Billu Box-Office Status and Public Talk

2nd Hopeless Week:

21st February, 2009: Irfan Khan starrer Billu featuring Shah Rukh Khan in an extended guest appearance, which began it’s journey at the ticket window on a dull note on it’s FDFS, has failed to impress audience. In Hyderabad, where Shah Rukh Khan is truly the Box-Office King, the flim has been stripped down to only one single screen (it’s main theater Ramakrishna 70mm) and the usual limited shows in multiplexes. A critical indicator of success for a film is the number of single screens in it’s second week and Billu fails this test.  However, the film seems to have been relatively fair in the Overseas market, which shows SRK’s overseas box-office stamina and NRI’s craze for song-and-dance (Yes, the overseas segment doesn’t much care of content, which explains why Chak De! India and Swades didn’t do well.)

The biggest problem with Billu is not its promotion, but the design. There was too much of SRK and it was a faithful remake of the disasterious Tamil version. When Kuselan released Priyadarshan ridiculed the screenplay, but ended up doing the same anyway. Shame on you Priyadarshan. Next, SRK’s image is great, but he is not an industry elder like Rajnikanth and thus it did not fit well to see SRK give speeches and preach; it should have been more casual. On the other hand, Priyadarshan and his team should have completely turned the film up side and down by making it essentially a super star film and the barber thread as a part of it. Any which way we look at it, it is the Curse of Katha Parayumbol! Final verdict on Billu: it is a flop. It doesn’t matter how much the film will make after satillite and dvd rights are sold, what matters is what goes at the single screen.

Coming to the public talk; it is unanimous that the film is boring. Regular moviegoers are wondering why even this film was taken and some felt it was nonsense. The only folks who are supporting this film are the ultra hardcore SRK fans who will support his films even if there is nothing to support. SRK should have stayed clear from this boring film and as for Irfan Khan, the poor chap must have thought this film propel him in to mainstream, but he got a box office dud in return. In fact, Billu‘s box office performance is just Billu’s performance: plain, expressionless and dull.

Watch this film when it comes cable TV.


14th February, 2009: Although Billu is not a much awaited or highly anticipated film, the teaming of Priyadarshan and Shah Rukh Khan ought to have ensured a housefull start from it’s first day first show (FDFS). The FDFS at Sensation Insomnia, Hyderabad, which is an important theater in terms of crowd, location, black-ticket market to predict the fate of a film. In fact, the guys at Sensation Insomnia are so good at predicting blockbusters that they know when to sell tickets in white and when to sell in black. When I found that tickets were available in advance booking through Easy Movies at Sensation Insomnia, I knew Billu was off to a dull start. As I pulled my car in to the theater (having sneaked out of my office, which is just 5 minutes away), I was shocked to see the place deserted!

SRK’s presence, three chartbusters with three leading Bollywood ladies, and Priyadarshan’s name should have been enough to pull in the crowds. I tell you, the public knows and they don’t need critics ratings, reviews, blogs, etc. The crowd in the theater was more than half empty and full dull and all this made the film even more boring. I feel Priyadarshan should now go back to Malayalam and make intellectual films. Even his protege AkshayKumar also has grown beyond the point of making silly nonsense with Priyadarshan. In addition, the audience are clever; SRK couldn’t fool them with the three item songs. Even the promos were not energetic. There was hardly any crowd for the matinee show too. Saturday and Sunday will see good collections with all the must-watch-on-weekends folks coming out to see, but from Monday the film is bound to nose dive.

Shah Rukh Khan has made a blunder by choosing this script and should have gone for an original script with himself as the lead role with all the other usual suspects of Priyadarshan. In that case, the film would have created waves at the box office. However, this is not an SRK starrer and thus will not list in his tally of hits and misses, but is a big blow to his image as his presence could not ensure the openings. SRK should try and keep away from doing silly sub-plots like the inter-galactic separated brothers, lockets etc..such jokes only work when there is a solid script.  SRK must continue to focus on his core strengths and make full fledged entertainers and not waste himself away in such silly sub-plots and roles.  I feel sorry for Irfan Khan; such a fine actor, but got wasted in a hopeless script.

