The Friday gone by witnessed the release of two films, MAIN MADHURI DIXIT BANNA CHAHTI HOON and SAMAY -- WHEN TIME STRIKES. While M.M.D.B.C.H. has fared better at multiplexes, SAMAY did not quite succeed in striking a chord with the audiences.
Could the cold response be attributed to the pre-Diwali period, which is not considered hot in film trade circles? Or could it be that the viewers are indifferent to heroine-oriented films?
Rakesh Sippy [Mumbai distributor of M.M.D.B.C.H.], prominent exhibitor Neeraj Goswami [Fame Adlabs, Mumbai] and Ashish Bhatnagar [iDream, producers of SAMAY] analyse the box-office fate of the films.
"We are quite pleased with the response to M.M.D.B.C.H. in Mumbai city-suburbs. Gauging by the response to the film and the steady collections at multiplexes, it shouldn't come as a surprise if it proves to be an overflow film at the end of the day.
"The steady collections can be attributed to two reasons. One, the glowing reviews in the media, which makes a difference in a city like Mumbai and two, the chain of theatres we chose to release the film at.
"We released the film at 11 cinema halls, of which 6 were single-screen theatres and the balance 5 were multiplexes. Believe me, this strategy of choosing good cinema halls went in its favour. The fact that there wasn't any major opposition in the same week also made a difference.
"Of course, at the end of the day, any strategy works subject to the content of the film, which was fairly promising in this case."
"The first three days' collections of M.M.D.B.C.H. have been extra-ordinary at our multiplex, it's almost 95%. However, the same cannot be said of SAMAY. I guess, it has a lot to do with the release strategy of the latter.
"SAMAY was released in too many cinema halls. In fact, the film is being played at as many as 5 screens merely between Juhu and Goregoan. In addition, some of the cinema halls at which it has been released are 1000 plus seaters. If SAMAY had had a more restricted release, I am sure the collections would've been better.
"I don't think the dull response to SAMAY has anything to do with the steady flow of 'multiplex' films that one has been witnessing lately. Also, I don't think the pre-Diwali period has made a dent in the overall business. Had that been so, M.M.D.B.C.H. would've been affected as well."
"We are reasonably happy with the response to our film, though it has met with a mixed response. For instance, it is faring well in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, though the business in Mumbai has been on the lower side. We are expecting the collections to pick up with word-of-mouth publicity.
"As for the increased number of prints affecting its business, let me make it clear that our strategy is different from that of the conventional distributors. We believe in making the best out of the first two weeks' business by reaching out to as many people as possible.
"It is a risky proposition when you opt for a female-oriented theme. But iDream has always dared to experiment. In this case, Sushmita Sen has given a remarkable performance, which has won acclaim from those who've seen it.
"As for the pre-Diwali period being dull, we have never believed in such theories. If you recall, we went ahead with the release of MONSOON WEDDING during the Ramzan period. Even though a section of the audience stayed away from the cinema halls, it fared well at the box-office."