I want to pose this question to lots of film producers out there who, for some strange reason, shy away from making horror films. Why doesn't Bollywood churn out horror films like the East and West do with amazing regularity? In the 1970s and 1908s, the genre was limited to Ramsay brothers and Mohan Bhakri. The low-cost films never had a dearth of buyers [yes, the distributors would pick up the rights the moment Ramsays announced them] and the success ratio of horror films was quite strong too.
With Ramsays deciding to try their luck on the small screen, the genre was as good as forgotten, till Ramgopal Varma decided to give it a try with BHOOT [almost a decade after he attempted RAAT]. Yet, the genre never took off, like comedy films after David Dhawan's AANKHEN and Rajkumar Hirani's MUNNABHAI MBBS did.
Last year, RGV's PHOONK and Vikram Bhatt's 1920 were well-received, while the response to the new release, RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES, is equally strong. In fact, the distributors were so convinced of its prospects that they decided to give it a wide release [almost 900 screens in India], which speaks for itself.
Ample reasons why RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES had a great startâ€¦
* The Bhatts are synonymous with qualitative films. Their small, low-cost films have big stories to tell. That's Reason No. 1 for the film to open well.
* The music in their films has always worked to their advantage. Right from AASHIQUI to DIL HAI KE MAANTA NAHIN, from RAAZ, MURDER and GANGSTER to AWARAPAN, JANNAT and RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES, the movies have been embellished with a lilting score.
* The genre. Horror films have a good market and the youth especially throngs the cineplexes if the film has the right amount of thrills and chills.
* Emraan Hashmi. He has developed a sizable fan-following amongst the young brigade. Of late, the fans have only multiplied, courtesy films like AWARAPAN, JANNAT and now RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES.
Also, the release timing was perfect. A 4-day weekend is every film-maker's dream and if it happens, it's a bonus. Of course, the merits count too, else even a 5-day weekend wouldn't help. In this case, the 4-day figures are impressive and RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES is already on the right track -- the track that leads to success.
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is having a dream run in America, U.K. and Australia and everyone was hopeful that the Danny Boyle film would strike gold in India too. The film started slow, but the collections have shown an upward trend at major plexes across major stations.
According to an official statement received by this writer from Fox Star Studios, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE has grossed over Rs. 13.5 crores in its opening weekend across 351 screens in India. Good!
AASMA, released alongside RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, was relegated to the backseat completely. The film wasn't in the public eye, in the first place.