This film could have been a treat for SRK fans, but the chance has been lost. As things stand Billu is in the range of utter flop to flop. SRK clarified to media that the film was sold for 35 crores and not 50, but even that might be an uphill climb for EROS International. Will SRK also reimburse the loss like Rajnikanth did for Kuselan? Lets wait and watch.



  1. aman said

    i have seen first day first show

    and this is a good movie

    & should be watched

  2. vinod singh said

    movie is gud ……every budy should watch dis movie …….Srk is anezing ………

  3. jaan said

    well,finaly the movie was out on the weekend and i gather myself out of my busy schedule to make it to cinema in birmingham.i was absolutely shocked when i was told that all five shows of the day for Billo have already been booked.Interestingly in that multiplex the kind of movies like Slumdog Millioniar,Curious case of Benjamin Button and others were aired as well.On sunday i phones the nearest chains of vue,odeon etc but no ticket available.Next weekend i m sure i ll b able to make it.My fiend in NYC USA had a similar circumstances to face.i guess Billo is the biggest hit in europe and north america.ppl told me khan is rocking again and this movie is a must of luck……xxx

  4. nadia said

    Lovely movie, I enjoyed it very much.

  5. omer said

    Hey i am live in KSA but i am a Pakistani and shahrukh khan is my favourite favourite and favourite hero.And the most popular hero in KSA is also SHARRUKH KHAN.All other actors are average actors but KING is only one SHAHRRUKH KHAN.I wath movie yesterday and i realize again that SHAHRUKH KHAN is the best.And the film (BILLU) is rocking and will be super hit (inshallah).

  6. Deepak said

    wellll mr…critic……u should go to ur bed & should take rest for a looooooooooonggg while……
    when will u understand SRK??he is KING-KHAN…we have given this name to him,& he surely lives upto this..don’t try to digress people by ur biassed comments…this is such a great movie..
    & as far as SRK is concerned he can never let his frns down..he was great, & will be for ever n ever…so u had better do ur work properly…..

  7. Vinod Mandoliya said

    I have seen this moovie yesterday. It was very bore moovie. So do not waste your time and money to go for this type of blockbuster flop moovie.

  8. Joylynford said

    I am pretty much disappointed with this movie. no story no masala. id not for SRK then this movie would have been a super flop.

  9. Aziz said

    I am sorry to say this to all SRK fans, but Billu is a flop. It is really disappointing, but true…

  10. nikhil said

    this was a great movie. and you the dufferrers ,what do u know about billu . it will be a blockbuster .people are thinking that it is a flop , then they are the bigest fool.
    they watch the movies like dev d intrestingly because the want to see the vulger scenes.
    but they don’t know srk is the king. and know one can’t make the remake of his film.
    devD is disasterers

  11. ashok said

    Excellent Movie !everyone should watch this movie at least once,this story has been told several time but its the charisma of SRK that he makes you forget everything,he is simply the best actor of all time

  12. Prasenjit Kanjilal said

    Billu was a great movie…..this film can be viewed with family. After a long time, I have seen a film without any vulgar scenes.
    Everyone must watch “Billu” with their family.

  13. vijay said

    sharukh was awesom but the movie was kacra means absolutely bandal and sharukh should not work in this film…..sorry billo barber the film is boring.

  14. Imran ahad said

    Hi friend,srk is the king.he is the best best.i love srk.srk always blockbuster hit.flop not a possible.billu hit or flop forget it.srk best best heart srk.main ek bat kheta hu srk jaisa koi nahin.billu agar flop bhi ho shahrukh mera Hit hit friends.salman khan flop actor.salman se koi kaho srk se dosti karle.srk map kar deka.mera srk bollyood ka jaan,king khan.bye love u.

