Hrithik Fighter

All eyes were eagerly anticipating the release of the film “Fighter” in 2024, starring Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, and Anil Kapoor, directed by Siddharth Anand, known for his previous blockbusters with “War” and “Pathaan.”

The film, which hit theaters on January 25, coincided with Republic Day. The opening day at the box office, often reflective of the star power of a film, did not bode well for “Fighter.”

In comparison to the director and actress’s previous collaboration (Pathaan) on January 25, where they achieved an all-time record opening with superstar Shah Rukh Khan, “Fighter” fell short by 60-65%. This indicates that Hrithik and Deepika were unable to create an urgency for the audience to watch the film on its first day.

‘Fighter’ did reasonably well on the next three days and after a promising 120 crore four-day weekend, the box office collections plummeted to a meager 7.25 crore net on Monday, sealing the fate of the movie. The film added 6.75 crore nett on day 6, Tuesday.

The unexpected Monday decline has shocked both the trade and the industry. The lack of support from B & C tier center audiences post-Friday, and their absence in cinemas on Monday, is a concerning trend.

Despite hopes that the film would remain steady after the big holiday, it failed to do so. The majority of the business came from national chains (PVRINOX, Cinepolis), indicating a stronger appeal to urban audiences rather than an all-around appeal.

The main problem post-release is that Fighter did not connect with mass audiences in B and C centers. Even before the release, Fighter lacked mass appeal, whereas Pathaan or Jawaan, right from the songs, made an instant connection.

Also, the aerial action, no matter how well it is shot, is difficult to connect with B and C center audiences. For these audiences, action involving the physical body, like hand-to-hand fights, is a must. These crucial reasons cost Fighter dearly.

After Tiger 3, Fighter’s underperformance is another shocker for the industry and poses challenges for Bollywood, emphasizing the need to expand beyond urban audiences. Hrithik will have to wait till the release of WAR 2 to witness a success.

“Fighter” may struggle to reach the 175-200 crore mark as a lifetime achievement.