Verna released last Week opened to extremely negative reviews from self claimed critics of Pakistani film industry!! Is film really that bad?? Well you must go and watch it and decide yourself.. It’s third film of Shoaib Mansoor after Khuda Ke Liye and Bol, both of these two films had become big blockbusters back then but there were many factors behind boxoffice success of those two films! Khuda Ke Liye and Bol did get appreciation from cine goers and Bol is easily most appreciated film at cinemas in last 15 years! But Question here is this that does this make Verna mandatory to reach at the levels of Bol or Khuda Ke Liye at boxoffice to be declared a hit! Khuda Ke Liye was first step toward revival of cinema and there were no other notable around in cinemas at that time which made it get accepted despite it’s flaws but yes Khuda Ke Liye got thumbs up from cine goers. Bol had it’s flaws too but again there was no notable Urdu films since Khuda Ke Liye hence there were no production or boxoffice bars set for Pakistani cinema yet which made easier for film! But now situation is totally different as decent number of films are releasing and few are setting very big boxoffice records hence bars of likeness are set at very high levels now.. But again does that make mandatory for Verna to earn very big at boxoffice to become a success..
First of all this is not a review of the film rather it’s boxoffice analysis of the film.. Reviews given online or in publications are opinions of that particular writer but at boxoffice overall response of cine goers come hence at the end it’s only boxoffice which can tell whether film is liked or not!! Before release very high expectations were put on for Verna by these same critics and media which completely explains their ability! Fact that Mahira Khan is the lead and Shoaib Mansoor directs it doesn’t mean that film should atleast do 20cr at boxoffice! Film was a thriller revenge and to put realistic expectations then 10 cr is the upper limit of such genre, attachment of these big names to the film does make expectations bigger but that is only confined to opening Weekend and due to presence of Mahira Khan Weekend was bound to be a good one! For a thriller getting close to 2.75cr opening Weekend despite late release on Friday is excellent result! Thriller genre in recent past has really struggled to open in Pakistan, recent examples are MOM and Ittefaq.. MOM featured multiple Pakistani actors in it and Verna has already passed it’s numbers in just 8 days of it’s release.. Ittefaq had a very big cast but yet Verna has crossed it in just 3 days of it’s release.. Now question arises that if film has done well then why there is so much negativity that film is a flop or film is very bad.. Whether a film is good or bad can be told only after end of it’s run but yes boxoffice verdict can be discussed right now! Film has been declared flop by social media teams of various portals but in real terms film is not a flop yet..
Biggest issue come for genres having small target audience when they feature big cast.. Due to presence of big names it gets bigger opening than it’s target audience which always mostly give out mixed or negative word of mouth.. For example if a film is a horror or thriller then it will have target audience of around 10 of every 100 cine goers and only those 10 will opt for it and if film gets thumbs up then at an average 60% of those might like it! This means that overall only 6% of our cine goers have liked it but yes we will have positive word of mouth as only 10% of cine goers have watched it and given out their words.. Now if we cast Fawad Khan. Mahira Khan or any other big name in that film then audiences coming for it will be over 80 out of 100 cine goers but target audience was only 10 which means over 70 extra are going to dislike it, even if film gets thumbs up from target audience then too overall word of mouth will be very bad and it will be much worse than the first scenario.. Same has happened with Verna, as target audience for thriller revenge is always limited but due to names of Mahira Khan and Shoaib Mansoor much bigger than target audience came which resulted in negative word of mouth.. This is the reason that film got falls on Weekdays as weekend had seen most footfall coming due to presence of Mahira Khan and on weekdays it got to normal! And when it got to normal then genre effect came in as thriller revenge has very limited target audience.
Now coming back to whether Verna is a hit or Flop, let’s look at some examples, film has left behind all dark themed genre films of 2017 and even if we include films from previous years then it is already ahead of all such genre films despite late release on day one and second Weekend getting hit badly by protests nationwide.. In recent years among small target audience films Manto is the biggest grosser and film will probably cross Manto by end of it’s second Week.. It has already crossed films like Mah e Mir and Moor!! If we include Hindi films then it has beaten bigger films of small target audiences like Rustom, Arilift, MOM and many others in just 10 days and will probably beat Secret Superstar in coming Week.. Film will only remain second to FAN which is currently highest grossing film among small target audience films..
Media and portals call a film bad or classic without analyzing boxoffice numbers as in the end it will always be boxoffice which will tell the real story.. Last year Doobara Phir Se was called a cult masterpiece but boxoffice numbers were completely opposite!