Did a debutante heroine hamper Jai Ho’s chances?

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Jai Ho

 It is now widely known that Salman Khan’s Jai Ho has not quite done as well as it was expected to. The film which cost more than Rs 110 crores to Eros will need to do a business of over Rs 220 crores worldwide for the production house to break even.

So what is it that went wrong with the film? Of course the film has been panned uniformly by critics, but then that is common for most of Salman’s recent huge hits. He has in fact gone on to be the best example of what is being termed as critic-proof.

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Salman Khan and Daisy Shah in Jai Ho

This is when an interesting observation comes to our notice. “Given the film was weak, it could have still done better had there been a better known lead actress. Salman’s biggest hit Ek Tha Tiger had a Katrina Kaif to pull in some extra audience as well,” says an industry observer on condition of anonymity as he has previously worked with Salman. “Plus the chemistry between Salman and Daisy left a lot to be desired. That’s unlike Salman’s chemistry with Katrina Kaif or Sonakshi Sinha.” the observer added.

To support the example the observer puts forward a few examples of films in the last year itself which saw the heroines taking a significant load off the hero and helping the box office collections.

1)      Chennai Express – Deepika Padukone managed to steal scenes from Shah Rukh Khan. Not only that, many people credited her stardom for pulling the film through the Rs 200 crore mark as SRK’s box office standing saw a decline over the last few years.

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Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express

2)      Dhoom 3 – Katrina Kaif may not have had a major role in the film, but the posters and the promos promised enough of her. And of course she had a million dollar look in the film. Trade experts say that Katrina managed to bring in her own fan-base to watch the film helping it become the highest grosser of all times.

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Katrina Kaif in Dhoom 3

3)      Goliyon Ke Raasleela Ram-Leela – Deepika Padukone at work again. 2013 was undoubtedly her best year yet. And while Ranveer Singh performed brilliantly and looked stunning it was Deepika’s charismatic presence that aided the film’s box office fate.

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Deepika Padukone in Goliyon Ke Raas Leela- Raam Leela

4)      Shudh desi Romance – Though only two films old, Parineeti Chopra has managed to create a substantial fan following. This cousin of Priyanka Chorpa is not only a fantastic actress but seems to be quite a charmer too. And that worked really well in the romantic-comedy Shudh Desi Romance. While Sushant Singh Rajput came with his own appeal and fan-base, the film clearly rode on Parineeti at the box office.

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Parineeti Chopra in Shudh Desi Romance

Apart from these there are examples of films such as Golmaal 2, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani whose box office numbers were hugely impacted by the lead actress despite having bankable male stars as leads.

However, all said and done, there are also enough to completely deride the observation. Distributor and Trade Pundit Amod Mehra says that a film works if it’s good. “That a better heroine could have worked better for Jai Ho is a false assumption. None of Salman’s films anyway have much for the heroines.” he fires away, adding, “The film did not work. And no heroine could have saved it. Period!

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