  15. Jayasri said

    I enjoyed the movie — the second half especially, and the last scene where you see the two Khans in action and the reason why one of them is a superstar. Admittedly the film starts slowly, as if Priyadarshan was under instruction to make a flop….. I wonder if his heart is elsewhere? In any case the film looks like it will pull through based on the post-interval bits. I urge you to see it for the last scene alone

  16. Bushra said

    One of the worst movies of 2009 so far!!!!
    I dun understand why luck by cance got such an average response from the public even though it had a decent stoy n brilliant acting by each n every character… n bilu barber, being such a childish story, poorly directed..idiotic jokes……n showing un necessarily item songs ..can be liked by the public just because of the fact tht its shahrukh’s film..!!!
    i watched this movie last nite…. i m not any body’s fan so i will be very honest abt the movie…. i can tolerate slow pace movies n yet say beautifully made.. but unfortunately not abt this one.. this movie does not deliver wht it promised…..waste of money n if u wanna watch it watch it for irfan khan he is a natural actor!!!!

  17. Sanjana said

    yo how the hell is diz film biasedd ? its not. itz an awesome moviie on friendship ! ii loved it i dont care if its a flop! billu barber roxx !

  18. NAV said

    hi guys, iv seen BILLU and its a worth watching movie, i think it will inshallah be a hit, the starcast of this movie of this movie deserve a hit, they have all done a good job. mr priyadarshan’s are always worth watching so guys go to your local cinema and WATCH IT…NAV

  19. shahrukh said

    its simply boring movie
    songs are good locations but above all a simple ordinary story
    it seems me that shahrukh made it as a publicity stunt
    although shahrukh doesnot need this but this seems …………………..

  20. srk is not bad actor .he is a fine actor.he always keeps us rocks happy.but what the bullshit is mr.priyadarshan is doing . billu os a mega flop. priyadarshan is better he take cartoons like tom and jerry.can anybody finish priyan

  21. Waishaak said

    All who say BILLU is a flop are kind of people who went through many BAD TIMES in thier life..You know such people expect everything to happen according to thier wish and it never happens ….SAD…
    The people reading this to decide whether to watch or not…. BIILU IS A GOOD MOVIE…Even if you dont like SHAHRUKH…believe me WATCH IT…you will not be dissappointed….

    CLIMAAAX ???? Muuuuaaaahhh..MINDBLOWING.



  23. Rakesh Mehra said

    Since you have commented on the box office of the film, I just wanted to correct you that SRK has sold the film for 35 crores – in his own words – to EROS. And that includes domestic and overseas theatrical, satellite, and home video. Going by the usual split, domestic rights should come to around 18 crores. Which will make the film safe – not a HIT for now, but definitely not a colossal flop like you have deduced.

  24. X said

    The film gave a very clear and realistic message. SRK was at his best as always.
    It was innovative the way they showed all of his images in his films when he walks in this movie. It might haven’t got a lot of money in the first few days cuz it’s not based on SRK but trust me , at the time he’s there, he’s at his best like always! God Bless him!:)

  25. niya said

    good songs …………good theam…….

  26. Rakesh Mehra said

    Your argument that the single screens determine a film’s success, does not hold much ground in the face of facts that most of the recent hits were restricted to multiplex. Be it Dostana [which was Below Average – Average] owing to its costs, or Dev D, or Taare Zameen Par or Rang De Basanti. These films did not run at single screens as much as they did in multiplexes. But that didn’t prevent them from being hits. At a time when multiplexes have a capacity to contribue 45% to the total box office collections in the country – a number which goes up considering that the multiplexes usually nejoy higher occupancies owing to a richer audience base, it is quite easy to earn money without even bothering about the single screens. I am not saying Billu is a multiplex film – no, my argument is entirely restricted to your comment about single screens being the king makers.

  27. humaira said

    hey folks ,i hav watched this movie 5 times and its a great great movie,SRK`S acting is superb,especially the last 20 mins r mind blowing,slow and steady it will becum a great hit ,inshaallah

  28. muhsin said

    lets be honest, you are probarbly the first person in the whole wide world to call irfan’s ie billu performance dull and expressionless. Even if he remains silenton screen that is more convincing than your blog. and i have just realised that i m far more stupid because i have just wasted couple minutes of my life reading and commenting on ur blog.

