Week 1 of the two Diwali releases, DON and JAAN-E-MANN, has ended and I'd like to share a few observations with the readers…
The Week 1 figures are a clear indicator that the thriller genre [DON] has scored over romance [JAAN-E-MANN]. With a bountiful Week 1, the distributors of DON are in the comfort zone. But will it go higher or lower is too early to predict, since it all depends on its performance in Week 2. The collections of the film fell on Thursday [at places, the drop was drastic], the last day of Week 1. A section of the industry attributes it to the cricket match, while a majority of traders attribute the decline in collections to its content. Let's see what's in store in Week 2.
As for JAAN-E-MANN, it's standing on a shaky stool right now. Spoke at length to one of the main distributors of JAAN-E-MANN [name withheld], who admitted that the film hasn't performed to their expectations. He sounded low. Will its business pick up in Week 2? The owner of a leading multiplex chain in Mumbai is keeping his fingers crossed. A few people have written off the film. A few are optimistic. Let's see where the tide turns!
This is a general feedback of several traders this Diwali and Idd. The business has not been optimum this festive season. During the festive season, the size of the wallet grows fatter and the spending capacity increases multi-fold. People are in a mood to celebrate, go out with their families and friends and indulge in revelry. But film business this year was far from stupendous!
I maintain, DON is a weak film and sometimes weak films weave magic at the box-office [repeating the last line from my review]. But the magic of DON should be attributed to the Diwali and Idd festivities of course, and also to SRK's passionate drive to promote the film. He went all out to promote his film. Why, even today, SRK is giving his best to DON, making it a point to attend Hungama head honcho Neeraj Roy's 'DON Games' launch at a suburban hotel. Wish other actors in the industry were as passionate about promotion.
P.S.: This sentiment is also echoed by one of the prominent distributors of JAAN-E-MANN, besides a number of producers I spoke to during the course of the week.
Till a few days ago, the Khan versus Khan clash kept the media busy. Now, Hrithik Roshan and his Rs. 35 crore deal for three films has hit headlines. Every television or print journo I meet these days is only discussing Adlabs' strategy of giving Hrithik a lucrative deal. So, what's new about it?
Star fees have always constituted approx. 55% to 65% of a film's budget. The arithmetic of film-making has undergone a sea-change and what was charged in lacs in the 1970s and 1980s has changed to crores today. Also, the volume of business has shown a meteoric rise since HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN and 2006 has been a landmark year, with films crossing magical figures in the initial weeks itself.
As for the Adlabs-Hrithik deal, why this hullabaloo? If Hrithik has quoted an 'x' amount, isn't Adlabs willing to pay it? And Adlabs is no fly by night operator. Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs, one of the most respected names in film business, has been an integral part of the industry for over three decades. Adlabs must've surely done their homework before agreeing to this figure. They must be supremely confident of recovering their investment, otherwise why would they pay an 'x' amount?
No one does charity here, after all!
Himeshbhai, what's going on? Himesh Reshammiya is planning to make a big announcement on Saturday afternoon [U.K. time] at a press meet in London. Is he turning to acting? Is he turning to film production [he has produced several successful serials in the past]? Why this suspense? We'll find out when he announces his ambitious plans in London. Watch this space!
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: October 21-23, 2005]
This Friday witnessed the release of HANUMAN [animation] and U, BOMSI N ME. While HANUMAN was aggressively promoted prior to its release, U, BOMSI N ME came literally unannounced. The pre-release promotion was as good as zilch and most moviegoers weren't even aware that the film had released. Hence, its fate was crystal clear on Day 1 itself.
HANUMAN, on the other hand, had a 35% + start at several screens. The opening was better than most recent releases and the collections stabilized with the commencement of Diwali vacations. HANUMAN had been appreciated by kids and the appreciation only translated into stronger collections subsequently.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: October 22-24, 2004]
Low on hype and much lower on substance, KIS KIS KI KISMAT came without a bang and left without a whimper. The verdict was loud and clear on Day 1 itself: KIS KIS KI KISMAT had flopped big time. The dismal opening of KIS KIS KI KISMAT came as a jolt to many an industry person who expected the film to take a flying start, also because of the festive season [Dashehra] and the subsequent holidays.
The week also witnessed the release of RGV's VAASTU SHASTRA. But the Sushmita Sen starrer also opened to an ordinary response almost all over [the opening should've been in the range of 90% +, due to aggressive promotion and the holiday period] and did reasonably well on Saturday and Sunday. Monday onwards, VAASTU SHASTRA showed a decline in b.o. collections, even at metros.