Salman Khan’s much awaited cop drama, Dabangg 3 opened on 20th Dec 2019 across the globe with mixed reviews, tilted towards the negative zone from the audience and critics alike. The film was expected to be another blockbuster from Salman Khan, however the underperformance has come across as a shock to the industry as well as to the team of the film. There are several factors which went against the cop franchise, some of which were under their control and some external factors, which was nothing but sheer bad luck. Economically, the film is a profitable venture for both producers due to the sale of satellite and digital rights, while there isn’t even an issue of loss for the distributors as the film was released by Salman Khan himself. None the less, despite the profits, there is no denying the fact that it’s an underperformer of epic proportions considering that the lifetime collections would be in the same zone to what Dabangg and Dabangg 2 did almost a decade back. The lifetime collections are expected to be around the Rs. 150 crore mark.
Bollywood Hungama jots down 7 reasons why Dabangg 3 couldn’t perform as well as expected
1. The opening day collections of the Salman Khan starrer were majorly affected due to the CAB protests across the country. While the film raked in Rs. 24.50 crore on day one, it lost approximately 5 to 6 crore due to the protests in the country on first day. The overall dent it faced in the opening weekend was anywhere between Rs 15 to 20 crore, which is a big amount for a front loaded film like Dabangg 3. Due to the not so encouraging audience response, it couldn’t make up for the lost ground on the weekdays when the protests slowed down.
2. The Dabangg franchise is synonymous with Chartbuster music, however with Dabangg 3, Sajid-Wajid lost their plot completely. Right from Naina Lade to Yu Karke and Munna Badnaam, none of the songs could create even half the impact of what Dabangg and Dabangg 2 did. The music of Dabangg 3 aside, Salman Khan off late hasn’t been able to come up with even a decent music album, which is majorly taking a toll on the pre-release buzz of his films. With good music, the buzz around Dabangg 3 would have easily elevated and day one figures would have been a few crores more despite the protests.
3. The makers unveiled the trailer of Dabangg 3 almost 2 months before its release and post that, couldn’t sustain the marketing campaign. The trailer, which was quite decent staying true to the franchise, became stale by the time of film’s release, and the below par music just took the buzz around the film down. With not a lot of material to push post the trailer, the marketing campaign of D3 fell flat, thereby impacting the pre-release buzz. A second trailer closer to the release might have provided some respite.
4. All the above factors would not have made a difference in the long run if the film had content that appeased the audience. The film would have made up for the losses had it commanded positive word of mouth. But alas, the film had nothing novel to offer and was riding merely on the stardom and on-screen persona of Salman Khan. While Salman Khan the actor was in terrific form through-out the film, Salman Khan the writer wasn’t as he came up with the cliché tale of revenge from the 80’s. The screenplay had nothing novel, the slow-motion shots to celebrate Salman did nothing but added onto the run-time and the direction couldn’t build the drama in some scenes that had the potential. The one-line idea of Dabangg 3, which gives a glimpse about how Chulbul Pandey became Chulbul Pandey is effective, but the makers couldn’t juice the idea to make a script that justified the charisma of the iconic character. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Chulbul Pandey audiences saw in Dabangg and the Chulbul Pandey that the audiences saw in Dabangg 3 are two different people with the same name, as the traits which made Chulbul an interesting personality were all taken away in third part. The lengthy run time and unwarranted obstruction by the music was also an issue. Prabhudheva’s crass humour made the audience cringe.
5. Salman Khan’s movies off late have also been a victim of poor supporting cast, with the actor supporting the ones who haven’t really proved their worth. Dabangg 3 was no different, and the supporting cast was a letdown. South Superstar, Sudeep had a menacing personality on screen, however his character was underdeveloped ending up being more towards the caricature zone. He could have been the bad-ass quintessential Hindi film villain.
6. The makers went wrong with their distribution strategy too as the advances opened too late for a film as big as Dabangg 3. That aside, they even goofed up in the pricing strategy by slotting the film under the mega-blockbuster slab at major cinema halls in India taking the film away from the core target audience of Salman Khan, who come from the lower, lower middle class and middle class set up. With controlled ticket pricing, the collections would have been a little better because a chunk of audience who skipped the film on hearing mixed reports due to the high ticket prices might have just dropped in if the film had not hurt their pockets. May be for Radhe, they can go with a better pricing strategy keeping their target audience in mind.
7. There was discrete negativity around the film in the media, and the team working on the film and co-ordinating with the media/press couldn’t handle that, thereby damaging the general perception. The team took a lot of wrong calls and antagonised a certain section of the media big time, which eventually got escalated to Salman Khan Films, but the damage had been done.Well we hope, Salman Khan bounces back with a bang with Radhe and takes a note of the points made above as most of them are under his control. Some minor introspection, and he would get things right again.