In the late 1970s and 1980s, making multi-starrers had become a norm, with practically every film taking 2-3-4 years to complete and hit the screens. Reputed production houses had reconciled with the fact that multi-starrers take their own sweet time to make and release. Most films also took time because practically all A-listers [actors] were busy doing multiple shifts every single day. Also, each of them had 20-30-40 films in various stages of production at any given time.
But Aamir Khan changed the rules of the game. He started doing limited films, a decision that caught on with other actors much, much later. People scoffed at him initially, but Aamir stood by his conviction. With the passage of time, other actors followed suit and 'delayed projects' became a rarity.
Last week's MILENGE MILENGE took a really lonnnng time to hit the screens and despite starring two popular actors, the film didn't catch the fancy of the youth. Several weeks ago, the Shahid Kapoor starrer BADMAASH COMPANY fetched a heartening start at the ticket window, while the same actor's MILENGE MILENE opened to a dull start at most plexes, with a few single screens showing better results. This business is truly unpredictable!
Thanks to the media, it doesn't take much time to know the kundali of a film these days. The cinegoers knew all along that MILENGE MILENGE was a dated product. The sole factor that goes in its favour is its low costs. The actors were signed for peanuts [compared to what most actors charge these days] and the sale of its Satellite rights must've come as a breather for Boney Kapoor.
The second release, RED ALERT - THE WAR WITHIN, won tremendous critical acclaim, but mere critical acclaim is not enough. The box-office played truant with this well-made film, although the business did escalate over the weekend, albeit marginally. But is it enough to take the film to safety?
Makes me wonder sometimes, do realistic films have a market in India? A number of distributors feel that the paying public isn't interested in watching one, but how does one explain the success of A WEDNESDAY? Conversely, if comedies drive viewers to cineplexes, why do most comedies prove tragedies at the box-office? Think about it!