I am slightly amused by naysayers, worrywarts and cynics predicting doomsday already, so early in 2008. Hey, the year has just begun, why are we crying hoarse so soon? Agreed, the first month of the new year hasn't begun on a brighter note, so what? We still have eleven months left and the next 47/48 Fridays can change the tide.
Besides, why are we writing obituaries already? If you've even .0001% knowledge of business, you wouldn't fire the salvo so soon. The first few months have always been slow, with business picking up only in the latter part of the year. That has been the trend of last 20 odd years. Incidentally, weren't obituaries always reserved during the year-end? Bhagwan bachaye ein pessimists seâ€¦
Despite a string of flops in January, there's no pessimism within the industry. People are busy announcing multiple projects and distributors are acquiring them for hefty amounts. As for the actors, they've never had it so good. Knock on any actor's doors and he/she'd reply, "We're booked till 2009."
The ratio of flops has always dominated Bollywood, from the 1980s onwards. So why this hullabaloo, why this noise, why these cry-for-survival calls? I don't buy any of these sob stories. Down with such negative thinkers!
Can we ever read the audience's mind? Never! The three major hits of last year -- OM SHANTI OM, WELCOME and PARTNER -- had great comic moments and that in turn made us believe that comedies work best with the paying public. But it has been proved otherwise.
First BOMBAY TO BANGKOK, then SUNDAY and now RAMA RAMA KYA HAI DRAMAAA failed to fetch a decent opening, despite the respective makers' efforts to highlight the best comic moments of their films, in the pre-release promos. The common man was just not interested.
RAMA RAMA KYA HAI DRAMAAA fetched a 10% start, did increase marginally over the weekend, but failed to create ripples as days progressed. It's an average product, aimed at the aam junta, but the ticket sales even at single screens or smaller centres were disheartening.
It's the age of multiple projects. Every production house is into 3/5/7, sometimes, more projects. The logic is simple -- if we can't get SRK, Aamir, Salman or Akshay, does it mean we should stop making movies? That's a point to ponder.
Every A-list actor has either turned producer or is working with his set of film-makers. That leaves a majority of producers with very little choice actually. What do you do under these circumstances? Make films with medium-budget stars obviously. And that's what is happening.
Projects are planned, dates procured, filming begins without delay, the post and promotion happen simultaneously and films are ready for release within 6/7 months of their inception. That's how things should be. Gone are the days when a project would take 3/5 years to make.
Today, it's fast food, fast cars and fast movies [production]. Speed is in!