A film like RAQEEB sounds like an interesting proposition. The film boasts of an appealing cast [none of them have worked with each other in the past], is produced by a seasoned player [Raj Kanwar], has some of the finest talents involved off-screen, is filmed extensively at a foreign locale [Thailand]… Yet, the film doesn’t lure the moviegoers on its opening day.
That’s one dilemma most medium-budget films face these days. It’s difficult to put a project together and much more difficult to sell it to buyers. If the project catches the eye of a corporate house that’s ready to pick up its global rights, it comes as a relief. If not, you wait anxiously for buyers from various territories to knock on your doors.
RAQEEB should’ve embarked on a decent initial [50% +] at most territories, but the opening was erratic. While the single screens of North India performed better, the opening at multiplexes was disheartening. RAQEEB is a fairly engrossing fare and it definitely deserved a better reception. But box-office can be most unpredictable!
What does one attribute the tepid start to? Some feel RAQEEB is a difficult title to comprehend. A few opine that the promotion was not optimum. A section of the industry is of the opinion that the makers should’ve publicized the film as a suspense thriller…
Whatever the reasons, RAQEEB didn’t show any major jump on subsequent days. Even though the word of mouth ranged from theek hai to time pass, the collections refused to show a jump. That’s what happens when a big-budget film is round the corner. All films within that radius get affected since the viewer has set his sights on that biggie. With SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA and CHEENI KUM arriving this Friday, a lot of films are bound to get eclipsed in the process.
EK CHALIS KI LAST LOCAL and BHEJA FRY belong to diverse genres, yet everyone expected EK CHALIS KI LAST LOCAL to go the BHEJA FRY way at the ticket window. Targeted at the multiplex junta, especially Mumbai multiplexes since the theme is Mumbai-centric, EK CHALIS KI LAST LOCAL had a steady ride at multiplexes of not just Mumbai, but also Delhi, Kolkata and Indore.
The business didn’t hit a high note like BHEJA FRY, but the fact that EK CHALIS KI LAST LOCAL showed a gradual rise with each passing day is no small achievement.
THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: May 19-21, 2006]
The three releases — ANKAHEE, AATMA and APARICHIT [Dubbed] — were greeted with near-empty halls. Not many were interested in watching Vikram Bhatt’s real-life prem kahani on celluloid, despite the fact that the film was constantly in news prior to its release… There was zero hype for Ramsay’s AATMA and its poor show at the ticket window didn’t raise eyebrows… The response to the much-hyped APARICHIT was dull from its first show itself.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: May 20-22, 2005]
Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt’s NAZAR and iDream’s NAINA, with similar titles and partially based on the same Cantonese-Thai language film JIAN GUI [THE EYE], hit the screens simultaneously. The all-India box-office collections? Not something that pleases the ‘eye’!
Both NAZAR and NAINA were aggressively publicized prior to their release. The Pakistan connection [Meera] in its cast, the ‘kiss’ controversy, talk of its Pakistani release… one read something about NAZAR every second day. The producers of NAINA, on the other hand, kept aside a sizeable amount to publicize the film. Besides full page ads in newspapers, the makers spent a packet by releasing its stylish promos on all television channels. But…
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: May 14-16, 2004]
The dismal opening day response of CHARAS and SHEEN said it all. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s CHARAS was a major disappointment. Similarly, Ashok Pandit had been associated with some super-successful shows on television and you expected his big screen directorial debut SHEEN to make a solid impact on the minds of the viewers as well as at the box-office. But the two films sank without a trace!