When a keenly anticipated film doesn't register a face-saving opening at the box-office, it sends shock waves throughout the industry. With lots of hopes pinned on the film in question, with the stakes being very high, the not-as-expected start can really puncture the morale of the film industry.
That's precisely what happened this week. JO BOLE SO NIHAAL was expected to take the box-office by storm, but like some Diwali rocket-crackers, it went phut on ground level, failing to sparkle the sky.
Prior to its theatrical release, JO BOLE SO NIHAAL was one of the hottest films in the marquee. The stylish promos of the film, coupled with the fact that the Rahul Rawail-Sunny Deol combo seemed rejuvenated to strike back with a vengeance, had led to the distributors acquiring its rights for fantastic prices. In fact, after a long, long time did one witness the distribution fraternity getting gung-ho about a film.
But, like I've always maintained, a film may attain that 'hot' status in the industry circles, but it may/may not necessarily excite the movie-going audience.
Irrespective of its merits, JO BOLE SO NIHAAL should've taken a flying start on Day 1 on the basis of its face-value and terrific promotion. But the opening of the latest Sunny Deol starrer at several centres rang alarm bells across the film trade. Ideally, a film of this magnitude should've started with a bang, with a 90% + opening [like LUCKY, WAQT, KAAL], but its opening ranged from 70% +, to a dismal 25%-35% at some places.
Clearly, something went wrong somewhere. Or, perhaps, the viewers had satiated themselves with the three biggies [LUCKY, WAQT, KAAL] in three consecutive weeks and felt like taking a break for a week or two. With biggies flowing in week after week and in view of the fact that the ticket prices are quite exorbitant by Indian standards, the moviegoer today opts for films that he/she may consider 'hot', skipping some films in the process.
Various explanations vis-?is the not-as-expected start of JO BOLE SO NIHAAL are doing the rounds of the industry.
If you recall, Sunny's biggest hit ever, GADAR, also boasted of an average musical score [besides a title not many would follow then!]. The music of GADAR gathered momentum after its release; it didn't contribute to its opening at all. Even GHAYAL, which fetched Sunny his first National Award, had an unimaginative musical score.
I distinctly remember, a number of people felt that Sunny looked ill at ease enacting an emotional role in GADAR. Ditto for DAMINI. A few pessimists were sure the film wouldn't work because Sunny was shown sozzled [on screen] half the time.
Something similar occurred during MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S. How can Sanjay Dutt be accepted in a comical role, the cynics echoed. But the same people ate humble pie when Sanju walked away with the ceetees. MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S. remains one of Sanju's memorable performances ever!
Whatever the reasons, the fact cannot be denied that the dwindling collections of JO BOLE SO NIHAAL has cut short the euphoric mood generated by the terrific business of LUCKY, WAQT, KAAL and of course, KYAA KOOL HAI HUM.