The business of films continues to dwindle with each passing week. The four releases of last week – LOVE AT TIMES SQUARE, KASH… AAP HAMARE HOTE, ESCAPE FROM TALIBAN and BUS YUN HI – have done precious little to boost the morale of an already-battered industry.
While the business of practically every film is utterly depressing, what surprises me is that practically every new film isn't fetching even an opening these days. Can the audience sniff a product and its potential before its release?
If 2002 was the worst year for the film industry, the start of 2003 has been equally frightening. The business of a majority of films released in the first two months clearly indicates that the audiences are in no mood to bow down to mediocrity.
Also, all the four releases of last week may have fared slightly better had there been a sufficient gap between each film. To have 7 films [KHUSHI, BAAZ, SATTA, LOVE AT TIMES SQUARE, KASH… AAP HAMARE HOTE, ESCAPE FROM TALIBAN and BUS YUN HI] in two weeks is only going to deteriorate the situation further.
The common man does not have the time, the money or the inclination to watch 2 or 3 films every week. The spending capacity has gone down in the recent times. And with the World Cup fever gripping a cricket-crazy nation, the writing was clear on the wall.
SAREGAMA BACK IN PRODUCTION ARENA
Another company that is shortly set to get full-fledged into production of feature-films is the music giant Saregama, who had earlier produced GODMOTHER but had kept its film production plans on hold subsequently.
Harish Dayani, Vice-President, Film Production, Saregama, confirms the news, “We have decided to re-start our film production wing, this time with a presence in both Hindi and regional cinema.”
According to him, the company is looking at a possibility of producing 20 films in two years, which will cater to the regular market segment as well as explore the medium-budget genre. “We will be working on multiple projects and are currently talking to various directors,” he adds.
Does that mean the focus has shifted from music to film production? “To an extent, yes. We have cut down on buying music, with the exception of deserving music that is sensibly priced. We are in no mood to take up any loss making proposals, since we have bled enough,” he says.
IT IS HEARD…
That this veteran actor, who had shifted to South, is all set to stage a comeback in Hindi films. Reportedly, two leading banners have already signed him in strong character roles. Watch this space for further developments!