The curtains have fallen on the year 2005 and it's time to reflect on the weeks gone by. You could call this a coincidence, but the year 2005 commenced and ended on a tepid note. While the first release[s] of every year has gone unnoticed due to unexplainable reasons, a similar trend has surfaced vis-à-vis the final release[s] of the year.
2005 debuted with three films [Vashu Bhagnani's VAADA, Pooja Bhatt's ROG and YEHI HAI ZINDAGI] and as the days progressed, the assumption that the first week is jinxed came true yet again. But, of late, the final week of the year is also proving to be ill-fated. If L.O.C. [final release of 2003] and DIL MAANGE MORE [final release of 2004] proved heart-breakers, the final releases of 2005 [SHIKHAR, MR. PRIME MINISTER and ANJAANE - THE UNKNOWN] also faced rejection.
Although the year 2005 has been one of the best years as far as film business is concerned, the entire industry was gung-ho that the year would also end on a solid note, what with John M. Matthan's second venture, SHIKHAR, slated for release on December 30. Post SARFAROSH, Matthan was revered in the industry and practically every actor I met was keen to work with this supremely gifted film-maker. Quite naturally then, SHIKHAR was special.
But the dismal opening of this multi-star cast, multi-crore venture sent shock waves throughout the industry. Keeping the ensemble cast in mind, the film should've embarked on a 90% + start at least, but the opening of the film was as low as 10% - 20% at several places. Without a shred of doubt, SHIKHAR had a poor start practically everywhere.
There are multiple theories being attributed to the non-response to SHIKHAR. But the two reasons that I strongly believe in are:- [a] The promos -- the quality of trailers -- weren't motivating enough and [ii] The release period was all wrong.
Last year, I had dissuaded the makers of DIL MAANGE MORE against releasing their film on December 31. This time, I repeated the perils of releasing a film in the last week to the team of SHIKHAR, including actor Shahid Kapoor. However, the people behind SHIKHAR were of the opinion that the business actually gets a boost on December 31 and January 1.
SHIKHAR is a weak product and the unanimous reactions pouring in from across the country on Day 1 itself clearly indicated that the film had been rejected outright. And the negative reports sealed its prospects further. Consequently, the business on Saturday and Sunday was equally disheartening. Monday onwards, the film had collapsed completely.
As things stand today, the biggie will only entail big losses to its distributors.
The remaining two releases of the week -- MR. PRIME MINISTER and ANJAANE - THE UNKNOWN -- proved non-starters as well. While Dev Anand's film garnered 5% - 7% collections, ANJAANE - THE UNKNOWN met with an equally sad fate.