After two successes in rapid succession, GARV [semi-hit] and MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI [hit], Salman Khan has now delivered two box-office duds one after the other - PHIR MILENGE and DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA. That equals the score!
The uninterrupted run of a great show at the box-office [TERE NAAM, BAGHBAN, GARV, MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI] has unfortunately been cut short.
While PHIR MILENGE was expected to have a slow start at the turnstiles, one didn't expect DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA to open to dull houses. While talking to the personnel of a plush multiplex last week, I was disturbed to learn that the advance booking sales for the latest Salman starrer had been the lowest since the past three months, when compared to all movies released at the multiplex. Generally, ticket sales for Saturday and Sunday night shows are sold out in advance at most multiplexes. But there was no buzz for this film. Now that did come as a complete shocker!
What does one attribute the lethargic and lackluster start to?
- There has been an overdose of Salman starrers in the recent past [four releases in last two months!].
- The promos were simply thanda. Besides, the English voiceover in the promos gave the film an elitist feel. The hoi polloi [Salman enjoys tremendous popularity amongst them] obviously felt left out!
- The music did not catch on with the listeners. Despite T-Series beaming song-based promos round the clock, it just didn't help.
Just these three reasons? Nope, there's one more!
Compare the marketing strategy of DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA with that of TERE NAAM, which was also produced by the same team and starred the same actors [Salman Khan, Bhumika Chawla].
While there was a considerable gap between Salman's last release and TERE NAAM, one key factor that went in favour of TERE NAAM was the way in which it was aggressively publicized prior to its release [incidentally, the promos are on air even today - one year after the film had been released]. The tagline below the title of the film read, 'Unfortunately, a true love story'.
The cinegoers mistook it to be Salman's real-life prem kahani and thronged the cinema halls. A clever marketing strategy worked and how!
Now compare it with the promos of DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA. The voiceover [in English] states that you need to live life to the fullest, for you never know, there may be no tomorrow [I don't get the exact words, but that's the essence!]. The first time I saw this promo, I felt rather strange. I mean, whoever has cut the promo must be having a terrible hangover of KAL HO NAA HO.
Besides, the promos had not caught on with the paying public and a more opportune time to release the film would've been mid-October. That would've worked two ways - one, the film would've been well hyped by then and two, there would've been a considerable gap between PHIR MILENGE and DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA.
Talking about the box-office prospects of DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA, there was talk that the family audiences might patronize the film after the word spreads that it's a tearjerker/clean entertainer. But the film remained on the lower side on Day 2 [Saturday], was slightly better on Day 3 [Sunday], but went downhill again from Monday onwards.
Keeping Salman's current status in mind, the film fetched an excellent price from its distributors. The exhibitors in turn paid fantastic advances to the distributors based on the fact that Salman's last two films had done remarkable business.
Brings me back to what I have always believed in - what may excite the film industry, may/may not excite the viewers. Also, it's not the star alone, but the project in totality that works. DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA is yet another shining example!