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A Christmas to remember for the Box Office

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After a spate of no shows, it was back to packed shows. The two diverse films, Welcome and Taare Zameen Par, infused life in the veins of the industry that had suffered massive blows in the past few weeks. The energetic ticket sales also reiterated the fact that two biggies can easily co-exist in one week, even in today's times.

It was more than evident that Welcome would steal the march thanks to its electrifying star cast and the crew behind this multi-starrer. Plus, the genre [comedy] had called the shots this year. Add to it Akshay Kumar's all-time high popularity as also a 5-day weekend, which would only ensure solid figures for its distributors.

The calculations were right and the film fetched a flying start everywhere. The distributors did lose out on substantial revenue thanks to the disagreement over terms at multiplexes, till Friday evening. But Saturday and Sunday were rocking. The collections were at par/surpassing massive openers like Om Shanti Omand dhoom.

Monday was fantastic as well, with the film performing exceedingly well on this 'working day' [80% +], while Tuesday [Christmas] was superb, almost cent per cent. The first 5-day nett is 27 cr. [as per Studio 18] and the first week billing is expected to be in the range of Om Shanti Om

The distributors are retaining the same venues and shows [give and take a show or two here and there] and one expects Welcome to go on a rampage in its second weekend as well. For its distributors, this film is a lottery!

Taare Zameen Par had a slow start at places. The no-show at multiplexes till Friday noon/evening [except PVR] affected its opening. The distributors' strategy of opening the film at multiplexes mainly and 'A' class single screens across the country has paid off, with the film running to packed houses on the sheer strength of its merits.

Taare Zameen Par hasn't penetrated into smaller centres because, like Aamir Khan honestly [and rightly] reasoned, "Welcome would be the first choice at smaller centres and releasing Taare Zameen Par alongside would only cost us dear. Hence, the smaller centres would open only after two weeks, once the Welcome effect tapers."

Taare Zameen Par has received unprecedented acclaim from critics, viewers, intelligentsia, everyone… The business has been on an upswing with each passing day. The film should grow further in the coming days thanks to a strong word of mouth as also the absence of a major release till 11th January. And I foresee a very long run for this fantastic film.

For the producers, Taare Zameen Par is already a profitable venture since the price fetched from the Overseas territory is enough to recover the principal cost of the film [if one excludes Aamir's remuneration as an actor. He hasn't charged anything as the director, he told me].

Santa Claus made our wishes come true this Christmas!

Taare Zameen Par trailer

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