I hate to say this week after week, but hard facts cannot be ignored. The industry is facing its worst crisis and the turbulent phase seems never-ending. Films are failing and how! Gone are the days when new releases would open to 20%-30% occupancy. Today, cancellation of shows [due to lack of audience] has become a norm and is giving nightmares to the film fraternity.
Look at how the new releases have [under] performed. It's upsetting and worrisome. TUM MILO TOH SAHI showed slight increase in business on Saturday and Sunday at select plexes, but the jump in business was clearly missing. Overall, its business was dismal over the weekend. SADIYAAN has been rejected outright. The fate of PANKH and THE GREAT INDIAN BUTTERFLY highlights the plight of films catering to a niche audience, which hit screens unannounced.
The sole film that stood out was CLASH OF THE TITANS. Its business was better than all Hindi films - past and present - but lower than expected in some circuits.
The industry has never faced such horrific times. Gone are the days when buyers used to pick up films the moment they were announced. Why, most territories were sold for handsome prices at the announcement stage itself. The trade magazines would be full of congratulatory ads, highlighting the deals. Kahan gaye woh din?
Everyone's hoping that the second quarter of 2010 [April to June] should come as a breather. The industry is pinning its hopes on HOUSE FULL, BADMAASH COMPANY, KITES, RAAJNEETI and RAVANAA. These films are expected to change the fortunes. But are five films enough to salvage the situation? We need at least ten solid hits to bail us out. Is it asking for too much? Do miracles still occur?