The film industry is going through its worst phase. At the rate at which films are failing at the turnstiles, one keeps wondering as to how the producers would plan their forthcoming ventures in view of the fact that the current scenario is absolutely grim, with black clouds hovering around the film industry. It’s only getting tougher by the hour.
Not too long ago, a big star cast film even with a routine subject would at least fetch a first-rate opening. Not anymore! Gone are the days when a film would open to a 100% response. Today, you can actually count the number of films that actually opened to a cent percent occupancy in the last two years. The current scenario is appalling.
So what ails the film industry? Two major factors, in my opinion –
One, the content of most films is substandard.
Two, the spending capacity of the common man has gone down drastically in the recent times.
Of course, there are other factors as well, like the VCD menace, non-stop entertainment on television, exorbitant ticket rates, tense atmosphere in some parts of the country…
I was talking to a leading producer this morning and as the conversation progressed, I realised that most producers have come to terms with the fact that the presence of stars in a movie cannot translate into a terrific opening for their films.
So what kind of films do you make?
* If medium-budget films are the order of the day, look what happened to GUNAAH and SUR.
* If big-budget films are the need of the hour, then the fate of SHAKTI-THE POWER, CHOR MACHAAYE SHOR, AGNI VARSHA and JAANI DUSHMAN should be an eye-opener.
* If films with new star cast is all that matters then glance at the number of films that are lying unsold in the market. Waiting to be picked up by the distributors.
* Nor are English films doing that well in India. In Pune last week, a Hollywood flick collected 1.11% in 7 noon shows in one week. Just imagine!
What we need today is fresher ideas, to be made within commercial parameters, and the fortitude to experiment with innovative thoughts. Look at Hollywood. Our producers and writers are speedy when it comes to lifting ideas from Hollywood films, but let’s also borrow the courage of making genuinely ‘hatke’ films from the west.
A case in study is MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, not made on a grand budget and starring not-too-known faces, which is doing phenomenally well in the U.S. (approx. $ 138,062,000, as on October 1) and U.K. (3,984,950 Pounds – 2 weeks – as on September 29). The film had a limited release in the U.S. and since the past couple of weeks is amongst the Top 5 films in the U.S. Very much like our HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN, which was released in limited theatres initially, with the cinema halls increasing each week.
It’s about time our makers smelt coffee!
MIDWEEK B.O. PERFORMANCE OF ‘ROAD’ – AN INDIAFM EXCLUSIVE
Despite decent reviews from national and international press, ROAD hasn’t done as well as was expected. Of course, the cricket matches (telecast live on TV) also threw a spanner in the business of ALL films, including ROAD. A quick look at how the film is faring.
The film started pretty well in Mumbai city-suburbs, dropped slightly on Saturday, dropped again on Sunday, but picked up on Tuesday (holiday). Is faring well at select cinema halls of the city… Is doing well at select halls of ‘A’ class centres of Gujarat, but as it moves in the interiors, the collections aren’t strong… Started on a decent note in Pune, dropped on Saturday and Sunday. Average… The opening at a few cinema halls in Delhi city-suburbs was good, but dropped on subsequent days. Certain centres of Uttar Pradesh opened to a good response… Kolkata city-suburbs opened to an ordinary response. City theatres are strong, but not too strong in the suburbs… Nagpur had a good-average start, dropped slightly on Saturday, more on Sunday, was steady on Monday… Indore is not too strong… Is faring better than expected in Rajasthan. Jaipur and Jodhpur are alright.