EXCLUSIVE: Vashu Bhagnani sells Pooja Entertainment’s seven-floor office to pay off Rs. 250 cr. debt; lays off 80% of employees following consecutive box office failures

3 weeks ago

Nearly four decades since its inception and several highs and lows later, Vashu Bhagnani's Pooja Entertainment is reeling from a major financial setback. The production banner, known for making blockbuster entertaining movies like Coolie No.1, Biwi No.1, and Hero No.1, among others, is downsizing its operations following consecutive box office failures, Bollywood Hungama has exclusively learnt.

 Vashu Bhagnani sells Pooja Entertainment’s seven-floor office to pay off Rs. 250 cr. debt; lays off 80% of employees following consecutive box office failures

EXCLUSIVE: Vashu Bhagnani sells Pooja Entertainment’s seven-floor office to pay off Rs. 250 cr. debt; lays off 80% of employees following consecutive box office failures

According to trade sources familiar with the development, Vashu Bhagnani has sold his seven-floor office of Pooja Entertainment to a builder. The identity of the builder who purchased the land and the amount it sold for is not disclosed yet, but they will apparently now demolish the building to create a luxurious residential project on the plot.

Vashu has also sacked almost 80% of employees and shifted the office base to a two-bedroom flat in Juhu, the sources have revealed. The layoffs began in January 2024 after Jagan Shakti’s film starring Tiger Shroff was shelved following a two-year struggle to take it on floors. The workforce was further reduced in April, specifically after the release of Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. This development comes on the heels of the disastrous box office failure of BMCM, which barely earned Rs. 59.17 crores at the box office against the investment of Rs. 350 crores, resulting in losses of at least Rs. 125-150 crores for the production banner. Sources say Vashu has sold the building to pay off debts to multiple financiers, amounting to approximately Rs. 250 crores.

“It all started with Bell Bottom, which was one of the first Hindi movie to be released in theatres post the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The film flopped badly at the box office and so did the next one, Mission Raniganj. The company faced another setback when the big-budget Ganapath failed to perform and was even rejected by Netflix despite an acquisition deal. Red flags had already begun to appear in the company's financial sheet by this point, and the enormous investment in Bade Miyan Chote Miyan made matters worse. Even still, the firm held out hope that the action entertainer starring Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff would turn around its financial situation. However, the historic failure of this Ali Abbas Zafar directorial almost crippled the company. Vashu had no choice but to sell the building to pay off the enormous debt,” a source familiar with the development told Bollywood Hungama.

Despite these challenges, sources claim that Pooja Entertainment is not folding. Vashu and his son Jackky Bhagnani are determined to reboot operations and have already started discussions with actors and directors for a fresh slate of movies. In contrast to rumours, they are going ahead with Shahid Kapoor’s Ashwatthama project that they announced just a few months back.

Pooja Entertainment was established in 1986 and has produced around 40 movies to date. The big successes include their films with David Dhawan, such as Coolie No.1, Hero No.1, Biwi No.1, and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, and highly appreciated movies such as Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, Om Jai Jagadish, among others. The success ratio of the company, however, is outperformed by its big box office failures such as Himmatwala (2013), Humshakals (2014), Bell Bottom, Mission Raniganj, Ganapath, and the recent Bade Miyan Chote Miyan.

Also Read: Pooja Entertainment employee calls out Jackky Bhagnani and Vashu Bhagnani’s company over non-payment of dues; calls it, “unprofessional, unethical behaviour”

More Pages: Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Box Office Collection , Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Movie Review


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