If last week was bad, this week was terrible. The footfalls at cineplexes fell alarmingly. The business was shockingly poor all through the weekend and also on weekdays. What can one attribute this to? Pre-Diwali week? Lack of interest in new films? Better options on TV? I feel all these factors and more.
A lot of people feel that television is getting bigger and bigger with each passing day and the presence of Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar on television has made a dent in business. A section of the audience also attributes the dwindling box-office returns to the poor quality of films. You can't expect viewers to watch each and every film and rightly so. Besides, the fact that most movies are premiered on television within a month or two from the date of theatrical release has also made viewers pick and choose the films they want to watch in theatres.
The high ticket rates are another deterrent. Viewers don't mind shelling out Rs. 300 per ticket for content-based films, but expecting viewers to spend Rs. 150 or Rs. 200 for art house cinema or on films' starring lesser known actors is foolhardy.
But the Diwali week can prove a turnaround in business. Both ACTION REPLAYY and GOLMAAL 3 are keenly anticipated. Both star A-list stars. Both are helmed by successful directors, with an enviable track record. Both are expected to end the dry spell at the box-office.
A lot of people ask me if two or more films can co-exist in the Diwali week. Of course, two films can, not three. Provided both are rich in content. Let's hope the two movies spread light in this hour of darkness.