Post 26/11, all of us are grappling with a desperate and distressed situation. I kept wondering how five films [MAHARATHI, DIL KABADDI, MEERABAI NOT OUT, OH, MY GOD!! and GUMNAM – THE MYSTRY] were ready to face the litmus test the following Friday. This was no Diwali week, no Christmas week either, which witnesses an escalation in footfalls at cineplexes. What courage, I thought!
The Friday numbers proved that the producers of these films had made a mistake, sorry blunder. I spoke to at least three of those five film-makers a few days prior to the release, trying to persuade them against releasing their films. But all pleas fell on deaf ears. Let’s not forget, the aam aadmi is in no mood to venture into malls and plexes, for the time being at least.
The global meltdown/recession and the terror attacks have made a severe dent in film business. The producers aren’t announcing fresh projects anymore. The ones with films on floors [with no studio backing] are wondering how they would take their films to theatres. Even the studios have adopted a wait-n-watch stance. No fresh deals are being signed. The moviegoers too have become moody, patronising theatres one week, staying away the next 5/6/7 weeks. That’s the harsh reality!
The weekend numbers of MAHARATHI and DIL KABADDI came as a shocker [I am not surprised that MEERABAI NOT OUT and OH, MY GOD!! have proved non-openers]. The management of some screens had to call off shows due to no audiences. Running to a 15% – 20% response at a handful of screens [in limited shows] makes no sense. At several screens, the numbers were 7% and 10%. Disastrous!
Forget the capital invested on those projects, even if the respective distributors are able to recover the print + promotion cost, it would be a big achievement. Will they sustain this Friday? Won’t RAB NE BANA DI JODI take away the theatres and audiences?
Jaago, producers jaago!
A prominent newspaper journalist from Delhi asked me if the actors have had a change of heart. Reportedly, a few actors have decided to reduce their fees, so that “the safety of the producers is assured.” Was it true, she asked me. What a joke! I couldn’t stop laughing. Since when did our actors turn so considerate? A few actors may’ve adopted the ‘live and let live’ policy, looking into the producers’ interest as well, but a few actors have been forced to bring down their fees. After delivering one turkey after another, these actors are left with no choice. Who’s interested in signing these white elephants anyway? Stop fibbing and face the reality!