By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Friday, November 03, 2006
That's not the title of any Hindi film. It's an eye-opener of sorts!
Piracy has made inroads in India. Pirated DVDs and VCDs of all new releases show their ugly head the moment a film hits the screens in India. Can piracy ever be eradicated? It can be controlled, not exterminated, in my opinion. Hollywood has been fighting tooth and nail, yet the pirated versions of a film hit the South Asian markets almost simultaneously with its theatrical release in the U.S.
I always thought that there were stringent laws in U.S. and U.K. to combat piracy, but I was shocked to find the pirated DVDs of Don and Jaan-E-Mann being sold in broad daylight in an open market [at Wembley] for as low as £ 1. Yes, £ 1 [approx. Rs. 85]!
The question that crosses my mind is, why would anybody shell out £ 8-10 for a ticket to watch these films in movieplexes when an entire family can actually own a DVD for as low as £ 1? In fact, a bottle of mineral water costs more than a pirated DVD of Don and Jaan-E-Mann in London. Think about it!
WANTED: MORE THEATRES
I reiterate what I have been stating all along. It's going to get increasingly difficult for medium-budget films to get outlets [theatres] in weeks to come. Look at the 'Releases' section at IndiaFM and you'd know what I mean. One look at the biggies in the fray and also keeping in mind the wide release [the huge number of prints], will there be room for medium or small films to get playing time at movieplexes? I doubt!
What's the solution then? More theatres, I guess. With major multiplex chains like Cinemax, Adlabs, Fame, Inox and PVR opening more and more properties in various cities/towns, the dearth of movieplexes wouldn't be acutely felt from 2007/2008 onwards.
How did Don and Jaan-E-Mann fare in the second weekend? While Don was fair on Friday and Saturday [35%-45%] at several centres, the collections of all films went downhill on Sunday due to the crucial cricket match between India and Australia. Monday onwards, Don has been on a declining spree at several places.
As for Jaan-E-Mann, the film has failed to show a jump in collections [excepting U.K. and U.S.A.]. At the rate it's faring, the recovery of the investment seems tough. Let me alter a famous dialogue from the big B starrer Don: Doosre hafte mein kaafi filmon ka tik paana mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hain!
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: October 28-30, 2005]
With Rs. 45 crores at stake during the Diwali and Idd week, the entire industry was hopeful that the three major releases -- Garam Masala, Kyon Ki... and Shaadi No. 1 -- would embark on a flying start at the ticket window.
But if the initial trends were an indicator, Garam Masala had opened big, while Shaadi No. 1 was at No. 2 position [good average to average opening] and Kyon Ki... at No. 3 [average to dull].
However, everyone seemed optimistic that the business would gather momentum from Thursday, while a bigger push was expected from Idd. Yet, all said and done, the 5-day weekend [the films opened on Wednesday, instead of Friday] were expected to benefit the three releases.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: October 29-31, 2004]
It's a normal practice to start promoting a film one-and-a-half months/two months prior to its theatrical release. In the case of Inteqam, its music was launched on October 19 and the film hit the marquee on October 29 -- after exactly 10 days. Expectedly, the collections of Inteqam were depressing all over. The film is yet another addition to the long list of 'also ran' projects this year.
As for Kiss Kis Ko, India's first 'Boy Band' film, the poor collections indicated that band zaroor baj gaya. There was no awareness whatsoever -- the promos weren't sufficient, the street publicity was negligible -- and the viewers mistook it to be Kis Kis Ki Kismat [similar titles], thereby giving the film a miss.
MORNING RAGA may have won glowing reviews from critics, but the audiences weren't interested.