01/6​‘Chhapaak’ to ‘Jagga Jasoos’: When controversies couldn’t help films score box office numbers

In the fickle world of Bollywood, where creative liberty has now become a thing of the past, films invariably get tangled in a web of controversies kicked up either for personal, political or religious reasons. We have all seen several big-ticket films braving major storms managing to emerge victorious at the box office. While films like ‘Padmaavat’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, ‘Kabir Singh’, ‘Udta Punjab’, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and a few others walked away unaffected by all the negative publicity, there were others that couldn’t say the same in the number game.

Take a look…



Deepika Padukone kicked up a storm when she chose to stand with the students of JNU who were allegedly attacked while protesting against the CAA and NRC in Delhi. Her decision to extend her support to the students prompted many to laud her “bravery” but there were those who slammed her and called for the boycott of her film ‘Chhapaak’. The controversy that followed saw Twitter users spreading malicious and false information regarding her film which in response prompted fans to get #IStandWithDeepika trending.

Despite the support she received on social media, it didn’t seem to help her film that clocked in low numbers at the box office. With a current 6 day collection at Rs 24.50 crore nett, the Meghna Gulzar directorial was touted to do far greater business.



The Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon starrer ‘Panipat’, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker hit multiple roadblocks leading up to the film’s release. From facing opposition from fringe groups to getting slammed for allegedly not “fact-checking” the content in their film, the makers were even forced to edit out portions of the film. The protests and controversies lead to the film proving to be a washout at the box office. According to reports on BoxofficeIndia.com, the film earned a domestic collection of Rs 33.37 crore nett, falling far too short of the huge Rs 92 crore budget.


04/6​Judgementall Hai Kya

The Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao starrer ‘Judgementall Hai Kya’ was mired in controversy since the film’s title was revealed. While the going was expected to be good after the makers changed the title from ‘Mental Hai Kya’ to ‘Judgementall Hai Kya’, things took a turn for the worse when Kangana got into a verbal spat with a journalist at a promotional event that prompted the Entertainment Journalists’ Guild of India to boycott the actress until she issued an apology. Sticking to her ground, the actress refused to budge.

The box office report card that followed saw the film collect an estimated Rs 33.88 crore nett in India (according to a report on BoxofficeIndia.com) just a crore more than the film’s Rs 32 crore budget.



‘Zero’ which starred Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif was involved in a controversy with the Sikh community as a scene in the film’s trailer showed SRK wearing a Kirpan. This was said to have hurt the religious sentiments of the community and prompted them to take the legal route to get the scenes removed. Although there was much buzz about SRK featuring as a vertically challenged man, it didn’t seem to transcend into good box office numbers. The film earned an estimated Rs 88.74 crore nett it was reported.


06/6​Jagga Jasoos

Unlike the other films on this list, ‘Jagga Jasoos’ was tangled in a lot of controversies due to personal reasons. Ranbir Kapoor turned producer for this film that was in the making for the longest time. At one point filming of the Anurag Basu directorial was even stalled. Ranbir’s highly publicized split from longtime girlfriend Katrina Kaif further seemed to have affected the musical that only managed to collect an estimated Rs 52.61 crore nett for a budget that was estimated at Rs 131 crore.