What a week! Three films -- if I include the Hollywood TRANSFORMERS -- and each of them were being eyed with keen enthusiasm. In fact, this was one of those rare weeks when moviegoers had made up their mind to watch two or [all] three films during the course of the weekend/week. This happens rarelyâ€¦ when the excitement to watch a film is evident days before its theatrical release.
DELHI BELLY was expected to emerge a winner, with the audience voting from their wallet generously. The super-strong brand [Aamir Khan] + rocking soundtrack of this movie had assured the distributors that a terrific start was on the cards. In fact, after last week's DOUBLE DHAMAAL opened to a rousing reception, everyone was hoping that the three films would make the industry cash-rich in the opening weekend, making it one of the biggest weekends of the year thus far.
Of course, DELHI BELLY packed a solid punch and so did TRANSFORMERS, but BBUDDHA HOGA TERRA BAAP took time to stand up to the opposition posed by these two films. The one question that's being asked in the industry circles is, had BBUDDHA HOGA TERRA BAAP arrived a week later, with MURDER 2, would things be different [better]? As things stand today, the film has been relegated to the third spot since the youth has given their mandate to DELHI BELLY and TRANSFORMERS.
Who would've ever thought that DELHI BELLY, which isn't a hardcore masala film, would've reaped a big initial, at par with say a film starring an 'A' list star? Everyone felt that like Aamir's last two ventures as producer, PEEPLI [LIVE] and DHOBI GHAT, DELHI BELLY was targeted at a tiny section of audience. If one were to go by this logic, how does one explain the fantastic performance of this film at the ticket counters? A film that caters to a miniscule audience doesn't fetch such numbers, for sure. As a matter of fact, at the rate DELHI BELLY is faring, it may touch the lifetime business of I HATE LUV STORYS by the end of Week 1 itself.
That only goes to prove how powerful a brand Aamir Khan is today. The name is synonymous with qualitative cinema and irrespective of how the audience reacts to his film, he ensures 'House Full' boards in the opening weekend, a feat no studio/film-maker can guarantee today. Underestimating a brand like Aamir Khan in today's times is, well, unwise.
BBUDDHA HOGA TERRA BAAP, in my opinion, would've benefitted tremendously had it arrived later. Averting the clash with not just DELHI BELLY but also TRANSFORMERS has proved costly for this film, which is rich in merits, but has been affected due to the competitors. At several centres in India, BBUDDHA HOGA TERRA BAAP was the second choice of exhibitors. Internationally too, if you notice the numbers, DELHI BELLY has stolen the march in every country, be it U.K., U.S.A., Australia or U.A.E [read details in our Overseas Boxoffice column].
TRANSFORMERS, which had a really wide release across the globe, made a dent in the business of all films, English or non-English [DELHI BELLY and BBUDDHA HOGA TERRA BAAP were affected as well]. Which only goes to prove that the next time Bollywood producers decide on a release date, please, please, please, please ensure that you aren't locking horns with a Hollywood biggie in India and also internationally. It's better to be safe than sorry!