Let's face facts! A handful of actors [SRK, Aamir, Akshay, Hrithik] have the power to lure audiences in hordes. Their solo starrers have the magnetism to draw audiences to theatres. The remaining actors work in packages only, unless there's a fluke success.
At the cost of puncturing the ego of many a star, the fact remains that their solo starrers would [a] Find it tough to get the right distributor and the right price, [b] Find it tough to fetch lucrative terms from exhibitors, [c] Find it tough to fetch a staggering start at the box-office. But, as a package, with Karan Johar in the driver's seat in this case [DOSTANA], it has ensured [a] An attractive price from its principal distributors [Rs. 50 cr. +], [b] The best terms from exhibitors, [c] A favourable start at the ticket counters.
If the Friday figures of DOSTANA were good, the film actually showed its strength on Saturday and Sunday. This trend was witnessed not just in India, but also in the West. The U.K. and U.S. day-wise figures indicate a big jump on Saturday and Sunday. In India, the first weekend is roughly in the range of Rs. 18 - Rs. 20 cr. nett [as per industry experts and also Dharma Productions], definitely NOT Rs. 15 cr. nett, as some ill-informed sources would like us to believe.
So what does the Rs. 18 - Rs. 20 cr. nett mean? Translated into simple terms, it means DOSTANA is off to a great start, despite the Abhishek - Priyanka starrer DRONA still fresh in our minds. John's solo act in NO SMOKING hasn't been forgotten either.
Armed with a superb start, DOSTANA was expected to have a meltdown effect from Monday onwards, but the weekdays have been in the 45% to 60% range at most plexes, which is great. The youth has taken to the film in a big way, that's the writing on the wall.
Of course, DOSTANA is a non-performer at most single screens, except those patronised by elite. So what? That's not new! Hasn't that been the trend for all Karan Johar movies? Weren't KAL HO NAA HO and KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA non-performers at single screens? Why, even KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI, considered a classic by many, besides being a Blockbuster, didn't work in Bihar.
That's what I like about Karan Johar. He's got the fundas right, he knows his target audience well. In any case, in today's times, 70% of our revenues are generated from plexes in India and Overseas. In India, DOSTANA is the flavour of the season. In Overseas, it's one of the biggest draws of the year [as pointed out by this writer in the review of DOSTANA last week].
If the film holds well in its second weekend - I'm sure, the numbers will be strong - DOSTANA would safely recover the high price that's attached to it.
The target audience of DASVIDANIYA was the same as DOSTANA - multiplex junta - and I strongly feel that DASVIDANIYA got sidelined for this reason. With the youth/multplex crowd tilting towards DOSTANA, DASVIDANIYA, expectedly, had a lukewarm start at the box-office [10%; at places, 5% to 7%]. But the film gathered steam on Saturday and Sunday as the word of mouth has been extremely positive for this Vinay Pathak starrer. Favourable reviews in the media have also helped. Of course, the numbers haven't shown a big jump, but there has been an escalation for sure.
DASVIDANIYA enjoys good reports and I hope the plexes continue to play the film in its second weekend, so that it gets a chance to grow. Films like DASVIDANIYA need to be nurtured, it's a worthy case!
DESHDROHI, the much-in-news film, found ample patronage at the single screens of U.P. and Bihar.