Bollywood action king Akshay Kumar's latest release Samrat Prithviraj bombed at the box office despite the promising historic content and successful marketing strategies. The historical action drama flick produced under the Yash Raj Films banner and directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi is based on a part of Prithviraj Chauhan's life.
The movie also starred biggies like Sanjay Dutt, Sonu Sood and Ashutosh Rana apart from newbie Manushi Chhillar. The movie hit the theatres on June 3, but, it witnessed a slow start on the first day minting Rs 10.70 crore, and recorded a further drop. What made it a disaster and talk of the town was that the movie was made at a whopping budget of Rs 300 crore but it managed to mint only Rs 80 crore in India. Even the reviews were quite depressing.
This is not the first Aksay-starrer movie that became such a disaster, however, Aki was dragged into controversies. Even certain reports claimed that the helmer blamed the OMG actor for the debacle.
Director Dwibedi, Akshay Kumar & Controversies
Certain reports claimed that Akshay was not the first choice of the director for the titular role. The director's first choice was Sunny Deol.
As per the reports, Dwivedi said that he didn't expect the movie would perform so badly and the public response to the movie has been upsetting for him. Further, the director said that the movie was written keeping Sunny in mind and he had plans to produce the movie himself 18 years ago.
"He wouldn’t listen. The film required a dedicated concentration. He wouldn’t even grow a real moustache, as he was doing other projects simultaneously. When playing someone so historically important, why couldn’t he have done just this one project, and given his best to it?” National Herald quoted a source as saying.
However, later in an ETimes report, the helmer took all the blame on himself soon after the reports of blaming Akshay circulated.
Dwivedi clarified, "In the last four years we have come closer to each other. He is not only an actor for me. He is more than an actor – a friend, a well-wisher, a guardian. He is younger to me but behaves like a guardian. I never blamed him for the failure of the film. Why should I? If he wouldn’t have been there, the film would never have been made."
"If anybody is responsible for the failure of ‘Samrat Prithviraj’, it is me. I don’t understand my audience," Dwivedi was quoted as saying.
Aditya Chopra annoyed at Akshay?
Even rumours circulated that Aditya Chopra got annoyed at Akshay for the movie's debacle. However, Dwivedi cleared the air during a recent interview with The Hindustan Times.
Dwivedi said, “Two days after the release of the film, I spoke to a lot of people, and I maintained one thing- my belief in Akshay Kumar remains unshakeable. I have done two more upcoming films with him- Ram Setu and Oh My God 2."
"I feel that my words are being twisted by people. People are misinterpreting my words, and this bothers me,” he added.
The director also went on to add that Adi and Aki were together with him on June 2. He also said that Adi was very happy with the film, him and Aki.
Well, all these reports are quite confusing, isn't it?
But, the fact that can't be denied is that the movie was a debacle and the audience blamed the entire team as they underrepresented an Indian ruler.