It was touted as the most shocking thriller of the year. And it did shockâ€¦ not the viewers as much as its distributors.
How does one explain the thanda start of NAQAAB? On face-value, thereâ€™s the popular jodi of HUMRAAZ [Bobby, Akshaye] sharing screen space again. Also, itâ€™s helmed by the badshaahs of thrillers [Abbas-Mustan]. The producers [Kumar and Ramesh Taurani] left no stone unturned to promote the film. The enterprising producers ensured that the film was â€˜visibleâ€™ prior to its release. Add to it an open week, with no Hindi biggie slated in the same week.
Yet, NAQAAB didnâ€™t set the cash registers jingling. Had it opened to an 80% – 90% start and declined subsequently, it wouldâ€™ve brought some consolation at least. But a 30% opening came as a jolt. The jolt was bigger than the one depicted on screen, when Bobby spills the beans.
What went wrong? Really difficult to pinpoint. Canâ€™t place a finger on one aspect. Perhaps, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX [it embarked on a 90% start] proved a mighty opposition. Perhaps, the promos of NAQAAB were exciting, but not too exciting to lure the audiences in hordes. The word of mouth ranged from positive to theek hain; no one said it was bakwas. Phir kya hua?
As is the case with most films, the business of NAQAAB did escalate on Saturday and Sunday, but it wasnâ€™t optimum. Monday onwards, the outcome was crystal clear. Nevertheless, letâ€™s not get jittery. Thereâ€™s PARTNER this Friday and CASH, the following Friday. Letâ€™s hope the dry spell ends!
The superb start of HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX reiterates the fact that Hollywood is here to stay. At one point, Hollywood films found it tough to face the onslaught from Bollywood films. Today, Hollywood films are posing a real threat. So the next time a producer plans on his release date, he must ensure that thereâ€™s no biggie [Hindi and Hollywood] around. Warna zor ka jhatka lagega!
THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: July 14-16, 2006]
With the volume of business scaling dizzy heights since May-end [FANAA, PHIR HERA PHERI, KRRISH], the industry experts were optimistic that GOLMAAL – FUN UNLIMITED would also fetch a record start at the turnstiles. But the average to dull opening of the film came as a complete shocker.
The multi-starrer opened to an average/below average response [30%-65%] almost everywhere, although the evening shows were better. The consolation was that the audience feedback was supremely positive and almost all critics who matter were unanimous that the comic caper had the ingredients to make a place in the viewerâ€™s hearts.
What couldâ€™ve led to a slow start for the film? The bomb blasts in Mumbai that sent shock waves throughout the country? Or bad luck? However, things improved on Saturday since the word of mouth was very positive. Sunday, of course, was the best. Not just Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata, even Surat, Indore and Hyderabad showed an upward trend on Day 3. Overall, GOLMAAL – FUN UNLIMITED proved to be a safe bet in the final tally.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: July 15-17, 2005]
A few days before MAINE PYAAR KYUN KIYA hit the screens, the conversations between Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai were made public by newspapers/tabloids/television channels. There were oppositions/obstacles when the movie released, but that didnâ€™t deter moviegoer from thronging the cinema halls screening this comic caper.
Talking from the box-office point of view, MAINE PYAAR KYUN KIYA had an excellent start all over, reaffirming Salmanâ€™s star power at the box-office. The first weekend was strong everywhere [90% +] and the collections on Monday were rock-steady [75% +] at most places.
But Tuesday onwards, the business went downhill. At places, the drop in its business was marginal, at places drastic. Nevertheless, thanks to the excellent first four days, the first week numbers/shares were impressive. The business was also affected at places due to the cancellation of shows and partly due to the damage caused by the media.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: July 9-11, 2004]
He may not be working with the Chopras, Johars and Akhtars. He may not be as market savvy as some of his contemporaries. But that hasnâ€™t stopped Salman Khan starrers from fetching a grand opening. If TERE NAAM opened to a fantabulous response last year, GARV, his latest release, opened to a cent percent response at a majority of centres. So, what is it about Salman that has resulted in his films opening to a great response?
If SRK enjoys tremendous following amongst the classes/gentry/multiplex crowd and Hrithik is popular with kids, Salmanâ€™s strength clearly lies with the hardcore masses that constitute a sizeable chunk of the audience.
Talking of GARV, the terrific start of the film came as a surprise to many within the industry. The film has been directed by a first-timer, it was based on a theme that has been beaten to death [AB TAK 56, KHAKEE, BARDAASHT, POLICE FORCE, AAN, DEV], the release period wasnâ€™t really the best one [schools and colleges were preparing for their first tests]â€¦
After a flying start, the collections of GARV started sliding downwards. But the drop wasnâ€™t alarming. The film eventually fared well at single screens, but wasnâ€™t too strong at multiplexes.