talked about in the same breath as RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG. That says it all! Incidentally, both RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG and JOKER were released on the same day — 31 August. An eerie coincidence!
What went wrong? Why did the movie-going audience stay away from JOKER? Why so much negativity? Did Akshay’s stance of not promoting the film transmit wrong signals? Did Shirish Kunder’s nasty tweet against RA.ONE create negative vibes for JOKER? Was the pre-release promotion dull, qualitatively speaking? Did the news of Shirish’s ouster from KICK on the day of release added to the negativity?
JOKER has performed poorly in India and also in the international markets. The sole factor that goes in its favor is its pricing. Also, a chunk of its investment has been recovered from the sale of Satellite rights. But the theatrical business is a shocker. Sad, indeed!