With the World Cup culminating on March 23, producers and distributors have already started finalising the release dates of their films. Many exhibitors are now looking forward to recovering the severe losses they incurred in the last two months. “The scene has never been so bad as it has been in this period,” says Parvesh Mehra of Minerva cinema, Mumbai who, like all other exhibitors, has been forced to come to terms with the prevailing depressing business situation.
However, a majority of exhibitors feel that the theatrical response to films in the next two months will be the deciding factor. Among the films that are tipped to redeem the dying box-office are THE HERO [April 10], BHOOT [April 25], MAIN PREM KI DIWANI HOON [June 27], KOI… MIL GAYA [August 8] and L.O.C. [August 15], besides a few others.
As for THE HERO, the production house is going full steam with the promotion of the film. According to producer Pravin Shah, the exhibitors have been offering fantastic terms for booking the film. The fact that the budget of the film has created a flutter in the trade does not seem to deter Shah. “What matters is the end result, which is extra-ordinary. Besides, Sunny enjoys a tremendous following all over,” Shah explains.
SCRIPT WRITERS ARE ALSO AFFECTED
Like other people in the trade, the script writers are also feeling the crunch. According to Rajiv Kaul, writer of films such as DIL, BETA and RAJA, almost all producers have become extremely cautious about confirming writers for their upcoming projects. “A majority of writers go through the process of narrating a script, but the final say of the producer comes much later, depending on the price-structure of stars and availability of finance in the market,” says Kaul.
The duo of Rajiv Kaul and Praful Parekh, who once commanded a veritable following in the Indra Kumar camp, were even toying with the idea of taking up direction. In fact, there were reports that the two had even confirmed Sunny Deol for their directorial debut. “The idea of going ahead with the film hasn't been forsaken. Its very much on, but we will have to wait for some time before we complete our scripting assignments,” Kaul reveals.
The duo is looking forward to the release of the Sunny starrer JAAL – THE TRAP, scripted by them. “Mark my words, the film should prove to be a surprise packet,” Kaul adds.