Will Raaz: Reboot's less-than-stellar box office collection spells bad news for Emraan Hashmi?
The fourth installment in the horror film franchise has garnered around Rs 18 crore in its opening weekend at the box office.
It's been left behind by the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink, which is being lauded for its nuanced pro-woman stance, tight plot and great acting by an ensemble cast that includes Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang.
Raaz: Reboot, on the other hand, has been plagued by negative reviews, and a star cast that, apart from Hashmi, has no strong names.
But has Hashmi really been a strength for Raaz: Reboot?
There was a time when Hashmi could ensure that a certain kind of film — made on a medium budget, usually from the Vishesh Films banner, and with enough 'bold' content to give the censors sleepless nights — had a decent box office opening: The Murder and Raaz films, Gangster, Jannat, to name a few.
But Raaz 3 and Jannat 2 — both from 2012 — were the last bonafide hits that Hashmi delivered.
Since 2012, no fewer than eight films, all starring Hashmi in the lead, have failed to click at the box office.
Among these are Rush, Ek Thi Daayan, Ghanchakkar, Raja Natwarlal, Ungli, Mr X, Hamari Adhuri Kahaani, Azhar, and now, Raaz: Reboot.
By Hashmi's standards, these films have not been complete washouts — his biggest earner, Raaz 3, had earned around Rs 74 crore at the box office and was a major hit. The Dirty Picture earned Rs 82 crore, but arguably that was a Vidya Balan film, and Hashmi's presence in it was perhaps not central to its success. Hashmi's other big hits — Murder 2, Jannat 2 — have all earned in the Rs 50+ crore category.
His films from 2013 onwards, have earned anywhere between Rs 20-33 crore at the box office.
But here's the thing, those numbers are no longer sufficient for a film to be labelled a good earner — unless it as made on a particularly shoestring budget, which Hashmi's films are not.
Azhar, for instance, cost around Rs 38 crore to make — Rs 28 crore for production and around Rs 10 crore for promotions. The highest estimate for its earnings is Rs 33 crore, which still indicates that it failed to make up its cost.
The Vidya Balan-Emraan Hashmi combination that worked so well in The Dirty Picture didn't help Ghanchakkar or Hamari Adhuri Kahaani.
Raaz: Reboot could have been the perfect antidote to Hashmi's box office woes. It had the legacy of the Raaz franchise, which has proven to be a money-spinner in the past for the Bhatts, to draw on. But it too has come up short.
For Hashmi, however, there is a project that could set him right back on track: Baadshaho.
His earlier film with Ajay Devgn (Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai) earned a cool Rs 60 crore. It isn't inconceivable to think that Baadshaho could do a whole lot better.
As for whether or not the Raaz franchise will survive Reboot, that remains a discussion for another time.