Post Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s PARINDA, there was a deluge of ‘underworld’ movies in Bollywood. With SATYA, this genre only got an impetus. A slew of movies based on similar themes followed. A majority of them traversed the same path. Frankly, the stories were the same. Only the actors kept changing.
This week’s new release RISK was a reflection, not an extension, of what we’ve been seeing all this while. Fifteen minutes through the film and you know where it’s headed, what’s in store for the protagonist and what its culmination is likely to be. RISK doesn’t take risks in terms of story and that, in my opinion, is its biggest undoing.
Despite qualitative promos and round-the-clock promotion on television, RISK opened to a tepid response at the ticket window. Indeed, that came as a surprise. Surprise, because the pre-release promotion was fantastic. Surprise, because there was a positive buzz for the film. Surprise, because veteran Vinod Khanna and Randeep Hooda made a volatile combination. Surprise, because it was as good as a solo release [the other release MR. HOT MR. KOOL was hardly an opposition]. Surprise, because it catered to the masses completely.
No matter how many aces you are likely to pull, if a film doesn’t have a powerful script to keep your attention arrested, its chances of survival at the ticket counters are bound to be remote. RISK suffered due to this reason. Also, RISK was not the first choice for moviegoers this weekend. GURU continues to lead the Bollywood brigade. Its second weekend performance, especially at multiplexes, continues to be energetic.
The business of RISK continued to be shaky during its opening weekend, but went completely downhill on weekdays. Frankly, its non-performance at the ticket window doesn’t come as a surprise or instills sadness in me. It was inevitable!
NEITHER HOT, NOR KOOL
STYLE and KYAA KOOL HAI HUM gave birth to ‘oh-so-kool’ movies in Bollywood. And this week’s MR. HOT MR. KOOL is neither hot [in terms of content], nor kool [in terms of business]. Released in a few circuits, this supposedly fun-n-frolic fare also went unnoticed at the box-office.
THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: January 20-22, 2006]
With no new release this week, there was talk that the collections of FAMILY and ZINDA would escalate or remain steady for another week [January 20-26]. While FAMILY has proved a monumental disaster, ZINDA has also proved to be a losing proposition for its distributors.
The collections of ZINDA were in the range of 15% to 30% in its second weekend, which is not what a heavily-priced film should garner. As for the second weekend of FAMILY, there's not much to add.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: January 21-23, 2005]
Subhash Ghai’s latest outing, KISNA, proved a damp squib. What went wrong? KISNA had nothing new to say. It came across as a frantic attempt to touch the hearts and souls of the Indian diaspora as well as catch international attention. Besides an incoherent script, which came to a screeching halt soon after it had a great start, the other area where the film faltered was is in its casting.
Vivek Oberoi worked well in films like COMPANY and also SAATHIYA because there was no conscious effort to play a super-hero. In KISNA, the role required him to portray a larger-than-life character and he did make an attempt to play one, but it misfired badly.
I’ve always felt that the media loves to hype certain stars even though the ground realities are different. And it had been proved yet again that Vivek cannot draw the audiences as a solo hero. Be it ROAD, SAATHIYA, DUM, KYUN! HO GAYA NA… and KISNA, every solo Vivek starrer has had a dull start at the ticket window. So expecting KISNA to open big or take-off on a historic note was really asking for too much.
The second release of the week, PAGE 3, a multiplex fare, was enjoying a good run at the multiplexes of metros.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: January 16-18, 2004]
There have been instances of films faring exceptionally well at multiplexes, but proving a damp squib at single screens. That’s what happened to EK HASINA THI. The media as well as those who spent their hard-earned money to buy the ticket of the film gave it glowing reviews, but its overall business continued to be on the lower side.
The opening of the film was poor at most places, although the collections at the multiplexes of Mumbai, Delhi and Pune in particular picked up steadily as days progressed. However, the single screens reported below-the-mark business.