A few weeks ago, FAST FIVE gobbled the business of Hindi films released in that particular week. Last Friday, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN smashed the opposition and staked claim on the top position at the domestic box-office. Though the two films cannot and should not be compared, it was the 3D version of this film, like HAUNTED, that contributed to the booty. Of course, in the case of PIRATES, the 2D version also amassed a good chunk of revenue, thus reiterating the fact that popular Hollywood franchises have penetrated well in the Indian market.
The avid Hindi moviegoer had a choice of three films - PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA, 404 and KASHMAKASH - and what set them apart were the diverse genres. But the moviegoers weren't tempted. I am told that the IPL matches [which are nearing their climax] made a solid dent in the business. But if one were to buy this theory, how would you explain the smashing business of PIRATES this weekend and FAST FIVE a few weekends ago?
Another theory doing the rounds is that people have set their eyes on READY and are awaiting its release with bated breath. All films prior to READY might get eclipsed for this reason. This could be true, since we have noticed time and again that there's always an uneasy calm before the storm and films that arrive a week or two prior to a biggie are generally ignored, making a hasty retreat from cineplexes.
Hi-concept films minus stars are being attempted excitedly in Bollywood. But the question is, is the moviegoer equally excited to spend Rs 200 or Rs 250 for a ticket? Getting patrons to theatres is a herculean task and no matter how much we ridicule and mock the star system prevalent in Bollywood, the truth is that the moviegoers - at least majority of them - wouldn't mind shelling out 500 bucks on a masala film starring big names even today.
Week after week, the shows of several films which don't star big names are being cancelled due to lack of audiences. The multiplexes will vouch for it. And this isn't a new phenomenon, by the way. Art house cinema or new-age films may win awards, but box-office rewards continue to elude most of them. That's the bitter truth!