Despite Taapsee Pannu's brilliant performance, 'Shabaash Mithu' opens to a slow start

Viacom 18, the producers of Shabaash Mithu didn’t seem to have much faith in their product. The almost-nil marketing and promotion, has taken its toll on the biopic on cricketer Mithali Raj

Photo courtesy: Social Media
Photo courtesy: Social Media
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Subhash K Jha

Viacom 18, the producers of Srijit Mukherjee’s Shabaash Mithu didn’t seem to have much faith in their product. The almost-nil marketing and promotion, has taken its toll on the brave if not entirely brilliant biopic on cricketer Mithali Raj, which witnessed a slow start on the day of release.

The all-India collections on Day 1 were a meager 45 lakh rupees, which is disappointing for the cricketer Mithali Raj, Taapsee Pannu who plays Mithali and director Srijit Mukherjee who has a formidable reputation in Bengal, and producers Viacom 18 who were at one time the leading producers in Bollywood but have apparently now fallen on hard times.

A day after the release on Saturday, shows were reported being cancelled from different parts of the country. At the strategically located Ambience Mall in Gurgaon the 12.55 pm show of Shabaash Mithu had to be cancelled due to meager attendance.

I spoke to personnel from the theatre minutes after the shocking cancellation. This source confirmed the shocking development. “Normally on a weekend afternoon we get 35-60 percent attendance for any new film. This is the first time in living memory when we had to cancel a show due to almost zero attendance. We had sold one ticket which was refunded. Luckily the young lady left without creating any fuss.”

Bihar’s prominent exhibitor Suman Sinha says the collections of Shabaash Mithu are abysmal. “It is lower than this week’s other release Hit: The First Case. We have one show of Shabaash Mithu and it is struggling for survival.”


To what do we attribute the woefully meager collections of Shabaash Mithu? Well, for one it looked like another sports film starring Taapsee Pannu. She has done similar films before nothing new in it.

Says Suman Sinha, “Rajkummar Rao, Taapsee Pannu, Vidyut Jammwal…. These are talented actors but they are OTT stars. Their films should go straight to OTT.”

A more important reason for the film’s failure was the apathy of the producers Viacom 18.

“They had no interest in promoting or releasing the film. We had to do what we had to on our own,” a source connected to the film told me.

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