If one witnessed the clash of two love stories [VAADA, ROG] last week, this week saw two action flicks vying for audience attention - INSAN and ELAAN. At a time when the industry is thirsting for a hit, quite expectedly, all hopes were pinned on these two biggies to lure the audiences to cinema halls.
Under normal circumstances, a two-hero film, starring sought-after names, would generally fetch a 90% + start in the domestic market. Despite the presence of two dependable actors, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan, besides well-known names such as Esha, Lara Dutta and Tusshar, INSAN couldn't generate even a 50% opening on Day 1 at several places.
Why did cinegoers accord a cold response to INSAN? The question was uppermost on everyone's mind on Friday, when INSAN was greeted with semi-empty halls at several places.
Around four/five weeks ago, when the promos of INSAN first went on air, the impact generated was zilch. On the contrary, the promos gave an impression that one of Akshay-Ajay's old films was being revived with a new title [it's a common practice in Bollywood to revive films with new titles!].
Perhaps the makers of INSAN were supremely [over] confident that the presence of two saleable actors was enough to fetch a record opening for the film. But all calculations went wrong on Friday.
Very frankly, INSAN is a weak film in all respects and after watching it last week at a private screening, I wondered what the two actors actually saw in a script like this? Most actors generally look for a hatke story before they give their consent to a film, but in this case, I am not sure what they really saw in a script like this.
At this stage of their career, when both Ajay and Akshay are a part of some keenly anticipated films, a film like INSAN does more harm than benefit.
But there's a cause for concern…
Irrespective of the merits of INSAN, this multi-starrer should've embarked upon a fantastic start on Day 1 at least. After all, if two topnotch actors belonging to the A-list cannot ensure a face-saving opening, it's a shame. When the stakes are high and in most cases, the actor's remuneration makes up for 40% - 60% of a film's budget, the star power should ensure 100% collections in the first show at least. If the stars cannot deliver, they don't deserve to be paid those fancy prices.
If the promos of INSAN sent out wrong signals, the promos of ELAAN generated tremendous hype and hoopla for this vendetta flick. Practically every person I met prior to its release was besotted by the stylish promos of the film. But, like they say, never judge a book by its cover!
ELAAN was expected to take a great start at the box-office. Everyone was hoping that the film would fetch a record-breaking start at the box-office, but nothing of the sort happened. ELAAN opened to a below-the-mark at some halls, while at places it enjoyed a good response.
But the reports weren't encouraging and that threw a spanner. The problem with ELAAN is, it's only high on hype and hard sell, but low on substance and material. Perhaps, director Vikram Bhatt wanted to give the Indian audiences a desi film with an international feel. He did succeed to an extent, but the film ran out of steam in the post-interval portions.
At the box-office, the collections of ELAAN declined on Saturday, were steady on Sunday, but Monday onwards the results were crystal clear. Vikram Bhatt had missed the bus yet again!