New Delhi: Kamal Haasan’s magnum opus Vishwaroopam II has joined the list of box office disappointments delivered by big stars lately. The action film, a sequel to 2013’s Vishwaroopam, industry experts said, has made less than 5 crore from its Hindi version in its opening weekend. In Chennai, Haasan’s strongest market, the film has managed about 2.52 crore which, in the words of a trade expert who requested anonymity, is pathetic.

To be sure, Vishwaroopam II is only the latest example of big stars failing to guarantee box office returns. Earlier this year, Rajiniknath’s Kaala made 64.5 crore across India over the first three days and ended up with lifetime collections of 97.8 crore while Salman Khan’s Eid offering Race 3 only managed 166 crore. Last year, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Harry Met Sejal had set the ball rolling with dismal earnings of 62 crore.

“It was an ill-fated release for the film in Tamil Nadu," said the person mentioned above. “It didn’t have shows in certain parts of the state such as Madurai for the first two days, thanks to financial problems between the producers and distributors. But even otherwise, there is a general atmosphere of mourning across different parts of the state after Karunanidhi’s death."

While Haasan’s film did have a substantially large Hindi release co-presented by Reliance Entertainment and Rohit Shetty Pictures, the broader feedback has not been positive, ranging from audience disappointment over footage simply rehashed from the first instalment to the lack of a commercially entertaining mainstream thread.

“It has to be a good film at the end of the day, regardless of star presence or not. And the film’s content has not been up to the mark," said film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar.

The failure of Vishwaroopam II is despite Haasan’s stature, his exhaustive attempts to market and publicise the film across the Hindi and regional markets, and a solo release opportunity when most films from the previous weeks have bombed.

“The fact that older stars are not able to get box office openings shows that the audience is changing," said independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai. “Today film reviews are available within hours of release and the invasion of video streaming platforms means people will hesitate to go to theatres. That adrenaline rush is missing now."

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