PLAYERS, the much awaited thriller from the masters of thrillers, Abbas-Mustan, has failed on two counts. It has failed to deliver as a film. Also, itâ€™s gone
wrong as far as the economics are concerned.
As far as the content of the film goes, well, the reviews and opinions of the moviegoers [websites, newspapers, social networking sites, blogs et al] have
highlighted the shortcomings of the film. The word of mouth tilted towards negative, which explains why [a] The business never showed a jump on Friday
evening, after a lukewarm start and [b] The business declined considerably in several circuits on Saturday. Letâ€™s get real. Had the word of mouth been
positive, it wouldâ€™ve reflected in the business of the film. Sure, the business did show an upward trend on Sunday, but, come to think of it, the growth
shouldâ€™ve reflected from Friday evening onwards. Also, the decline in business on weekdays clearly proves that the public mandate is missing.
So what does one attribute the slow start to? First things first! Iâ€™d give distinction marks to Viacom18 for promoting their films. Be it the low cost PYAAR
KA PUNCHNAMA or the expensive PLAYERS, the promotional campaign undertaken by Viacom18 has been consistent -- superb. One canâ€™t point a finger at the [lack
of] promotions for the tepid start. Thereâ€™re various theories floating around. Some attribute the thanda start off to the non-happening star cast.
Some raise a finger at the uninspiring musical score. And there are those who reason that the cold wave across the country has played spoilsport. I guess,
when a movie fails to take off or gets rejected subsequently, the blame game starts instantly. Thatâ€™s precisely whatâ€™s happening with PLAYERS right now.
Brings me to the second point that I raised in this article. The economics. Well, the star cast of the film doesnâ€™t justify the heavy price tag of approx. Rs
65 to Rs 70 cr, with P & A included. Iâ€™ve said this in the past and Iâ€™d like to repeat it yet again. Itâ€™s not the film, but the [wrong] pricing that fails.
Viacom18 has recovered a major chunk of their investment by selling off the India theatrical rights to Wave for Rs 35 cr [with prints]. For a film to yield a
share of Rs 35 cr from India [for the film to break-even], it ought to do a business of at least Rs 75 cr, which seems completely out of reach, as things
As for Viacom18, the corporate entity has recovered Rs 35 cr from India theatrical, Rs 17 cr from Satellite, Rs 3 cr from Music and Rs 2.5 cr from Digital +
Home Video, which takes the total recovery to Rs 57.5 cr. Viacom18 has to recover the balance amount of Rs 8 cr to Rs 12 cr from Overseas territory. And the
data [weekend figures in key international markets] only proves that PLAYERS is a non-performer outside of India too.
All that glitters is not gold!