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The Time Starts Now!

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By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

With the onset of summer, the film industry gets ready to embrace the plethora of biggies that are slated to hit the movieplexes. 2006 is no exception. In fact, as things stand today, there's going to be more films and less theatres this year. The film industry wouldn't feel the heat at metros, since multiplexes are known to hold 8/10/13/15 shows every single day. But at several centres, which have 7/8/10 cinema halls in all, it would be tough accommodating 6/8 biggies every month, right till December this year.

I have always believed that the consumer is the king and his status will only get stronger this year. Reason: He will have so much to choose from in 2006. The lineup of films in the subsequent weeks, which I pointed out in late 2005, is truly impressive. It's the survival of the fittest and as I see it, the films in question will have to be really strong in content to withstand the stiff competition week after week.

Film business is extremely erratic in March, since schools and colleges go to exams, but the examination period coupled with the Indo-U.K. cricket matches only made things worse in March this year. In fact, there was a paucity of big releases [everyone wants to avail of the holiday period] in March and the viewer had to be content with films that evoked little or no interest even before their release.

The last day of March [Friday, March 31] witnessed four releases -- Ho Sakta Hai!, Madhubaala, Chaand Ke Paar Chalo and Naughty Boy -- and it wasn't tough guessing their outcome. None of the four films were talked-about prior to their release and when they finally hit the screens on Friday, the audience disinterest showed in their collections.

That has been the trend year after year. March has always been a weak link, with several inconsequential films making it to theatres in the absence of biggies. But the business shows a big jump in April, May and June, till schools and colleges in India re-open and the monsoon phase begins.

The million dollar question is, Will it rain hits this summer? Let's hope so!

THIS WEEK, LAST YEAR

[Weekend: April 1-3, 2005]

Like every year, there's a lot riding in these five months [April-August 2005]. It won't be wrong to state that approx. Rs. 400 crores is at stake in these months, with several biggies competing with each other to catch the attention of moviegoers. The past three months have been anything but bliss for the entertainment industry. The tally of flops continues to mount week after week. But the situation can reverse, starting with Lucky, Mumbai Xpress, Waqt and Kaal in April.

Almost every industry person is hoping [and praying!] that the dry spell comes to an end and it pours hits this summer!

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