For those in a rush, Chocolate director Vivek Agnihotri pretty much sums up the frustration:
I saw the film in an empty theatre. One of the main reasons why I think the film didn't even take an opening is due to Akshay [Kumar]'s brand promise which is pure entertainment. I think makers couldn't exploit it… As a result, they not just wasted an opportunity but also annoyed viewers who love Akshay. Also, no one understood the genre of the film…
Cinema is all about making illogical sound logical. 8 x 10 Tasveer went on a path where it made logic sound illogical and as a result fell flat. What a waste of talent, an awesome opportunity and money which this industry needs so badly.
In short: Never underestimate the wishes and needs of your audience. Be fair to them, and always know why.
Whether Mr. Kumar learns this in working with the clear–headed Deepa Mehta, as he is reportedly going to do (and as noted a few days ago in this blog), is something we'll need to monitor closely. The last thing I am sure he would want to do is betray and alienate his fans, much less damage Mme. Mehta's own reputation.
Especially when Bollywood is in her current state. We still have a stand–off between the producers and the multiplexes.