It happens with the best in the business. Giants like Ramesh Sippy, Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra faced challenges in their illustrious careers. When you come up with a spectacular hit, the expectations from your immediate film multiply ten-fold. One competes with oneself with every film. You set a benchmark yourself.
That's one major obstacle Anurag Basu faces. First MURDER. Then GANGSTER. METRO had to go beyond those films. Or be at par at least. As a film, it doesn't rise to that level. As a business proposition, it didn't measure up to that level either.
Let's talk business…
No one expected METRO to start with a bang. Even UTV, the producers and global distributors of this film, knew all along that the film would gather steam with word of mouth. The business did show a rise on Friday itself, but at multiplexes of Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and South. The response to the film at mass-dominated centres was not up to the mark.
Business on Saturday and Sunday was upbeat at the same centres, but it didn't pick up at centres where it started slow. Let's get one thing straight: While MURDER and GANGSTER had tremendous mass appeal, METRO caters to the elite more than the aam junta. As things stand today, big city multiplexes are good, while certain circuits are not of standard.
Meanwhile, UTV is increasing approx. 40 prints in the second week. They’re optimistic that the film would emerge a success story in days to come, holding well at the multiplexes everywhere.
The feedback was more than evident at the premiere screening of GOOD BOY BAD BOY at Cinemax Versova on Thursday night. Frankly, this comedy is an absolute tragedy. Instead of walking out of the auditorium with a smile, you actually have a frown on your face. Really, what was the writer thinking when he penned this apology of a script? Also, how did Subhash-ji [Ghai] and Ashwini [Choudhary; the director] okay it in the first place? And what did the actors see in this script?
GOOD BOY BAD BOY started on a positive note [40%] at single screens in mass-dominated areas, but the film stands on a weak foundation [script]. Resultantly, the business only went downhill from Saturday onwards.
THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: May 12-14, 2006]
The Friday witnessed the release of two films, TATHASTU [directed by Anubhav Sinha] and TOM DICK AND HARRY [directed by Deepak Tijori]. The two directors clashed yet again [Sinha's DUS and Tijori's FAREB had also come face to face], but the results this time were a complete contrast. This time around, it was the popular Himesh Reshammiya track 'Jhoom Jhoom' that resulted in TOM DICK AND HARRY stealing the march over its opponent TATHASTU.
TATHASTU had a disastrous start everywhere. In fact, the shockingly low start [some shows were as low as 3%-6%] sent shock waves throughout the film industry. The fate of the film was evident on its opening day itself.
TOM DICK AND HARRY took a favorable start [60% +] at places and maintained the momentum in its opening weekend. The popular track, 'Jhoom Jhoom', coupled with the fantastic pre-release promotion, resulted in this mini multi-starrer attracting footfalls at movieplexes. But the family audience that ventured to watch the film were completely taken aback by the double entendres and lewd jokes. However, the advantage with TOM DICK AND HARRY was its reasonable pricing.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: May 13-15, 2005]
Prior to its theatrical release, JO BOLE SO NIHAAL was one of the hottest films in the marquee. The stylish promos of the film, coupled with the fact that the Rahul Rawail-Sunny Deol combo seemed rejuvenated to strike back with a vengeance, led to the distributors acquiring its rights for fantastic prices. In fact, after a long, long time did one witness the distribution fraternity getting gung-ho about a film.
But the opening of the latest Sunny Deol starrer at several centres rang alarm bells across the film trade. Ideally, a film of this magnitude should've started with a bang, with a 90% + opening [like LUCKY, WAQT, KAAL], but its opening ranged from 70% +, to a dismal 25%-35% at some places.
Clearly, something went wrong somewhere. Or, perhaps, the viewers had satiated themselves with the three biggies [LUCKY, WAQT, KAAL] in three consecutive weeks and felt like taking a break for a week or two.