Kabir Khan's highly-anticipated 83, starring Ranveer Singh in the lead, hit theatres on Friday, 24 December, right before Christmas. The film is based on India's victory at the 1983 World Cup and boasts of a terrific cast.
Given the buzz around the movie, there were expectations of it doing exceedingly well at the box office. However, things didn't turn out that way. 83 performed below expectations in its first weekend, collecting Rs. 45 crores nett, according to media consultancy firm, Ormax Media.
Made on a budget of Rs 125 crore, the movie earned Rs 12.64 crore on its opening day, much lower than Spider Man: No Way Home and Sooryavanshi. Its first-weekend collection was recorded at Rs 47 crore despite it being a festive weekend. However, it witnessed a major dip on the first weekday as it earned Rs 7.29 crore on Monday and Rs 6.7 crore on Tuesday.
Fear of Omicron?
The rising fear of Omicron is believed to have posed as an obstacle. However, film trade analyst Taran Adarsh tells The Indian Express, "Despite glowing reviews from critics and the film industry, 83 did not perform well at the box office. Except for the three metros, people didn't turn up. We shouldn't be blaming COVID because viewers are going to the cinema halls to watch Spider Man and Pushpa: The Rise".
'Sports Drama Not a Mass Entertainer'
Film producer and trade analyst Girish Johar tells The Indian Express that sports drama isn't a mass entertainer, so that may have affected the footfall in theatres.
"I feel that the buzz around the film was critics and industry-driven. It didn't seem to have clicked with the audience. Those who loved it are people who know about the 1983 World Cup. The youngsters went in to watch only from the film's perspective. I've heard they didn't like the character development".Girish Johar, Producer and Trade Analyst
'Price of Tickets'
Partner at Ormax Media, Gautam Jain, tells The Film Companion that since the ticket prices were at par or even higher than Sooryavanshi, it could have kept the audience from watching the movie at the theatres.
83 did not perform well at all in single screens. "Viewers opted to go for Spider Man and Pushpa instead. That's why many single screens refused to even play the movie. The makers of 83 were pushing its 3D version to the single screens so that they could earn more. But many markets wouldn’t accept this film when they had two steady films already”, says Sreedhar Pillar, entertainment tracker.
'More Suitable For OTT Release'
The Film Companion report also states that experts believe that a biographical sports drama like 83 is more suited for an OTT release. "In today's time, biopics work better on OTT. A film like this either needed relevance – an ideal time would’ve been when the Indian team was actually playing a limited-over series – or it should’ve released as soon as the theatres in Maharashtra were re-opened", Pillai tells the publication.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and The Film Companion)
(Relive 'The Summer of 83' through a special interactive by The Quint by clicking here. Explore the lesser-known tales of the tournament, participate in our '83 World Cup Quiz, and discover the record feats that forever changed the history of Indian cricket.)