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Domestic B.O.: Two more wickets down!

By Bollywood Hungama

The film industry has been a witness to the highs and lows week after week and I feel most of us have become thick-skinned over a passage of time. Sure, a gigantic opening does bring a grin on our faces, but the low turnout at cineplexes doesn’t send a chill down our spine anymore. I genuinely feel, we can absorb any number of shocks and yet maintain a cool façade.

That explains why we have taken the extremely poor opening of MARIGOLD, Salman Khan’s first international project, in our stride. Coming close on the heels of PARTNER, Salman’s new outing should’ve embarked on a decent opening at multiplexes of major centres at least. But the buzz was clearly missing.

A section of the industry blames the unattractive promos of MARIGOLD for the weak opening. In fact, a leading North India distributor made a valid statement as we discussed the low numbers of MARIGOLD. “Look at the energy the characters in PARTNER exuded. Now compare it with MARIGOLD. It was listless,” he remarked. I endorse this viewpoint.

At a time when viewers make their minds whether to watch a film or skip it on the basis of its promos, the people behind MARIGOLD should’ve ensured that the quality of promos are in sync with the stature of the film. MARIGOLD didn’t look like it was an international project.

I’d like to add that there wasn’t any hope after the public verdict was out. The business shows a gradual rise if the audience feedback is strong, but MARIGOLD was found lacking in that department as well. The film failed on both the levels -- on paper [the story was hackneyed] and on celluloid [it was far from gripping].

Sad, a golden opportunity is lost!



COMEDY TURNS INTO TRAGEDY

Three decades ago, Dada Kondke regaled millions of viewers with films that had adult jokes and double entendres in generous doses. In the recent past, there was KYAA KOOL HAI HUM and MASTI, two comic flicks that had their share of ‘non-veg’ jokes. But the audiences found Rahul Rawail’s BUDDHA MAR GAYA too obscene and stayed away.

Sure, we were aware that BUDDHA MAR GAYA wouldn’t work in multiplexes, but single screens. But the opening numbers were poor everywhere. In fact, the film refused to take off and was no better on Saturday or Sunday. Sorry, this comedy has proved a tragedy for its distributors!



THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: August 18-20, 2006]

Post KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, it was lull after the storm. The two new releases, AHISTA AHISTA and KATPUTTLI, found few takers in their opening week. There was no hype whatsoever for AHISTA AHISTA and the reactions to the film were pretty evident at its premiere screening on Thursday night, a day before its worldwide release. A film like AHISTA AHISTA is targeted at multiplexes, but why would an average cinegoer shell out Rs. 150 or Rs. 175 for a film that is neither rich in content or gloss?

As for the second release, KATPUTTLI, its fate was crystal clear even before its first show commenced. The pre-release promotion was poor, the hype was missing… In fact, people weren’t even aware that a film called KATPUTTLI had been made and released. Naturally, the film opened on a pathetic note [5%-10%]. This one’s a supreme disaster!



THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: August 19-21, 2005]

If it was a 4-day weekend [August 12-15] last week, the Raksha Bandhan holiday on August 19 and Parsi New Year on August 20 ensured that the crowds thronged movieplexes this weekend. And that benefited the new release, BARSAAT, considerably.

Suneel Darshan’s latest offering BARSAAT fetched a good start at several places, mainly North India. The film industry was caught unawares, especially since several Bobby Deol starrers [KRANTI, 23RD MARCH 1931 SHAHEED, CHOR MACHAYE SHOR, KISMAT, BARDAASHT, JURM] ran out of luck on Day 1 itself. The film did better in U.P., Bihar and Rajasthan mainly.

The second release, RGV and Anil Kapoor’s joint venture MY WIFE’S MURDER, fetched excellent reviews. Even cinegoers who ventured into movieplexes couldn’t help praising the film. Unfortunately, the collections were below par everywhere.



THIS WEEK IN 2004

[Weekend: August 13-15, 2004]

A few days before KYUN! HO GAYA NA was supposed to hit the screens, stories such as ‘KYUN! HO GAYA NA has had a far better advance booking than MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI’ and ‘This love story has wowed the British press’ were being spoon-fed to the media. A few mediapersons bought the story, a few didn’t!

But Friday the 13th had a different story to tell. KYUN! HO GAYA NA opened to a decent response [the opening wasn’t fantabulous, as was made out!] at some multiplexes, but its opening at several theatres across the country was shockingly dull and uninspiring -- exactly like the film made by debutante director Samir Karnik.

As many as four/five writers have been credited with the screenplay of this love story. But after you’ve watched the movie, you really want to meet the writers and ask them, what exactly did they contribute to the film? Was it the case of too many cooks spoiling the broth? Or, perhaps, the writers took not just the actors, but even the audiences for a ride.

The other flaw is the lack of chemistry between Vivek and Ash. You’d expect two good looking, much-in-love actors share a better on-screen chemistry, but the sparks refused to fly, the passion was missing, the romantic portions lacked zing and the well-publicized ‘smooch’ was so concise that had you blinked an eyelid, you’d have possibly missed the ‘smooch of the year’.

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