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Last Updated 21.07.2024 | 9:36 PM IST
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EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Gupta talks about present box office trends; reveals why we are living in ‘complicated times’: “Ajay Devgn’s Shaitaan worked but Maidaan bombed. Both were released a month apart. The SURETY of stardom is definitely eroded”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Gupta talks about present box office trends; reveals why we are living in ‘complicated times’: “Ajay Devgn’s Shaitaan worked but Maidaan bombed. Both were released a month apart. The SURETY of stardom is definitely eroded”

Sanjay Gupta, known for his stylish and gritty films, spoke exclusively with Bollywood Hungama about the box office scenario at present, his memories of working on his first film Aatish and a lot more.

EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Gupta talks about present box office trends; reveals why we are living in ‘complicated times’: “Ajay Devgn’s Shaitaan worked but Maidaan bombed. Both were released a month apart. The SURETY of stardom is definitely eroded”

EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Gupta talks about present box office trends; reveals why we are living in ‘complicated times’: “Ajay Devgn’s Shaitaan worked but Maidaan bombed. Both were released a month apart. The SURETY of stardom is definitely eroded”

How has 2024 been from a box-office point of view? Do you think we are at a better stage as compared to 2022 and 2023?
Not really. Even though mid-sized and low-budget films have worked off late, it’s not a good sign. Munjya, Laapataa Ladies and Article 370 succeeded but when you are talking to a studio – only one or two are still left – they are not ready to back a small film. They want the safety of stars. So, even though these films are working, nobody is ready to make them. Hence, we are living in complicated times.

Why do you say ‘complicated times’?
Take the instance of Ajay Devgn. His film Shaitaan worked but Maidaan bombed. Both were released a month apart. The surety of stardom is definitely eroded. Maidaan was a story one had seen before. Shaitaan, on the other hand, had a story that one had not seen before. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan completely tanked because one had seen it before. The content that we make now has to be something that one has not seen before. The audience is definitely looking for something new. There’s, after all, so much to consume. The biggest challenge to the film industry is screen time. We are constantly on our phones today. So, the need to be entertained is diminished.

Moreover, if word of mouth is not there today, the film is not going to work. Earlier, star-driven films did not require word of mouth. People came for the stars. Now, they don’t come for the stars. Shah Rukh Khan delivered two Rs. 500 crore films in the form of Pathaan and Jawan. Then his next film, Dunki, collected Rs. 250 crores.

Whichever films have worked at the box office post-pandemic, be it the ones down South or Bollywood, like Gangubai Kathiawadi, RRR, Jawan etc., in these films, one can see hard work in every shot and frame. The directors have not slacked and have given it all. That is what connected with the audience. They have noticed it as they are way smarter than us. We, filmmakers, are nowhere!

I am dying to get back to my set for my next film. And I am telling writers to make it tougher for me to shoot it and to ingest a whole new style and look into it. The moral of the story is that we have to work really hard.

There’s also a perception that people are bored of watching slick action films and that Bollywood should return to raw, hand-to-hand action, as seen in Gadar 2 and Animal
Yes, you are right. The next film I am directing, it is in the search-and-rescue mission space, more on the zone of Extraction (2020). We have already incorporated a lot of crazy action into the script. And the IMAX theatres we have today and even in general theatres, the sound and the projection are quite powerful. It is stupid enough not to make the most of it, be it with background score, sound design, action etc. Now is the time to innovate. Woh zamana gaya jab hum Gaiety-Galaxymein baith ke stereo ya mono mein film dekhte the. Today, every second theatre is equipped with Dolby Atmos.

Your first film, Aatish (1994), which completed 30 years on June 17, was a multi-starrer. It’s rare for a filmmaker to cast such big names in his first film…

And the fact that I was hardly 22 years old at that time (smiles)!

EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Gupta talks about present box office trends; reveals why we are living in ‘complicated times’: “Ajay Devgn’s Shaitaan worked but Maidaan bombed. Both were released a month apart. The SURETY of stardom is definitely eroded”

How did you handle so many actors? Did you feel the pressure?
Not at all. I never considered stars to be larger-than-life. They are just actors. I am just a director who is directing it. The only time I was in a lot of awe was when I directed Mr Bachchan in Kaante (2002), that too just for the first scene. That awe was there only until we filmed the first shot. After that, all the ice was broken. I am just blessed that I’ll live to tell my grandchildren that I work with Amitabh Bachchan!

As per IMDB trivia, Shah Rukh Khan was the original choice for Aditya Pancholi’s role. Is that true?
Not at all. Shah Rukh and I started together, in the same office of Sippy Films. As a matter of fact, I introduced Shah Rukh Khan to Viveck Vaswani, who then produced Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992) along with Sippy Films. So, I have known Shah Rukh way before he was signed by any producer. It is just fate that I have never approached him with any film as my loyalty was always with Mr Dutt.

In Marjaavaan (2019), it seems like Milap Zaveri paid a homage to Aatish. The scene where Shaad Randhawa loses his leg is similar to the scene in your film where Aditya Pancholi’s leg gets cut. Did you know about it?

Yes, he told me that he’s paying homage to me and my film. I have not seen the film yet but I heard about it.

Your wife Anuradha Gupta just won the Mrs World International 2024. How do you feel?
I am very proud of her. One day, she told me that she had entered the competition. I told her to go for it. I was very calm about it. And we went to Delhi for the competition where she won. My kids are sensible enough now – one is 11 and the other is 13. They saw their mother walk the ramp and win the crown. It was a very proud moment for all of us.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Gupta shares an update on his film with Sanjay Dutt: “We have worked out the script and now, we are working out the logistics”

More Pages: Shaitaan Box Office Collection , Shaitaan Movie Review


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