While the euphoria surrounding the Diwali releases [VEER-ZAARA, AITRAAZ, NAACH, MUGHAL-E-AZAM] has calmed down, the moviegoer readies himself to embrace the two new releases this week - HULCHUL and AB… BAS!. The two films are as diverse as chalk and cheese, but at least there's a choice.
With the industry witnessing no major release last week, the beneficiaries of an open week were VEER-ZAARA, AITRAAZ and MUGHAL-E-AZAM. Despite mixed reports, VEER-ZAARA continued to hold sway in the second week. The matinee shows were affected at some places, but the business, at most places, is in the range of 85% +, which is exceptional considering the number of prints in circulation and the exorbitant ticket rates.
With the film holding on well at a majority of centres, the Chopras must be snickering at all those dimwits who predicted doomsday for this love story. And yes, they'd be laughing all the way to the bank, considering the enormous billing of the film.
MUGHAL-E-AZAM has emerged a success story as well, with the evergreen epic going from strength to strength. The number of prints in the second week has been increased, which also indicates the confidence its distributors have in this classic.
AITRAAZ continues its moderate march with 70% collections at multiplexes and according to at least two multiplexes, the weekend in the third week [forthcoming Friday] should be strong as well. Moviegoers in metros, especially the youth, have appreciated the film.
The sole loser in the Diwali clash has been NAACH. Even an open week could not elevate its status. Need I elaborate more?
AVERT THESE CLASHES
As if the clash during the Diwali week wasn't enough, expect more clashes in the coming weeks. Having two releases in a week is understandable, but 4/5 in a week is professional harakiri. I mean, is it a wise strategy to have so many releases every week?
As things stand today, there's AB TUMHARE HAWALE WATAN SATHIYO, RAINCOAT, ALIBABA AUR 40 CHOR and TEZAAB on December 3, MUSAFIR, PADMASHREE LALOO PRASAD YADAV, ROK SAKO TO ROK LO and SMILE PLEASE on December 10, SWADES, HO SAKTA HAI and the dubbed Hindi version of THE INCREDIBLES [animation film with SRK's voice] on December 17 and SHAADI KARKE PHAS GAYA YAAR, DIL MAANGE MORE, VAADA and ROG on December 24.
Of course, there's a possibility that a few films may be postponed by a week or two, but my sincere advice to all producers is, hold on, don't rush!