Troubling Trend of Self/Corporate Booking in Bollywood

In the world of journalism, it takes great courage to wield the pen and write explosive articles, especially when the repercussions may extend to one's career, potentially bringing it to an abrupt end. However, the imperative to unveil the truth often supersedes the fear of consequences. Kudos to a recent article that surfaced just a few hours ago on another reputable portal – a piece that delves into the underbelly of the Bollywood box office.

Admittedly, while not all facts may be entirely accurate, it is crucial to acknowledge the boldness behind such revelations. The spotlight is now on a disconcerting issue that has plagued the film industry – the prevalence of corporate booking, self-booking, and self-buying on a grand scale. It is a practice that raises ethical concerns, particularly when these strategies are employed without a substantial audience to justify them.

Regrettably, the saddest revelation is that at least four (perhaps five) films in 2023 have resorted to self/corporate booking, collectively amassing more than 20 crores. Shockingly, according to estimates, one film took this dubious practice to unprecedented levels by engaging in self-booking to the tune of 50-75 crores (could be 70-80 crores also). Such actions are not just crazy but outright nonsense. The endorsement of these practices is unequivocally denied, and a clarion call is made to halt such activities, as they severely compromise the integrity of the box office.

The hope for 2024 and beyond is a film industry that distances itself from such practices, recognizing their inherent lack of purpose and the damage they inflict on the credibility of box office figures. In the end, headcounts and footfalls reveal the truth, and any significant disparity only invites embarrassment in the long run. What may seem like short-term benefits translate into a profound and enduring loss of trust.

In the quest for a transparent and honest portrayal of the box office landscape, it is imperative for the industry to shun these detrimental practices and embrace a commitment to integrity. Only then can the audience truly trust the numbers that dictate the success or failure of a film, ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future for Bollywood.

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