Another big film opens tomorrow [No Entry] and the film industry waits with bated breath for the audience response to it. There's a lot riding on the film, but everyone's optimistic that the film would fetch a terrific start at the box-office.
The business scenario has undergone a change. It's no longer important to have a 25-week run to classify as a hit. If a film manages to recover its investment in its first two weeks and gets exhausted by its fourth week, it would still be rated as a success.
The number of prints in circulation, the number of shows each day and the inflated ticket rates coupled with a large turnout during the weekends is enough for a film to sail safe.
Going to movies is akin to an outing for a family. When a prominent distributor-exhibitor casually spoke about the movie-going experience [during weekends specially] a few months ago, the remark stayed with me. It struck a chord, I kept thinking about it…
The movie-going business has changed over the years. People don't mind spending Rs. 150 + for a ticket if they get quality in return.
By quality, I mean the movie and the movie-going experience [movieplex]. Simply put, the inflated ticket rates don't pinch your pocket if the viewer gets value for the money being spent.
Of late, there has been an upward trend in the box-office revenue during the weekends. Almost every film worth watching records excellent/decent/face-saving collections, depending on the merits of the film. And if the weekend happens to be a holiday, it's `sone pe suhaaga` for sure.
If it was a four-day weekend [August 12-15] last week, the Raksha Bandhan holiday on August 19 and Parsi New Year on August 20 ensured that the crowds thronged movieplexes this weekend. And that benefited the new release, Barsaat, considerably.
Suneel Darshan's latest offering Barsaat fetched a good start at several places, mainly North India. The film industry was caught unawares, especially since several Bobby Deol starrers [Kranti, 23rd March 1931 Shaheed, Chor Machaye Shor, Kismat, Bardaasht, Jurm] ran out of luck on Day 1 itself.
Also, Bobby's pairing with the beauty queens [with Ash in Aur Pyar Ho Gaya and 23RD March 1931 Shaheed, Priyanka in Kismat and Lara in Bardaasht, Jurm] is considered jinxed.
Barsaat slided downwards at some screens on Day 2, but picked up again on Day 3, Sunday. However, the film is steady at some single screens at mass-oriented centres. Reports pouring in indicate that the film is stable in U.P., Bihar and Rajasthan mainly. At the multiplexes of Mumbai, the film has registered a drop.
The second release, RGV and Anil Kapoor's joint venture My Wife`s Murder, fetched excellent reviews from critics who matter. Even the cinegoers who ventured into movieplexes couldn't help praising the film. Unfortunately, the collections were below par everywhere.
The film grossed poor figures on Friday, while the evening shows on Saturday were more or less packed at multiplexes. Sunday showed an upward trend, but the business didn't really show a radical jump. Monday onwards, the film is steady at a few multiplexes only.
This Week, Last Year
Now this is a coincidence! If Barsaat, a love triangle about two women loving the same guy, opened this weekend, it was Fida during this weekend [August 20-22] last year. And Fida was also a triangle, revolving around two guys [Fardeen, Shahid] who love the same girl [Kareena].
Despite tremendous hype and brouhaha encircling Fida, despite the curiosity to watch the real-life jodi [Shahid-Kareena] on screen for the first time, despite million dollar-worth free publicity in the media [thanks to the pairing], despite incredible promos, despite fantastic pre-release promotion, Fida didn't find many moviegoers going fida over its content!