When a movie doesn't open to a desired response, the blame-game begins instantly. It happened with Paheli as well. From SRK's moustache to the heavy downpour [the release of the film coincided with the onset of monsoons] to the not-too-exciting promos to the offbeat nature of the film, the industry was quick to point reasons that were responsible for the not-too-strong opening.
Let's just say that the paying public wasn't too excited. Or, perhaps, the hardcore masses had realized, even before the film hit the marquee, that Paheli was not their idea of entertainment.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: June 18-20, 2004]
Lakshya took a stupendous start almost everywhere. The opening was at par with the biggest opener of the year, Main Hoon Na. While the advance booking at metros was fabulous [it ensured almost 100% collections in the opening weekend], the opening at smaller centres [where the system of advance booking doesn't exist] was mind blowing as well.
The audience feedback after the opening weekend was crystal clear: The cinegoers had liked the first half, while the second half had come in for sharp criticism. Viewers were finding the war scenes an extension of L.O.C. Even the slow narrative proved a deterrent.
Monday onwards, the film held well at select theatres/multiplexes of big centres, but the collections took a dip at smaller centers, as expected. While the collections at Mumbai, Delhi [certain theatres] and Kolkata continued to be rock-steady, the business at smaller centres