Despair, depression and an utter state of hopelessness – these three words best describe the mood of the film industry this Diwali. The most affected lot are the exhibitors (more than the producers or distributors), who have been desperately craving for a hit since the past few months.
According to Nester D'Souza of Metro theatre, Mumbai, “The business has hit an all-time low and the situation is so bad that exhibitors don't even have the liquidity to book films for their theatres.” Another prominent exhibitor, Manoj Desai, voices similar thoughts: “The coming few weeks will be worse for the exhibition sector.”
DISTRIBUTION: LEAST EXCITING
Prominent Mumbai distributor Rakesh Sippy feels that the continued poor business in the last six months has led to a wave of apprehension in the trade. “It is difficult to figure out where things are going wrong. The audience is not excited about anything. Film-makers will have to get down to some serious introspection about the increasing level of disinterest in films,” he says.
MUSIC INDUSTRY: LIMPING BACK TO NORMALCY
The music industry is not going through a promising phase either, but Bhushan Kumar of T-Series feels that music companies have at least succeeded in bringing the situation under control by checking the music prices of films. “The real reason why the music industry went into a depression was the unrealistic prices offered by music companies to evade competition with each other. Thankfully, music companies realized their folly before it was too late and cut down on the prices,” Bhushan states.
He quickly adds that there are many other problems that music companies need to attend instantly, lest these problems start growing out of proportion. “The biggest problem is that of music piracy, which has affected 50 per cent of the music sales. No doubt, there have been anti-piracy measures, but piracy needs to be tackled on a war footing if we have to counter it. The onset of FM channels has reduced sales to a great extent,” he says.
PRODUCTION SECTOR: RAY OF HOPE
If there is anyone who has no qualms about painting a positive picture of the industry, it is the ever-enthusiastic Vashu Bhagnani, whose JEENA SIRF MERRE LIYE opens this week. “I am aware that the industry is going through a rough patch, but it's not the end of the road. There's always a solution to every problem. If the production sector gets united, there is no challenge that we can't overcome,” he says.
'DEEWANGEE': MIXED REACTIONS
The much-awaited DEEWANGEE opened last week to a mixed response. People within and outside the industry were expecting miracles, expecting it to take the industry to the path of normalcy. But success continues to elude the industry. Let's have a look at how the film is faring in the domestic market. A mid-week business report – exclusively on IndiaFM.
The film had an ordinary to decent start in Mumbai city-suburbs. Saturday (Day 2) was steady, while Sunday (Day 3) showed a jump in the collections. But the collections registered a fall on Monday… The collections in Ahmedabad (Gujarat) are not strong… Pune (Maharashtra) started on a good note and while the opening weekend has been satisfactory, the collections dropped from Monday onwards… The opening in Delhi city-suburbs was so-so, although it opened to a better response in Uttar Pradesh… Kolkata city-suburbs is average… The reactions in Nagpur are on the lower side… Indore reports are ordinary… The opening in Jaipur was good and the collections were steady till Sunday, but Monday was a different story… Is faring well in Hyderabad city-suburbs.