The soothsayers had predicted that no film would withstand the might of the invincible James Bond. SKYFALL, one of the most lucrative franchises, was expected to demolish all oppositions in that particular weekend [November 2 - 4, 2012] in India. No one would've ever dreamt that a low cost horror film, 1920 - EVIL RETURNS, would defy Bond and compete with it. But the unthinkable has happened...
SKYFALL, which opened wide on Thursday, grabbed the most screens across the country and put up [expectedly] healthy numbers in its opening weekend, but it was the super performance of 1920 - EVIL RETURNS that shook the industry. The trends were pretty evident on Friday morning itself: Vikram Bhatt's gamble of pitching 1920 - EVIL RETURNS against a mighty opponent had paid off. The exuberant start at the ticket window, defying the dominance of SKYFALL, said it all.
Does the excellent response to 1920 - EVIL RETURNS signify the return of the horror genre? As far as I remember, the Ramsays had cracked the formula way back in the 1970s and 1980s. They delivered a string of hits, with multiple distributors from each circuit heading to their office to acquire the rights of their fresh film/s. The Ramsays were the undisputed badshaahs of horror movies then. Ramgopal Varma did attempt a number of horror films lately. Some worked. Some didn't [BHOOT RETURNS, which opened a few weeks ago, sank without a trace]. But Vikram Bhatt seems to be getting it right most of the times. RAAZ 3 and 1920 - EVIL RETURNS, two super successes in the same genre, in one year, is something to be proud of. Like I tweeted on Saturday morning, the title of 1920 - EVIL RETURNS should be changed to 'Vikram Bhatt Returns'. With a bang!
Notwithstanding the glitches in its screenplay, 1920 - EVIL RETURNS has been embraced warmly by the audience across the nation. One has to bow down to the verdict of the junta and the fantastic business of the film clearly indicates that the paying public has given its mandate.
LUV SHUV TEY CHICKEN KHURANA too surprised the industry when it opened on Friday. In this case, it was the shockingly low start that caught the industry's attention. The response was thanda even in North Indian circuits, where the film was expected to open well. Like last week's CHAKRAVYUH, LUV SHUV TEY CHICKEN KHURANA garnered glowing reviews from critics who matter. The word of mouth was super-strong too. But the film never took off. How does one explain that?
LUV SHUV TEY CHICKEN KHURANA did grow on Saturday and Sunday, but the jump in its business was clearly missing. It held very well in North Indian circuits, but tottered elsewhere. The genuinely delicious dish may have found limited admirers in India, but it's imperative that films like LUV SHUV TEY CHICKEN KHURANA get made. It's vital for the taste buds of the audience. They need to get a taste of scrumptious stuff served freshly by first-time directors from Bollywood's kitchen.