Six releases in one week: MAINE GANDHI KO NAHIN MARA, SISKIYAAN, KASAK, SAUDA - THE DEAL, RAIN and VISHWAS. If one estimates the total money riding on these films [including print cost and promotion], I'd say that approx. Rs. 13 crores were at stake this Friday. But looking at the disastrous start all films embarked upon at the box-office, you'd agree that something is wrong somewhere.
Barely four days before his film was supposed to hit the screens, I asked this producer if he was right in his decision of releasing his film alongside five films. A few territories of his film had been unsold till the last minute and the producer was already in red, financially speaking.
But the producer was supremely confident: “Meri film baaki sabhi filmo ko overtake karegi. Mujhe kis baat ka darr? Darr to unhe [other producers] hona chahiye.” Am I scandalized by a retort that stinks of egotism and haughtiness? Nope!
Over the years, the one thing that hasn't changed is the attitude of most producers. Recall the song from SRK's first home-production PHIR BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI, 'I Am The Best'. Well, most producers echo similar thoughts days before their movie is supposed to hit the turnstiles.
I agree, the film industry is one speculative business and as they say, umeed pe duniya kaayam hain. But let's not stretch our luck too far. Is it right to have multiple releases in one week? Everyone knows it isn't the right thing to do, but why don't we ever learn from our mistakes? And if you've committed the blunder of releasing your film along with five other films during a low phase, accept the outcome with grace.
I strongly believe that if you can't stand the heat, don't step into the kitchen!
Take the case of most films that opened this week. There were no takers for any of the circuits, as a result of which the makers decided to release the films themselves all over India. And if a film doesn't make it in its opening weekend, expecting the business to pick up on weekdays or in its second weekend is foolhardy.
I reiterate, the business will continue to be downhill till Diwali. The collections of all films, whether old or new, touches rock bottom in the pre-Diwali weeks and this year is no exception. The collections of a few films were in hundreds [not thousands] at some centres on Friday and Saturday. But let's not get disheartened or demoralized by the collections in the ensuing weeks.
Diwali is around the corner and with three biggies in the fray [SHAADI NO. 1, KYON KI… GARAM MASALA], expect serpentine queues outside movieplexes for sure. Till then, enjoy the cold wave… whether we like it or not!
THIS WEEK, LAST YEAR
Weekend: October 1-3, 2004
The pre-Diwali weeks were playing havoc, with the occupancy at most movieplexes falling to 20%.
TAUBA TAUBA, AK 47, POPCORN KHAO! MAST HO JAO and SATYA BOL hit the screens in the first week of October. TAUBA TAUBA did manage an encouraging opening at several places and this reasonable priced film proved a profitable venture for its distributors.
As for POPCORN KHAO! MAST HO JAO, its fate was evident on the day of its release. SATYA BOL won critical acclaim, but that didn't translate into big collections. As for AK 47, it was targeted at small centres mainly.