The industry has every reason to pop champagne. The two new releases, AASHIQUI 2 and IRON MAN 3, have hit pay dirt at the ticket window. Diametrically opposite in terms of content/genre, the films have proved, yet again, that two qualitative films can co-exist in one week. Even in a non-festive week. Despite a strong opponent [IPL cricket matches].
It's foolhardy to compare the two films, but the neck to neck start at several stations on Friday gave zor ka jhatka to a lot of people within the industry, especially the naysayers/pessimists who were predicting doomsday for AASHIQUI 2. The love story was slated for release in May, but the producers decided to prepone its release to 26 April, thus limiting the time-frame for its promotion. The strategy could've boomeranged, since the love story stars two relative newcomers and was riding purely on its music and brand value. But the Bhatts and Bhushan Kumar worked overtime to ensure that the film was extensively promoted. They stand vindicated today.
The success of AASHIQUI 2 shatters the myth that 'sad endings' don't work at the BO. Actually, excuses such as these crop up when a movie sinks at the BO and the film-maker in question looks for justifications to save face. Let me remind those people that MUGHAL-E-AZAM, the greatest love story of all times, also had a 'sad ending'. And EK DUUJE KE LIYE too. Also QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK. And DEVDAS as well. In other genres, ANAND, DEEWAAR and SHOLAY had 'sad endings' also. Were those films failures? There's also this feeling that if the hero is projected as an alcoholic on screen, it keeps a large chunk of the audience away from cineplexes. Isn't that bizarre? Recall DEVDAS, which was attempted several times on the Indian screen. It projected the male protagonist hitting the bottle with a vengeance, but did that aspect keep the audience away from theatres?
The success of any film is related to its economics and in this case [AASHIQUI 2], a major chunk of the investment has already been recovered from the sale of Satellite, Audio and parts of Overseas. Whatever accrues from India theatrical would not only help recover the nominal costs, but also put the film in profit zone. The weekend business has been fantastic, while the business on weekdays is super-strong as well.
23 years ago, I distinctly remember, AASHIQUI had brought about a revolution within the film industry. It was a game changer. The music industry witnessed a big turnaround in business then. Today, AASHIQUI 2 has given an impetus to the biz of romantic films, besides shattering several myths prevalent within the film industry. In more ways than one, AASHIQUI 2 too has been a game changer of sorts. Cheers to that!