The whole Padmavati (or Padmaavat?) fiasco has snowballed into a never-ending saga, the kind we see in Ekta Kapoor daily soaps. With the release date of the film now 25th January, Padmavati is certainly going to remain mired in controversies with fringe groups for the foreseeable future.
However, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Co need not worry. Controversies barely affect the box office performance of films in India. In fact, on occasion, they can even work to create a positive outcome at the BO. Let’s have a look at a few such movies-
#1 My Name Is Khan (2010)
Shahrukh Khan‘s comments about letting Pakistani players play in the IPL did not go down well with Shiv Sena, who made the release of the film difficult. But despite all the controversies, the film was a hit.
#2 Udta Punjab (2016)
The most recent controversy of Bollywood happened when then CBFC Chief Pahlaj Nihalani blocked the release of the drugs drama Udta Punjab, calling it politically motivated. The film was even leaked a day before its official release. But it still tided over all the troubles and had a good showing at the box office.
#3 PK (2014)
The film was a social commentary on the business of religion. It drew the ire of Hindu and Muslim religious groups who demanded the film be banned from release. It didn’t seem to work as PK became the then highest grossing Bollywood film.
#4 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016)
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil couldn’t have been timed more wrongly, as its release was around the same time as the Uri attacks, and the mood of the country (or at least the right side of it) was anti-Pakistan. Karan Johar had to bear the brunt of it, as his film had Fawad Khan in it, who was obviously a bigger threat than militants. Karan Johar had to apologise, and promise he won’t be casting any more Pakistani actors in his films, to quieten the angered people.
#5 OMG Oh My God (2012)
Many fringe groups protested against the film for making derogatory remarks about Hindu Gods and traditions. In many cities, the screening of the film was even halted. The film still managed to rake up the numbers, as the controversy only helped in the publicity of the film.