The makers of NANHE JAISALMER and AGGAR may've thought, there're no major releases on September 14, let's lock the date and start booking movieplexes. But a rival film may not necessarily blow your film to smithereens, as has been proved yet again.
The date [September 14] coincided with the commencement of the holy month of Ramzan. Plus, a crucial India-Pakistan cricket match was to be played the same evening. Saturday, the next day, was Ganeshotsav. Not many would venture into theatres anyways. That's what I announced on my show a few days prior to the release of these two films.
The industry wasn't gung ho and weren't expecting magical numbers from both NANHE JAISALMER and AGGAR, so the near-empty halls that greeted the two films didn't really catch anyone by surprise.
NANHE JAISALMER had no buzz surrounding it. Plus, Bobby Deol's standing at the box-office is rock-bottom today and if you follow his careergraph, of the 16 releases in last 5 years, barring HUMRAAZ, to an extent BARSAAT and the recent APNE, he's had 13 flops. 16 releases, 13 flopsâ€¦ that says it all. Lack of star power was one of the major factors that went against this film.
Besides, NANHE JAISALMER is not a film you'd carry home or recommend to friends, since the writing [the penultimate reels especially] hit the wrong note and ruined things. So, expecting the film to gather momentum with a strong word of mouth was also ruled out.
On the other hand, AGGAR is a reasonably well-made product [Ananth Mahadevan's best, in my opinion], but it came at the wrong time. The Bajajs [its producers] should know by now [they've been distributing/producing films for almost three decades] that Ramzan + cricket match + Ganeshotsav are mighty oppositions. But the harm is done!
The disastrous results of NANHE JAISALMER and AGGAR only teach us to be more careful in the future, to plan our releases looking at all sides. Hope we learn from others' mistakes!
THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: September 15-17, 2006]
The four medium-budget films [SHIVA, PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS, BAS EK PAL and KACHCHI SADAK] that opened on Friday faced dual oppositions -- the ongoing cricket matches and of course, from each other. The business was clearly divided. SHIVA had an edge at single screens at some centres, but the reports were outright negative.
PYAAR KE SIDE/EFFECTS had a decent start at multiplexes and it gathered momentum with each passing show. The execution of the subject and the chemistry between its lead pair [Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat] was lapped up by moviegoers. As for BAS EK PAL, it cut a sorry picture everywhere. Even the popular track 'Tere Bin' couldn't save this venture from sinking.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: September 16-18, 2005]
The Friday gone by witnessed the release of four prominent films, all directed by first-timers: CHOCOLATE [Vivek Agnihotri], JAMES [Rohit Jugraj], KAL - YESTERDAY & TOMORROW [Ruchi Narain] and SAU JHOOTH EK SACH - THE UNINVITED [Bappaditya Roy]. But one more commonality surfaced on their opening day: All proved non-starters at the box-office.
Not much was expected from KAL - YESTERDAY & TOMORROW and SAU JHOOTH EK SACH - THE UNINVITED anyways, so their poor show at the turnstiles didn't really come as a surprise. But the non-performance of CHOCOLATE and JAMES did come as a jolt. Both CHOCOLATE and JAMES were supported by a strong publicity campaign, but the near-empty halls that greeted the two films came as a complete shocker.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: September 17-19, 2004]
After PHIR MILENGE, RAKHT, HUM KAUN HAI? and DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA [all opened to an alarmingly low response], EK SE BADHKAR EK followed a similar pattern throughout the country. Its opening ranged between 10% and 20% at certain cinema halls across the nation. Despite being sold at throwaway prices, this comedy proved to be a tragedy for its distributors!