The constant flow of films makes you wonder whether the days of "mouth publicity" [word of mouth] are over. After all, with multiple films hitting the screens every single week [Hindi, English, South Indian films], not many Hindi films, in the past few years, have shown a major turnaround in business. But the marvelous response to one of the best films of our times, PAAN SINGH TOMAR, reinforces the fact that you can't stop a genuinely good film from scaling dizzy heights at the BO.
PAAN SINGH TOMAR was released without any fanfare, with no major campaign heralding its 'arrival' at cineplexes. As a matter of fact, it was a much delayed release [the film was ready since quite some time]. Also, unlike the recent trend of releasing medium range films in 500 or 700 screens, this one had a much, much smaller release, in terms of screen count and the number of shows at the cineplexes. Worse, the first choice of most multiplexes was *not* PAAN SINGH TOMAR, but the well-publicized LONDON PARIS NEW YORK. But PAAN SINGH TOMAR seems to have edged out its competitors by a margin.
Post THE DIRTY PICTURE, which was based on the life and times of Silk Smitha, PAAN SINGH TOMAR is the next biopic that has clicked with the audiences in a big way. Like I pointed out earlier, during the release of THE DIRTY PICTURE, a section of the industry was under this fallacy that biopics are an absolute no-no with the Hindustani junta. But THE DIRTY PICTURE and now PAAN SINGH TOMAR have shattered this myth, besides so many other myths that lay shattered in the past few weeks.
Despite a tiny release, PAAN SINGH TOMAR rose like a phoenix, to capture the market share this weekend. The jump in its business was an eye-opener. It gathered steam from Friday onwards, had an unbelievable 70% + jump on Saturday, while Sunday witnessed another biggg leap. The positive word of mouth had spread faster than wild fire and a lot of tweets on my Twitter timeline opined that the film should be sent to the Oscars. That's the kind of amazing feedback this film is generating!
The PAAN SINGH TOMAR fever is not likely to subside so soon. This film is here to stay!
LONDON PARIS NEW YORK got sandwiched between PAAN SINGH TOMAR and last week's TERE NAAL LOVE HO GAYA, which continued to attract ample footfalls outside Mumbai, despite a reduction in screen space owing to so many new releases last weekend. Expectedly, LONDON PARIS NEW YORK has worked with its target audience -- the youth at urban centres -- which explains the escalation in business at hi-end multiplexes. But, like I pointed out earlier, the PAAN SINGH TOMAR wave seems to have spoiled the party for LONDON PARIS NEW YORK.
What goes in its [LONDON PARIS NEW YORK] favor is its economics. The total cost, including the cost of production [Rs 7.5 cr] + P&A expenses [Rs 5.8 cr], works out to around Rs 13.5 cr. A substantial amount of the film has already been recovered from non-theatrical avenues [Satellite, Music Rights], while the balance amount has to be recovered from India and Overseas theatrical, international TV rights and Home Video. And that shouldn't be a problem, though, I wish to add, the producers and also its enterprising distributors were surely expecting a much better performance.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?, the third release, has fared badly at the ticket window. The business was dismal everywhere.