A film starring six top-of-the-line stars [YUVA] doesn’t take a good start at several centres.
On the other hand, a Saif Ali Khan – Rani Mukerji starrer [HUM TUM] opens to a fabulous response at all metros, with the weekend shows being full in advance. This, when the film trade is firm that Saif alone is no box-office draw.
How does one explain this? I would say, big ideas work, not necessarily big films!
HUM TUM wasn’t hot within the film industry. In fact, all and sundry were busy speculating the business potential of YUVA and the three Big B starrers that are scheduled for release in June.
HUM TUM was never a keenly anticipated film. Its music wasn’t a chartbuster or a sellout. Nor was director Kunal Kohli’s name taken in the same breath as the Johars, Hiranis, Chopras and Advanis.
But what really worked was the feel-good factor [so evident in its promos], besides well-made promos and an aggressive promotion. That did the trick!
While writing this piece, the b.o. collections of HUM TUM in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Delhi, Kolkata, parts of U.P. and South have been fantastic, although its business at a few pockets isn’t that strong. But let’s not forget that this desi adaptation of WHEN HARRY MET SALLY isn’t a 40 crore film, but a medium-budget fare!
HOLLYWOOD FILMS INVADE INDIA
Times are changing… Or should I say, the times have changed? That would sound more appropriate for Hollywood films that are being released simultaneously in India these days.
Almost a decade ago, an English film would be released after 7/8 months of its premiere release in the U.S. The number of prints would also be limited, with the distributors releasing it in one theatre each in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
Compare it with the current scenario. Both THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN have been released simultaneously in the Indian market. The number of prints has also increased, with each film being released with approx. 200 + prints in India [incl. the dubbed versions], like a normal Hindi film.
Hollywood films have slowly made inroads in India and it wouldn’t be wrong to state that these films have cut into a substantial share of Hindi films. Today, the weekend collections of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW are at par or may be slightly lower than HUM TUM at the multiplexes of metros.
The Indian cinegoer is as sharp as the cinegoer in the U.S. Content is the name of the game. That explains why Hollywood is no longer the second preference of a cinegoer at metros of India.