Can anyone really read the mindset of a moviegoer? I don't think so. Just when you thought that skin flicks were the order of the day, post MURDER, JULIE, HAWAS and TAUBA TAUBA, a number of sex-based films came and disappeared without even a murmur. Suddenly, the 'hot' scenario turned ekdum thanda.
In 2005, comic films became the flavor of the season overnight. After the rip-roaring success of KYAA KOOL HAI HUM, MAINE PYAAR KYUN KIYA, NO ENTRY and GARAM MASALA, almost every producer I bump into these days is planning to make a comic caper. But the fate of SHAADI NO. 1 and DEEWANE HUYE PAAGAL, released along side/after GARAM MASALA, is known to all. Are comedies really infallible?
It's foolhardy to follow a trend. Yet, I wouldn't blame the producer if he suddenly announces a laughathon just because a few films have struck gold at the b.o. The film industry is constantly looking for that elusive formula since ages. If you think that a family entertainer is what a moviegoer wants to watch, you find an experimental film hitting the bull's eye next. And then a sex flick comes by, followed by a thriller or a murder mystery or a musical…
But what we need to realize is that it's we in the film industry that segregate and compartmentalize everything. The moviegoer would opt for anything that's entertaining. Gives him a paisa vasool flick -- of any genre -- and he's bound to flock the movieplexes.
'DOSTI' MAKES FRIENDS
The Christmas week witnessed two major releases and the best part was that both catered to a diverse audience. While DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER was the typical Bollywood masala flick, VAAH! LIFE HO TOH AISI was aimed at the kiddies mainly. The two dissimilar flicks released during the Christmas vacations also met with diverse reactions from the paying public.
Somehow, Suneel Darshan's films have found a strong market in the Hindi belt. Right from U.P., Bihar to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the business of his previous films, including ANDAAZ and the recent BARSAAT, has been strong in these pockets. DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER is no exception.
While the multiplexes of Mumbai and Delhi city didn't accord a great welcome to DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER, its opening in the remaining circuits ranged from excellent to good. Films with strong emotional quotient, if treated well, always leave an impact in these circuits. In the past too, the business of socials [in these territories mainly] was always bountiful. As things stand today, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER should emerge a paying proposition in those territories mainly.
MARKET FOR CHILDREN'S FILMS IS GROWING
Post HANUMAN, film-makers have woken up the fact that there's a strong market for children's films in India. That's why everyone was hopeful that VAAH! LIFE HO TOH AISI would attract a number of kiddies when it releases. Timing its release during the Christmas week was also a step in the right direction since the vacations had just begun.
VAAH! LIFE HO TOH AISI had a somber start at several places. It did fetch a decent start at multiplexes though. However, there's still hope. Even HANUMAN started slowly, but gathered momentum as it progressed. So let's keep our fingers crossed on that!
THIS WEEK, LAST YEAR
[Weekend: December 24-26, 2004]
With Indo-Pak relations improving tremendously in 2004, the audiences were just not interested in watching anti-Pak themes in movies. That explains why films like L.O.C., LAKSHYA and DIL PARDESI HO GAYAA that focused on the Indo-Pak conflict were given a cold shoulder by the paying public.
That's what happened with AB TUMHARE HAWALE WATAN SATHIYO as well. Considering its mammoth star cast and also in view of the fact that the makers had promoted it aggressively prior to its release, the film should've opened to a 90% + response at a majority of centres. But at several centres, the collections ranged from 40% to 70%; at some it was slightly better.
The second release, RAINCOAT, went unnoticed. Despite all the hype a section of the media had built around this film, it didn't compel the paying public to throng the multiplexes screening this Ajay-Aishwarya starrer. The frosty response to RAINCOAT proved yet again that art house cinema in India is strictly limited to a handful of critics and a few viewers at metros. Nothing more!
The third release, AABRA KA DAABRA, a 3-D film on magic, also didn't come up with magical figures.