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Vashu Bhagnani, Producer of Akshay Kumar’s Three Box Office Failures, Sells Office and Cuts 80% of Staff to Settle Rs. 250 Crore Debt

Image Source: hindustantimes.com

Producer Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment, known for producing films like “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan,” “Mission Raniganj,” “Jawaani Jaaneman,” and “Bell Bottom,” has reportedly sold its seven-floor office to pay off a Rs 250 crore debt.

According to a report by Bollywood Hungama, Bhagnani is using the proceeds from the sale to settle significant debts and has laid off 80% of his production house’s staff. The layoffs reportedly began in January 2024 after “Jagan Shakti’s film,” starring Tiger Shroff, was shelved following a two-year struggle to commence production. The workforce reduction continued in April, specifically after the release of “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan.”

The financial troubles were exacerbated by the failure of “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” at the box office. The film grossed only Rs. 59.17 crores against an investment of Rs. 350 crores, resulting in losses estimated at Rs. 125-150 crores for Pooja Entertainment. Sources indicate that Bhagnani sold the building to pay off debts to multiple financiers amounting to approximately Rs. 250 crores.

Financial difficulties for Pooja Entertainment reportedly began with the release of “Bell Bottom” in 2021, one of the first Hindi films to hit theaters post-COVID-19, which underperformed at the box office. Subsequent failures, including “Mission Raniganj” and the big-budget “Ganapath,” which was rejected by Netflix, further strained the company’s finances. 

The heavy investment in “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” further compounded the financial strain. Despite high hopes for the Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff starrer, its box office failure left Bhagnani with no alternative but to sell the office building to settle the approximately Rs. 250 crores in debts owed to various financiers.

Despite these challenges, the report mentioned that Vashu Bhagnani and his son, Jackky Bhagnani, remain determined to reboot operations. They plan to work on new projects that could potentially help them recover financially and restore their production house to stability.

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