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Producer of Akshay Kumar’s ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ sells $2.9B office, lays off 80% staff

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Vashu Bhagnani, producer of the recent film Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, faced significant financial setbacks following the movie’s poor performance at the box office. Despite high expectations and a hefty Rs 350 crore (approx. $4.1 billion) budget, the film starring Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff failed to recoup its investment.

In response to the financial losses, Bhagnani sold Pooja Entertainment’s Mumbai office to repay a Rs 250 crore (approx. $2.9 billion) debt and drastically reduced the company’s workforce, with nearly 80 per cent of employees let go and the office moved to a two-bedroom flat.

 

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The financial troubles for Pooja Entertainment began with the flop of Bell Bottom in 2021, followed by the failures of Mission Raniganj and Ganapath. The latter, despite an acquisition deal, was rejected by Netflix. The poor performance of these films, combined with the massive investment in Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, severely impacted the company’s finances. A source close to the situation revealed that selling the Mumbai office became necessary to manage the debt.

Founded in 1986, Pooja Entertainment has produced around 40 films, achieving significant success with David Dhawan-directed hits like Coolie No.1, Hero No.1, Biwi No.1, and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. The company also produced critically acclaimed films such as Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein and Om Jai Jagadish. However, recent box office failures have overshadowed its past successes.

 

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The financial strain extended to the production house’s operations, leading to criticism over delayed payments to crew members. Several crew members voiced their grievances on Instagram, highlighting that while actors were paid promptly, many crew members awaited their payments for up to two years. Vaishnavi Palikar, a former crew member, shared her frustration on Instagram, pointing out the delayed payments and questioning the producers’ priorities.

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Ruchika Kamble, supporting Palikar’s claims, criticized the production house for unethical behavior. She tagged the producers, including Jackky Bhagnani and Deepshika Deshmukh, urging them to address the payment issues and warning others to be cautious when dealing with Pooja Entertainment.

The production house has not yet responded to these allegations.

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