Is boycott culture hurting business in Bollywood?
On May 29, manufacturers Laal Singh Chaddha released the movie’s trailer during the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) Grand Final. Soon after, #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha became a trending hashtag on Twitter. Since then, the social media platform has been abuzz with the boycott hashtag with every release of a song or promotional poster for the film.
A few days before the film was released on August 11, vitriolic hashtags took several forms such as #BoycottAamirKhanmovies and #BoycottKareenaKapoorkhan targeting the film’s main actors.
Twitteratis escalated actor Aamir Khan’s alleged remarks in 2015 about growing intolerance in the country and scenes from his 2014 film ‘ PACK‘ alleging that it hurt the religious feelings of the majority community. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan has come under fire for her earlier remarks urging audiences not to watch their film if they don’t like it. Recently, both of them urged the public in different forums not to boycott this film.
However, the damage seems to have been done. Laal Singh Chaddhaan official adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood film Forrest Gump, earned ₹11.70 crore on its opening day, the lowest for Aamir Khan, in over a decade. Net collections further dropped to ₹7 crore and ₹9 crore on days 2 and 3, respectively.
While the film itself received mixed reviews from moviegoers and film critics, can its poor showing be attributed to calls for a boycott on social media?
Film industry experts have mixed opinions. Film critic and film analyst Taran Adarsh believes the boycott calls had an impact on the performance of Aamir Khan’s latest film. “STOP denying that the #Boycott calls *don’t affect* the film industry… The fact is that these #Boycott calls *HAVE* made a dent and impacted #LaalSinghChaddha’s #BO numbers in particular… Admit it!” he tweeted.
Kamal Gianchandani, president of the Multiplex Association of India (MAI), said that all the negativity on social media, however unwarranted, does not have a greater impact on the film industry or the performance of a film. .
“If a movie is good, positive reviews, word of mouth or people praising the movie on public platforms helps and it will make the movie even bigger. But rarely will you find that the public beating of actors or movies on social media negatively impacts movies,” Gianchandani said. He added that while film reviews and debates in public forums are an integral part of the business, it is the actor’s material, marketing and ability to attract audiences that ultimately decides. of the fate of a film.
Bollywood actor Aamir Khan arrives for promotions of his upcoming movie ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, in Jalandhar on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. (PTI)
Sangeet Hemant Kumar, an entrepreneur with interests in real estate and Bollywood, said the power of social media and its penetration are so broad that any negative propaganda of this magnitude will impact the film industry. Calling the boycott trend on social media “unhealthy”, Kumar said, “These trends are not only harmful to the film industry and the country, but will also kill the creativity of artists and filmmakers.”
As the pandemic-hit film exhibition industry pinned its hopes on Bollywood’s big bang releases for its revival, the Twitter platform is already trending with the hashtags #BoycottVikramVedha (the next film from the actor Hrithik Roshan), #BoycottPathaan (the next film by Shah Rukh Khan), #BoycottBrahmastra (starring Ranbir Kapoor) and BoycottBollywood etc.
“There is a lot of negativity on social media platforms which has a bad influence on society. I think regulators and competent authorities should definitely look into this issue,” Gianchandani said.
August 16, 2022