For three weeks, Bollywood actually came to a standstill. The five One Day Internationals [ODI] between India and Pakistan, after a gap of 14 years, was too big an opposition for Bollywood to confront. Resultantly, most producers decided to hold back their films till the ODIs ended.
Even though new films are making their way to cinema halls, Bollywood continues to remain in the docks. For, how does one explain a 15 to 25% opening to the new releases at several centres?
The opening response to MUSKAAN and WOH has only added to the woes of the industry. Aggressively promoted MUSKAAN was expected to open much better. Unfortunately, the film ran out of luck on its opening day itself. With negative reports pouring in, the box-office collections have only declined further.
WOH is an apt case of weak promotion and weaker content. And if the collections of this thriller, which fails to thrill, are woeful, let's not raise an alarm.
The failure of both MUSKAAN and WOH prove yet again that sub-standard products won't work anymore. Running promos of tuneful songs that have been shot at exotic locales or depicting skin show in the garb of a thriller won't lure audiences to the cinema halls anymore.
But the tide might just change for the better…
I have a hunch that the ratio of hits will show an upswing from April onwards. Films like MURDER, MASTI, LAKEER, BARDAASHT, RUN, MAIN HOON NA, YUVA, DEEWAAR, AAN, GARV, LAKSHYA and MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI might just change the fortunes.
Not only are these films made by accomplished names and star some of the best talents, the subjects chosen by the respective makers also promise to be different from the sub-standard products we witnessed from 2000 to mid-2003.
While the first quarter of 2004 didn't rejuvenate the industry [Bollywood has been bombarded with flops!], let's hope the next quarter [April to June] sets the box-office registers jingling!