Hopeless Friday at Box Office
One Friday, 16 releases, and all falling flat at the box-office windows
Last Friday was a crowded week with as many as 16 films jostling for eyeballs at the box-office windows.
These included five Hindi films - Aashayein, Hello Darling, Antardwand, Soch Lo, Madholal Keep Walking and Gumshuda -and two English re-releases -James Cameron's 3D Avatar with nine minutes of never-seen footage and Vertigo.
Add to the list one English sequel, Crank 2, Bitch Slap, and a Malaysian animated flick, followed by a bouquet of regional films. And what we had was a veritable potpourri that, with the exception of Avatar, which grossed Rs 1.60 crore over the weekend in India, was largely unpalatable.
“Isn't it ridiculous!' says an aggrieved trade analyst Taran Adarsh. “Even during Eid or Diwali, the market cannot take more than twothree films. And this is the lean Ramzan and Shraddh period. Every producer believes that his film is Sholay and `samnewale cholay' and releases his film to 5-10 per cent collections.
Some of the films even had to cancel shows because there were no takers.“ Flop parade Distributor Ramesh Sippy doesn't find anything shocking about this annual flop parade. “It's the only time small films can get an opening at multiplexes. If they wait till mid-September and October, they will be bulldozed by the biggies. So they brave the numbers and come out in the hope that they will strike a chord,“ he points out.
Sushil Rajpal, producerdirector of the National Award-winning Antardwand, echoes his view. “August 27 was the only Friday I was getting theatres, so my distributors, PVR, decided to go ahead with the release,“ he sighs.
No impact “I released Wanted in the Bombay territory three days before Eid. It was a crowdpuller from the first show.
This year, even though it's not as big a hit, Lafangey Parindey has been holding on,“ reasons Sippy.
Trade analyst Amod Mehra pegs last week's loss at between Rs 20-40 crore.
“Of course, in some cases, the producers have no choices. I hadn't even heard of films like Gumshuda and Soch Lo before,“ he says.
Dabangg awaited This week, the industry's hopes are pinned on Dharma Productions' We Are Family that Mehra describes as a “decent family film“. But the one everyone is looking forward to is Salman Khan's Eid release Dabangg.