This happens rarely. On Friday, the conversation with the distributors and those associated with multiplexes took me by complete surprise. The much-awaited Hollywood releases, THE HANGOVER PART II and KUNG FU PANDA 2, had opened to packed houses and according to the feedback shared by the multiplex personnel, if a moviegoer wasn't able to catch the movie he wanted to [since the show was packed to capacity], he/she was, without a bit of hesitation, settling for the other film with equal enthusiasm. But not returning from the cineplex without watching either HANGOVER or KUNG FU PANDA.
In fact, I generally visit cineplexes over the weekend to gauge the feedback to new movies and on Friday and Sunday evening specifically, I was astonished to see serpentine queues at the Boxoffice section.
In the recent past, FAST FIVE, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and now THE HANGOVER and KUNG FU PANDA 2 have opened to an overwhelming response in the domestic market. It means that the market share of Hollywood films is on the rise, not merely in metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore, but also Jaipur, Indore and Bhopal. In fact, HANGOVER II has collected excellent numbers at these 'A' class centres in its English version [Warner hasn't dubbed the film in Hindi], which says it all. And films like X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, SUPER 8, GREEN LANTERN, CARS 2, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and of course, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 2 are only expected to make further inroads in the Indian market.
Makers of Hindi films will now have to keep tabs on Hollywood films as well, when they finalize the release date of their films. Yes, a Hindi film could eat into your business, but a Hollywood film, which has a huge following amongst youth, could elbow you out completely, as has been proved in the past few weeks. In fact, the business of the above-named four Hollywood titles should be an eye-opener for Bollywood.
On the Hindi film front, KUCCH LUV JAISAA fetched dismal figures in its opening weekend. The film generated some curiosity prior to its release, but the [negative] feedback from the audience sealed its fate completely.