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Aamir Khan is considered Bollywood’s shrewdest superstar. His marketing sense, script choices and astute knowledge of film business has not only earned him the tag of a perfectionist but also made him a bankable actor. The result of this is that an Aamir film may not always entirely belong to Aamir but is still pitched as an Aamir Khan vehicle. The success of a film may not be attributed to him as much as a film’s failure is. 

And, we are afraid that’s what’s going to happen with his latest release, ‘Thugs Of Hindostan‘. The film’s reviews are out and for once, people are not divided on the film! Everyone has unanimously disliked it. The action-drama has disappointed fans and critics alike. The popular opinion is, that while the film looks magnificient, it lacks substance. 

Considering the film brings together Hindi film industry’s finest talents Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan on-screen for the first time and stars Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh in lead roles, the adventure drama was expected to be a monster-hit and beat Aamir’s last film Dangal‘s first day records. Dangal had collected Rs 29.78 crore in India on the first day of its release. Trade analyst Girish Johar had predicted that the Vijay Krishna Acharya directorial would write new records for Aamir. 

“In all the languages, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, Thugs of Hindostan will earn Rs 50 crore on the day of its release. And, if the content of the film also turns out to be decent, it will reach the Rs 100 crore mark within 2-3 days,” Johar claimed. 

Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi also seemed quite hopeful about the film before its release. “If you look at the overall scenario, there is Aamir Khan, there is Amitabh Bachchan, there is Katrina Kaif, there is Yash Raj Films backing it, there is a scale, there is a spectacle value, it will be one of the biggest big screen appearances to come out of Hindi cinema and irrespective of the negative reviews of its trailer, I really think that the audience, at the ground level, will come out in big numbers and watch it,” Akshaye told Times Now.

Trusted Trade analyst Taran Adarsh was also of the belief that the film would earn Rs 50 crore on its opening day. “The screen count is going to be massive, ticket rates have been enhanced and moreover, it’s the coming together of Yash Raj Films, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan,” Adarsh told Bollywood Hungama.

And they were not entirely wrong. As per a report in Box Office India, there indeed was a lot of excitement for the film amongst the audience. As many as 2 Lakh tickets got sold on Saturday itself, once the advance booking opened. ‘Thugs’ reportedly broke the record of films like Tiger Zinda Hai, Sanju and Avengers – Infinity War in advance booking. 

“The factors that will work in favour of Thugs of Hindostan are, one, it is a big holiday release, secondly, it is releasing on the biggest window available for a Bollywood film as there are no other releases scheduled around it and third, the film boasts of big names like Aamir, Amitabh, Katrina and Yash Raj Films,” Johar insisted. 

“Aamir never lets his fans down and has a positive track record. The actor is known for springing in surprises and him being a part of the film makes the chances of Thugs of Hindostan being a success at the ticket counters even higher,” he added. 

The prediction sounded believable considering the film got released in 5000 screens across India. However, after having witnessed the heavy criticism that it received on social media on Day 1, it’s highly unlikely that it will cross Dangal’s numbers. And, what’s scary is that all this negative publicity might further affect its weekend numbers. 

Aamir Khan has seen several failures in his professional career viz ‘Love, Love, Love’ (1989), ‘Raakh’ (1989), ‘Aatank Hi Aatank’ (1995), ‘Mela’ (2000) and ‘Mangal Pandey'(2005).

Mangal Pandey arrived in August 2005 amidst a sea of controversy and sky-high expectations. After ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ he had attained this image of an actor who could never go wrong. He spent some eightenn months growing out his hair to look authentic for the role. He grew a giant moustache, too. But, the hype didn’t sustain itself for long. The film tanked! And miserably!

‘Thugs’ marked Aamir’s return to the historical space. And dare we say, the prospects don’t look very appeasing. So, is period drama really not Aamir’s cupt of tea? Looking at the current scenario, it will surely take some sort of miracle for ‘Thugs’ to live up to the hype.  

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