Karan Johar hasn’t had a good run at the box office recently. His big ticket production Kalank was a huge disaster despite having a stellar star cast. Now, in what seemed to be unthinkable a few years ago, he may be facing another big flop. Dharma Productions’ Student of the Year 2 directed by Punit Malhotra (who directed the semi-hit I Hate Luv Storys and the flop Gori Tere Pyaar Mein for Dharma) is all set to be another box-office turnip. The film got a good opening because of the youth appeal and the massive promotions but word-of-mouth publicity has been rather negative. The reviews have been mixed too.
If early trends are anything to go by, SOTY 2 won’t be as big a disaster as Kalank was for Dharma Productions as it recorded good numbers in the first weekend. But still, the blow would be decisive. The film recorded average box-office collections in North India on the first two days. In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu it was easily overtaken by Mahesh Babu’s Telugu Maharshi and Vishal Krishna’s Tamil Ayogya. According to trade experts, the financial dynamics of Karan Johar’s collaboration with Fox Star Studios would have to be re-examined in the light of the two underperforming films in a row.
Says a source close to the development, “With Kalank, Fox-Star bore the brunt of the losses, absorbing all the deficit. But with Student of the Year 2 they may opt for a share-the-losses policy with Dharma.” But who’s going to refund viewers who get zero value for their money in watching SOTY 2? Says trade analysts Amod Mehra says, “After the bad performance of Kalank and now SOTY 2 the funders who were backing Dharma will have to rethink.”