Padmaavat garners 36K media articles and over 350K social media mentions globally: Meltwater Report

The insights gleaned from the online media analysis by international media intelligence firm, Meltwater reflect that Padmaavat is shining not just at the box office but also in terms of international media coverage and social media

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 8:45 AM

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat has undoubtedly been one of the most controversial Bollywood movies to hit the screens this year. However, seems like it was all worth it as the Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh starrer is shattering records on a large-scale. According to reports, the Bhansali movie has collected Rs 400 crore at the worldwide box-office and is the eighth highest grosser of all time.

The movie might have been embroiled in reams of controversies but it seems like that has worked in its favour. According to data supplied by the international media intelligence firm, Meltwater, indicated that in January alone there were over 36, 000 news articles published on the film’s release earlier this month. India led the way with 22643 articles, followed by the United States with 13541 and the United Kingdom with 377.

Going by the report, the trending themes across local and international news media revolved largely around the backlash to the film’s release, which saw acts of vandalism against public property, including the torching of a state-run bus near Bhondsi village, as well as the arrest of 47 people in Gurugram. Further to this, the news focus concerned the Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal lodged by a local advocate who had sought to have certain alleged controversial scenes deleted from the film. It’s therefore unsurprising that the data indicated that of all online news discussing the film, 40% was negative in its tone, with the remaining coverage split into 42% neutral and only 18% positive.

News graded as positive was dominated by the public’s response to the performance of one of the production’s leading actors, Ranveer Singh, who plays the character Alauddin Khilji. Articles went on to detail wide-scale support for Singh’s performance, as well as the applause he received from Bollywood veteran, Amitabh Bachchan. Reports of a family in the San Francisco Bay Area that allegedly booked an entire theatre to watch the film while dressed in Padmavati-like attire, also saw a positive and pervasive response from the media.

Social media was also set alight by the film’s release, with over 350000 mentions of Padmaavat in January. While opinions were divided on the value of the movie itself, there was once again noticeable support for the performance of the actors in the film, particularly Ranveer Singh.

An open letter penned by actress Swara Bhaskar, expressing her opinion on the film, as well as a response to the letter by award winning Deepika Padukone, saw significant public commentary across social channels. In addition to this, conversations around the organisation Karni Sena and their protest of Padmaavat’s release were the topic of far-reaching debate.
Meltwater’s Area Director for Middle East and India, Christo van Wyk said, “It’s rare for us to see levels of social media engagement on this sort of scale, so regardless of your opinion of the film, there’s no denying that the splash it’s made across not only India, but the broader international community, has been huge”.

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA opined that the media coverage and social media mentions due the controversies the movie has faced has ignited curiosity among the audience and the life of the movie will only amplify. “The Padmaavat brand was born out of controversy, truly speaking. Whether you like the movie or not, some curiosity is ignited to watch it. The first week is determinant of its performance because for any movie, there is hardly any longevity beyond a week. Given media and social media attention that Padmaavat has received, the movie’s life is poised to be that of beyond a week. I expect it to go beyond two and a half to three weeks at least,” he said.

Clocking a collection of Rs 400 crore at the worldwide box-office, garnering 36, 000 news articles and over 3,50,000 social media mentions in January alone, the numbers narrate an interesting story. After all, the movie had to go through so much strife to reach viewers.

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