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Bumped into a well-known socialite

By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bumped into a well-known socialite the other day and our conversation veered towards her 11-year-old son, who had performed miserably in the school exams. The strong-headed mother accused just about everything and everyone for the red marks on her son's report card. But not once did she point a finger towards her son, who, from what I could gather, was himself to blame for the mess he had landed into.

Similarly, the moment a film fails, the producer of the film in question comes up with umpteen excuses for the non-performance at the box-office. Right from the moody moviegoer to unpredictable weather conditions to sabotage by the distributor to cricket matches playing havoc to school-college examinations throwing a spanner, the excuses fly left, right and centre. Most producers rarely own up to the fact that their film lacked in merits.

Apne bachche se sabhi pyaar karte hain, but let's not close our eyes to reality. The moment we do that, we cease to evolve. The fact remains that the audience is never wrong. They [the moviegoers] know what's best for them. And by underestimating their potential, we are only harming ourselves.

How else does one explain the non-performance of the two major releases this Friday? Both Fight Club and Chingaari star known names and were well publicized prior to their release. But the irony is, both had a shaky start at the ticket window.

The fate of Chingaari was worse. The opening numbers ranged from 7%-8% in some shows to 15%-20% at places. The presence of Sushmita Sen didn't contribute to the initial curiosity. Neither did the masses patronize the film, nor did the elite [this segment of viewers patronizes Kalpana Lajmi movies] show any interest whatsoever.

A film like Chingaari is more of a media film and glowing reviews only help strengthen their prospects at metros mainly. Unfortunately, even the opinion-makers [reviews] weren't too kind on Lajmi and Chingaari and the poor reviews by almost the entire media [barring a name or two, who anyway give glowing reviews to all films] only sealed its fate.

Fight Club is a mini multi-starrer and everyone was hoping that it would generate a 75% + start on Day 1, but the 25% + start caught everyone off guard. Even at single screens, where mindless action flicks fare better, Fight Club didn't generate figures that would make its investors euphoric.

The business of Fight Club slided downwards on Saturday, thanks to the negative reports. On Sunday, a number of movie screens across the country bore a deserted look due to the Indo-Pak final match [cricket], so the business of practically all films slipped considerably. Monday onwards, let's not discuss...

The week also witnessed three more releases: Rafta Rafta - The Speed, Aisa Kyon Hota Hai? and The Myth. Expectedly, all three only added to the tally of 'also ran' films.

[Week: February 18-20, 2005]

Two thrillers hit the marquee and both failed to thrill the cinegoers. Vikram Bhatt's Bobby-Lara starrer Jurm and Saurabh Shukla's Dino-Bipaha starrer Chehraa failed to elicit a decent response across the country.

Chehraa wasn't publicized aggressively and a section of the audience was unaware of its release, but Jurm was backed by an aggressive pre-release promotional campaign. Yet, the numbers were far from encouraging.

Only goes to prove that no solo-hero starrer can really pull in the audience in hordes. And this is one bitter pill our actors ought to swallow. 

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