The crucial penultimate One Day International between India and Pakistan on Sunday, April 17 in New Delhi not only witnessed Pakistan giving India a tough time, but also smashed the Indian box-office to smithereens. The box-office revenue, which generally shows an upward trend on Saturdays and Sundays, came crashing down this Sunday.
If the film industry was ecstatic last week thanks to the flying start generated by LUCKY, it was back to square one this weekend. The week witnessed four significant releases -- MUMBAI XPRESS, KUCHH MEETHA HO JAYE, KHAMOSHH - KHAUFF KI RAAT and HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI -- and barring MUMBAI XPRESS [at certain metros], the opening weekend collections of the remaining three films must've punctured the morale of the industry for sure.
The week would've borne fruitful results had there been no fierce competition [four new releases in one week is professional harakiri!]. Having multiple releases in one week serves no purpose, it only adds to the tally of flops.
MUMBAI XPRESS fared better than the rest, but I strongly feel that the film wasn't promoted to the optimum prior to its release. Another two/three weeks of aggressive promotion would've only enhanced the prospects of the film.
Kamal Haasan was off-target in HEY! RAM and ABHAY, but the accomplished actor is in form this time around. Frankly, MUMBAI XPRESS is very similar to David Dhawan kind of movies, with focus on wit and humor. And it does entertain!
After a somber start at several places, the collections of this laughathon picked up from Day 2. Its business has shown a gradual increase with each passing day, with Mumbai circuit faring the best, as expected.
On the other hand, debutante Samar Khan's KUCHH MEETHA HO JAYE was aggressively promoted prior to its release. A section of the industry was optimistic that it would fetch a better start thanks to its qualitative promos and Arshad's popularity post MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S. and HULCHUL, but nothing of the sort happened.
A few years ago, Kunal Kohli faced a backlash when he made MUJHSE DOSTI KAROGE. While the television anchor turned director did get the technique right in his debut venture, he hadn't done his homework well as far as the writing was concerned. But Kohli bounced back with HUM TUM, his second release.
Samar is stuck in a similar situation right now. The journalist turned film-maker received brickbats for the scripting of KUCHH MEETHA HO JAYE, but one learns from mistakes. The fact cannot be denied that Samar did handle a few emotional moments with amazing maturity. And if Samar gets the script right the next time, he may well be amongst the brightest names in the film firmament.
That's the sheer beauty of this business; it's so unpredictable. The equations change every Friday...
The third release, KHAMOSHH - KHAUFF KI RAAT, went completely unnoticed. Shilpa Shetty's suggestive seductive posture on the billboards didn't ensure even a moderate start for this thriller. Call it a coincidence, Deepak Tijori's directorial debut OOPS! was released along side three other releases and his second venture, KHAMOSHH - KHAUFF KI RAAT, has again been released with three prominent oppositions.
Personally, I preferred OOPS! over KHAMOSHH - KHAUFF KI RAAT. Tijori had the guts to opt for a hitherto untouched subject in OOPS!. But he faltered this time around. KHAMOSHH - KHAUFF KI RAAT lacked soul!
HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI won rave reviews from the media. And the film deserves the laurels. But it's not the kind of film that would appeal to an average moviegoer. The film should fetch awards, but box-office rewards will elude this well-made flick.