Almost three weeks ago, director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan and debutante producer Nikhil Panchamiya were vacillating whether to release DIL MAANGE MORE on December 24 or 31 or January 7. December 24 was ruled out because Anil Sharma had confirmed the release of AB TUMHARE HAWALE WATAN SATHIYO on that date. December 31 was the best alternative, since January 7 also seemed crowded then.
So when both Ananth and Panchamiya called to say that DIL MAANGE MORE was finally scheduled for December 31, I discouraged them in very clear words.
December 31, the last day of the year, is not an ideal day for people to walk into a cinema hall to watch a film, I told them categorically. The common man would like to spend his quality time with family/friends, perhaps watch the round-the-clock entertainment shows on TV, even visit a restaurant and bring in the new year by partying hard. At least those in the metros, especially the youth brigade, don't like to rush to a nearby cinema hall to catch a film in the evening or night show on December 31.
Going by this logic and also the fact that DIL MAANGE MORE is targeted at the youth, I was very vocal about the business of the film getting harmed on the first two days at least [most people like to take it easy on January 1, after a night of heavy partying!]. What remains with you is just a Sunday [January 2] to rake in the moolah. Also, expecting the film to draw audiences from Monday, when the festivities end, the schools and colleges re-open and the common man gets back to business, would be asking for too much.
In Hollywood, a lot of thought goes into not just making a film but also giving it a proper release. In Bollywood, we don't do extensive research/homework before letting the baby take its first step [hitting the marquee].
So when DIL MAANGE MORE opened to a below-the-mark response at several centres of the country, I wasn't surprised. DIL MAANGE MORE is targeted at the youth and releasing the film in a proper week would've only enhanced its business prospects. DIL MAANGE MORE is a well-hyped film and stars the current teenage heart-throb [Shahid Kapoor] along with the daughter of a legendary actress [Soha Ali Khan], so why this hurry to release the film on a wrong date?
DIL MAANGE MORE caters to the youth completely. It may not be an ideal popcorn flick [it has its share of blemishes], but it would've fetched a far better initial had it opened during an opportune period.
In the North, DIL MAANGE MORE has had to literally face rough weather from the climatic conditions. The cold wave has hit the business so hard that the occupancy level of cinema halls in the Northern states has fallen to 20% during the evening and night shows. And every film, whether big or small, actually shivers after the sunset, as the temperatures drop.
DIL MAANGE MORE will affect Shahid Kapoor's status more than anyone else. While FIDA at least took an encouraging start at several places, the opening of DIL MAANGE MORE wasn't electrifying at all. Soha Ali Khan's standing will also be affected, but if she manages to get a few good announcements, the fortunes might just change.