With the advance booking for DEVDAS being terrific, the mood in the film trade is upbeat, especially among exhibitors who have not witnessed this kind of an advance for a long time now. At almost all the theatres in Mumbai city, there were serpentine queues outside theatres from as early as 5 in the morning. As per estimates, there were at least 800-1000 people waiting impatiently in order to get tickets of the film.
Looking at the craze for the film, almost all theatres have hiked their admission rates. One of the theatres in South Mumbai, for instance, has hiked its rates from Rs. 80 and Rs. 60 to Rs. 100 and Rs. 80 for the Executive and Special class, respectively. Other theatres are also making hay while the sun shines. At some places, the rates are over Rs. 150 per ticket.
Going by the opening, most of the film's exhibitors are expecting the film to dominate the box-office at least for the next few weeks.
THE TREND CONTINUES
Since the past few years, the film industry has been witnessing a strange trend. Strange in the sense that if a film fares well in Mumbai or South India, it may/may not find flavour in Madhya Pradesh or Bihar or Punjab or Rajasthan. Clearly, the number of universal hits is on a decline.
HUMRAAZ, for instance, was well hyped and promoted before its release. Its music had also caught on with the youth. The star cast and the overall fresh look added to the charm.
Everyone felt that the film would emerge a huge hit, giving the film industry another universal hit. Besides the fresh star cast, the plot of this enterprise was equally novel for the Indian audiences. But the film has met with a mixed response, if one were to go by the initial reactions.
What could it be attributed to? Is the Indian cinegoer too orthodox when it comes to the themes? Or is it getting too much, with one big film releasing every week and the spending capacity of the common man not permitting him to watch a film week after week?
Let's have a look at the mid-week box-office performance of HUMRAAZ in India. An IndiaFM exclusive.
The film opened to an excellent response in Mumbai city-suburbs and while the first three days' collections are good, a drop was noticed from the fourth day onwards… At key stations of Gujarat, the collections have been strong, but a drop was noticed from Monday… In maintaining very well in Pune and Sholapur (Maharashtra)… In Delhi city-suburbs, the response has been mixed. While a couple of cinemas have registered good collections, a noticeable drop was witnessed at a few theatres… The collections in Uttar Pradesh are very steady… The opening in Kolkata city-suburbs was good, but the film has registered a drop here… Opened to a heartening response in Nagpur, was steady on the second day, but dropped from the fourth day onwards. Yet, the collections are encouraging… In Indore, the collections at the main theatre are strong…. The film is weak in Jaipur. While the film did not garner a decent opening here, the collections continue to slide downwards… Opening in Hyderabad was strong and the film continues to score here.