  29. Sachin K said

    What made Katha Parayumbol such a great movie was the limited exposure of Mamooty to the audience. This is where the remakes in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi have failed. While Tamil and Telugu overdid the Rajnikanth appearance, hindi did the same with Shahrukh Khan. Ladies and Gentlemen, Billu is a disaster and should be avoided – atleast for respect of good cinema. For those who think the movie is doing well – the movie did not have 20% occupancy in a famous south Mumbai theatre I watched this movie in. The Verdict – FLOP. The revenues are 86% down in second week of release (refer – a performance worse than Yuvraaj and Chandni Chowk to China. Last years biggest hits Singh is King and Rab Ne….pulled of only because of star power and not because of scripts. Both were aweful movies with aweful acting. Lets hope things turn for the better, lest the people start throwing tomatoes at SRK and King Kumar.

  30. man, irfan is awesome, in which world you are living.
    ok at leat it’s your opinion, but calling billu a flop, movie sold to 35 croes including all the rights, indian theritical rights is arond 19.5 croes, with maximum tax , if movie wants to safe, movie has to collect some thing around 21-22 croes, then it will not flop.

    with in first week, the movie collected 18.65 croes, what are you talking. it may be not a hit, but not a flp man, get your facts corectly and learn BO maths, ohh limited to your blog for cinematic experiences, dont go on BO maths if you dont know that. regards!!!!!

  31. Nikki said

    I liked Billu. Nice entertaining movie.

    The only thing I dont like is SRK teeth. Men, he needs a good clean-up. The close-up scenes are showing guck in his teeth. SRK go to the dentist regularly please.

  32. Rakesh Mehra said

    Teeth? Next time someone will tell his nose is dirty! You could have atleast commented on his performance etc. And in any case, no one is perfect, so he doesn’t really need to have Colgate white teeth

  33. Maamaz said

    Am a malayalee… I watchd billu’s malayalam versn katha parayumbol. Ofcours its a gud movie.. And a big hit too… I watchd kuselan also.nt gud as mala movie. But dis BILLU is gud… 1st half has 2nd half worths… But am a big big fan f SrK. u go n watch d film… See introductn scene nd al. SUPERB…!
    Its a nice movie… It wl b a hit… ..maamaz….

  34. Nadim Ahmad said

    Billu is also Hit, hit, hit, Srk acting is also very good in billu. Maine is film ko 3 bar dekha hai, inshallah ye superhit hai. Nadim

  35. Nadim Ahmad said

    Billu barber ki story bahut hi achhi hai, is liye kam kam se ek bar jarur dekhe, please, srk to king of bollywood hi hai, is me koi doubt nahi hai, abhi to log billu k bare me bahut kuchh kah rahe hai, kyo ki is film ne kam business kiya hai, lekin jab Rab ne bana di jodi, aaee thi, to sab k mouth pe tala lag gaya tha, jo bhi, is film ko faltu kahta hai, wo is duniya ka sabse faltu aadmi hai, kyo ki use chandni chowk to china jaise super flopp film dekhne ki aadat hai, akki ko ek lotterry kya lag, sabhi use king samajhne lage, are wo king ka juta(boot) bhi nahi ban sakta hai, kyo ki use acting ati hai hi nahi, ata hat to sirf, comedy to, comedy to rajpal yadav aur johny liver bhi karte hai, to kya wo bhi king ban sakte hai, kya? Tum hi socho aur likho. Nadim From Bihar.

  36. naim said

    a nice n simple movie showing the life of villagers in the way it shoul be…hats off to irfan khan for a performance which had no lacks….Shahrukh Khan’s last few minutes performance was also wothwhile….but there wasn’t any dull moment in the film…..which people have so much exaggerated….above all a film well made ….n must seen for those who understands cinemaaaaaaa…

  37. max said

    billu is a movie wid a lovely theam…gud work srk…u rock!!!

  38. Aron said

    Awesome songs. Nice comedy. Great performance. Plain storyline.

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