Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi literally shook the nation with the decision to demonetize Indian currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. Well, while the populace has been scurrying about to rid themselves of the said notes, Bollywood too seems to be affected by the decision. In fact, a direct repercussion of the demonetization was the immediate postponement of two of this week’s three releases, Saasein and 30 Minutes. However, the makers of Rock On 2 have decided to hold firm and release it as per schedule. But will this sudden financial crisis the nation has been thrown into, affect the box office collections of the film is what we analyse.
After last night’s announcement, people’s woes were compounded with the fact that all banks and ATMs would be unavailable for the next couple of days. Restricting the spending capability of audience to what is currently in one’s wallet. Voicing a similar view is Atul Mohan who says, “Currently the situation is such that people are facing an issue with cash. For those booking online, using their card payment options are available, but for walk in audience the scenario is different altogether. Here the question arises on what they would want to spend on”.
Echoing a somewhat similar sentiment, film critic Amod Mehra says, “Of course there will be a problem. People have limited resources and will have to decide what they want to spend their cash on. In this case, entertainment will take a back seat over immediate personal necessities. So yes box office collection of Rock On 2 will be affected to a certain extent, since those who want to watch the film will still book tickets using their cards or online options, but others who generally use cash will think twice before spending.”
Further talking about the effects the said demonetization will have on the audience Atul Mohan adds, “The government has still kept the option to deposit currency notes of 1000 and 500 in the banks so multiplexes still have the option to accept the said notes and deposit the same in the bank. At the same time, now walk-in audience will have to plan their theatre visit and book tickets in advance online before venturing out. As far as Rock On 2 goes, being a multiplex oriented film, the target audience usually depend on credit or debit cards which can still be used at the ticket window.”
Talking about online bookings, the Indian audience are still at a nascent stage opting for online ticket booking only in the case of big budget, A- list starrers to block seats for their desired show. But when it comes to usual releases online portals are used only to check ticket availability before venturing to the cinema. However, Akshaye Rathi shares a different view saying, “If you look at Rock On 2, the film is targeted at the tier one multiplex going audience in metro cities, as compared to them it is the tier two and tier three category of audiences from small towns and cities who are uncomfortable using plastic money. Had it been the release of a massy entertainer like a Sultan, may be the demonetization would have had an effect on collections, but since Rock On 2 isn’t aimed at the masses from the smaller territories I don’t think the collections will be affected.”
Though trade pundits may cite various reasons why Rock On 2 might and might not face a hard time at the box office, it is the audience that will finally pass verdict on the film’s success.
As a light hearted rendition our cartoonist Satish Acharya developed the below cartoon of the trials Rock On 2 might face at the box office.