Ever since Deepika Padukone stepped into Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and stood by a wounded yet feisty Aishe Ghosh, the JNUSU president, right-wing trolls have been attacking the actor’s film Chhapaak on various fronts. They not only made #BoycottChhapaak trend, but also spread fake news, gave the film a fake communal narrative to discredit Chhapaak and its makers. Basically, no dirty trick in the book was spared to sabotage the Meghna Gulzar film. However, there’s bad news for the trolls - Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak has not lost money as it is being made out to be by most media reports.
Chhapaak is a medium budget film made for a price of Rs 35 crore including the cost of prints and publicity. Till Monday, the film had made Rs 32.48 crore just by ticket sales in India. The film, which has been co-produced by Fox Star Studios, Deepika Padukone, Govnd Singh Sandhu and Meghna Gulzar, sold its music rights for Rs 3 crore and its digital + satellite rights for Rs 23 crore. So, the film has already made Rs 58.48 crore.
That’s not all, Chhapaak has also earned Rs 13 crore from ticket sales overseas. According to sources, the global box-office collection of the Deepika-starrer was $ 1.84 million till Monday.
So, unfortunately for the trolls, the producers of the Deepika Padukone film Chhapaak, which includes Deepika herself, will make money from the film. Yes, it hasn’t made the kind of money that Deepika’s previous release Padmaavat did, but that Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, co-starring Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor was made on a budget of over Rs 200 crore and was released across 3500 screens in India. Considering that Chhapaak is not a “commercial” film and was released across only 1700 screens - a revenue that’s almost double the cost of the film (including international box-office) is a very good sign.
What right-wing trolls need to understand is that people do not stay away from theatres just because of a random boycott call on Twitter. The success of Aamir Khan’s Dangal, the actor’s first release after his controversial comments about intolerance in India, is a good example.
There were widespread calls by the right-wing online to boycott Aamir’s films after the actor spoke up, however Dangal became the biggest hit in Aamir’s career.
Also, the question that needs to be asked is, what were the trolls fighting against in the case of Chhapaak? You were mindlessly running down a film that highlights acid attacks on women, a film that film that creates awareness about such a gruesome crime and its effects, a film that advocates for a ban on the sale or easy availability of acid? Grow up.
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