There were huge expectations from Akshay Kumar-starrer 8X10 Tasveer, but the supernatural thriller has failed to impress audiences and fallen flat at the box office.
Releasing after a lean period of almost two months, the film was expected to be a box-office saviour -- instead it turned out to be another A-list flop.
Despite being the first and only Bollywood film that opened in the second quarter year, it is Akshay's second big-budget dud in the year after Chandni Chowk To China that opened the first quarter for biggies this year.
It is also director Nagesh Kukunoor's second endeavour gone wrong at the box office in terms of commercial cinema post Bombay To Bangkok (2008).
"The reaction to Tasveer is not at all up to the mark. It is in fact very disappointing. Neither the public reaction nor the collections are good -- considering the fact that it is an Akshay Kumar starrer and that it opened as a solo release over a long weekend due to Ram Navami," Sakshi Mehra, an exhibitor and president of the Motion Pictures Association of Delhi-Uttar Pradesh, told IANS.
"The business for the film started falling Sunday onwards, when otherwise, it should have soared. And with the bad word of mouth now, there is no chance even for it to improve at the box office," he added.
Released April 3, 8X10 Tasveer also stars Ayesha Takia, Sharmila Tagore, Javed Jaffery, Girish Karnad, Anant Mahadevan and Benjamin Gilani in pivotal roles.
It is the story of a young man Jai (Akshay) who has a supernatural gift to look into the past of dead people by looking at their 8x10 photographs.
A PVR official said on the condition of anonymity that "the film has managed to collect 40 percent over the opening weekend despite holidays." He further added that the collections are slow.
Made on a budget of approximately Rs.600 million, "8X10 Tasveer" released with around 1,500 prints worldwide and the least hype for any Akshay starrer since the last four years. The actor too was reported to be underplaying the promotion of the film.
Trade analysts are not even excepting more than the initial business for the movie.
"The film is dull and shatters all hopes from a director like Nagesh Kukunoor. People had high expectations from the film, as it was after a long gap that a big-budget movie was hitting the screens but it all went wrong," said an industry source from Mumbai.
"Whatever audiences it managed to draw over the weekend was courtesy Akshay and the supernatural element. However, due to its horrible packaging, it is going to suffer a bad word-of-mouth. It is not likely that the movie will survive more than a week or 10 days at the maximum," he added.
Utpal Acharya, vice-president (programming and distribution) of Inox Leisure, added: "It's a different movie altogether and not an in and out masala commercial cinema but due to Akshay's fan following, people have visited the theatres and it has been a good weekend with around 45 percent occupancy overall."
"The movie has done good and has been liked by the multiplex audience. However, it doesn't have a life more than around two weeks," he added.
Meanwhile, with the ongoing confrontation between the producer and distributors on one side and the exhibitors on the other over revenue sharing for forthcoming projects, April is again in the dry mode with only low-budget films on the anvil.