The first half of 2006 has ended and the mood in the film industry is upbeat thanks to the three major successes in the last one month [FANAA, PHIR HERA PHERI, KRRISH]. I have a feeling that it's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more to look forward to in the second half of 2006.
With a number of biggies lined up in the next six months [GOLMAAL, OMKARA, ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, NAKSHA, AAP KI KHATIR, LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI, KABUL EXPRESS, UMRAO JAAN, DHOOM 2, DON, EKLAVYA, VIVAH, BABUL, JAANEMANN] and a number of talked-about medium-budget films also making their way into movieplexes [CORPORATE, YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA?, THE KILLER, ARYAN, AHISTA AHISTA, ROCKY, DIL DIYA, PYAAR KE SIDE EFFECTS, GOOD BOY BAD BOY, APNA SAPNA MONEY MONEY, ZINDAGGI ROCKS, DOR, KHOSLA KA GHOSLA, WOH LAMHE and RGV's films], the domestic box-office is only going to witness a major boom.
As thing stand today, there's approx. Rs. 400 crores riding on the above-named films. The best part is, the dream merchants have woken up to the fact that the content is king in the current scenario. With emphasis on story, stars and promotion [in that order], the business is sure to escalate in weeks to come.
MORE FILMS, LESS THEATRES
The flow of new releases will continue unabated till next year. But there's a flip side too. Bollywood is slowly heading towards a phase of more films, less outlets [movieplexes]. The acute shortage of movieplexes wouldn't be felt as much at metros, where a number of multiplexes perform 12-14-16 shows a day, but at smaller centres across the country.
Let's assume that there are, on an average, five/six important releases every month [including biggies and medium-budget fares]. If two/three of these record excellent/noteworthy collections and continue to stay put at movieplexes, will the new flow of films in the coming weeks/month get the desired outlets, keeping in mind the fact that several centres across the country house not more than seven/eight movieplexes?
It's a tricky situation. On one hand, we constantly pray that movies ought to work at the ticket window, but alternatively, the acute shortage of movieplexes under such a situation will only curtail the business of several medium-budget films. For any exhibitor, the first choice would obviously be a biggie, so imagine the plight of films produced by lesser names.
Any solutions? Not that I can think of. It's going to be a tough fight nonetheless. Let the best film win!
THIS WEEK, LAST YEAR
[Weekend: July 1-3, 2005]
After the not-too-exciting response to his last release NAACH, RGV's latest flick SARKAR emerged a success story at the domestic box-office, silencing his detractors yet again. I would attribute the success to two factors basically: RGV's execution of the story and the power-packed performances.
SARKAR generated tremendous heat prior to its release. The distributors were excited, so were the exhibitors, who screened the film in 10 to 12 shows a day [at multiplexes]. YAKEEN, the other new release, was sidelined to 2 shows a day at some multiplexes.
While SARKAR had a 90% + start at major centres, YAKEEN failed to garner respectable figures from Day 1 itself. The opening ranged from 15%-25% at some places, but at several cinema halls, it registered a shockingly poor start of 10%.
Frankly speaking, there was no buzz for YAKEEN prior to its release and the fact that it was being released alongside SARKAR as also the fact that the pirated version of the film was out prior to its release, made a further dent in its business.