Mammootty’s Turbo: Why Did It Fail At The Box Office?

Despite the hype surrounding “Mammootty’s Turbo,” its financial performance was underwhelming. The film’s worldwide gross collection stands at INR 72.55 crore, just marginally above its budget of INR 70 crore. This figure represents gross earnings, not net profit, indicating that the film incurred a loss during its theatrical run.

While the exact figures for streaming rights have not been disclosed, it is known that SonyLIV has acquired these rights. There is a possibility that the investment might be recovered through this sale. Additionally, “Turbo” was dubbed into Arabic, potentially making it the first Malayalam movie to do so. It is unclear if the film had a theatrical release in Arabic, but Mammootty actively promoted it in Dubai.

Mammootty’s Turbo Casting Choices

One of the primary reasons “Turbo” did not meet expectations lies in its casting choices, particularly the main villain, Raj B. Shetty. Although he is a talented actor, he does not have significant market value in Kerala, and most Malayalis are not familiar with his previous works. Additionally, his physical presence does not match that of Mammootty.

This disparity might have been less noticeable if Raj B. Shetty’s character was portrayed as a mastermind avoiding physical confrontations with Mammootty’s character, Turbo Jose. However, in the film, Raj B. Shetty’s character engages in direct combat with Mammootty, which does not work well. A better-cast villain might have improved the film’s reception. For example, Napoleon’s role in “Devaasuram” opposite Mohanlal was well-cast because they were physically equivalent, making Napoleon a menacing villain despite having only a few scenes.

Another casting issue is with the female lead. Anjana Jayaprakash did not convincingly portray the existential dread and severity of her character’s situation. Her character, who is on the brink of death with powerful people trying to kill her and her ex-boyfriend already murdered, failed to convey the necessary emotions. In contrast, Niranjana Anoop’s character, Sithara, although appearing in only a few scenes, was far more convincing, emotional, and expressive. Casting Niranjana Anoop as the female lead might have enhanced the film’s impact.

Mammootty’s Turbo has Cringe Elements

“Turbo” is laden with cringe-worthy moments that detract from its overall tone. For instance, Sunil’s character, Auto Billa, is introduced as a spoof of Don Vito Corleone from Hollywood’s Godfather franchise. Additionally, Bindu Panikkar’s character, Rosakutty, makes a reference to the MCU while running for her life. These attempts at comic relief during serious scenes fall flat, undermining the film’s intended gravity and coherence.

Budget Overshoots for a Malayalam Movie

The disproportionate budget is another significant factor behind “Turbo” not living up to the hype. The Malayalam film industry, or Mollywood, is relatively small. While “Turbo” performed well by Malayalam film standards, its budget was excessively high.

For comparison, “Abraham Ozler,” featuring Mammootty as the villain, had a budget of approximately INR 10 crore and collected a worldwide gross of INR 40 crore, making it a super hit. Another example is “Bramayugam,” also starring Mammootty as the villain, with a budget of around INR 30 crore and a worldwide gross of INR 58.2 crore, classifying it as a hit. The main issue with “Turbo” was its disproportionate budget. Despite performing better than these other films, its enormous budget prevented it from being truly successful.

SonyLIV confirmed that Mammootty’s Turbo will be available in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi, in addition to its original language, Malayalam.


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