There’s always a lull before the storm, they say. The box-office has also witnessed an excruciating phase. And this phase that started a few months ago, continued right till last week, with STOP! being the latest ‘casualty’.
What does one attribute the depressing phase to? The ratio of flops has escalated to an all-time high this year. There have been ‘casualties’ week after week. The losses are unaccountable.
The production scenario is in a mess. A majority of big-budget films are lying unsold for a number of circuits. Of late, the producers are being forced [do they have a choice?] to distribute their films themselves.
The distribution scenario is equally chaotic. None of the distributors I know of are ready to pay fancy prices anymore. “It’s better to shut your business than pay Rs. 2 crores for a major film,” a prominent Delhi-U.P. distributor tells me.
Despite the ratio of hits touching the ebb, Bollywood continues to attract fresh investors from across the globe. Any other industry wouldn’t be finding fresh investors had the market crashed. But, on an average, we continue to have 7-8 announcements/launchings every week. Some things defy logic and this is one of them!
With the film industry going through a rough patch, all eyes [and hopes, and prayers] are pinned on the four prominent Diwali releases – VEER-ZAARA, AITRAAZ, NAACH and the evergreen classic MUGHAL-E-AZAM.
Beginning this week, an exciting phase is about to unleash. And the phase will continue right till January 2005. Will the fortunes change for the better? Will the festival of lights spread brightness in our lives? Will the ratio of hits show an upward trend? Will the producers and distributors heave a sigh of relief?
The Diwali week has, most of the times, proved a turning point for the film industry. The box-office revenue shows a big jump during the festivals and this year, soon after Diwali, there’s Idd to brighten film business.
Let’s hope Diwali 2004 doesn’t disappoint. As a small part of this multi-crore industry, I wish and pray that Diwali and Idd spell the end of the dry phase in Bollywood. In the meantime, here’s wishing each one of you a joyous Diwali and a prosperous New Year!