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Till a few years ago, the Diwali week as also the two-month summer vacations [mid-April to mid-June] were considered the most bountiful period for movie business. The Idd week became equally prominent and now, film-makers are keen that they encash during the Christmas festivities.
The forthcoming weekend is no ordinary weekend. Two major producers have placed their respective ambitious ventures on this date [ Welcome, Taare Zameen Par ]. It makes wise business sense too, since this isn't a 3-day weekend, but a 5-day weekend. Friday is Idd, Saturday and Sunday are holidays, Monday isn't a holiday, but Tuesday [Christmas] is, which means people would take it easy on Monday, a day preceding Christmas.
A 5-day weekend is a rarity and one expects the business to be optimum during this period. Both Welcome and Taare Zameen Par look exciting and with A-list stars dominating the cast of these two films, I expect a repeat of the Diwali weekend, with both Om Shanti Om and Saawariya opening to packed houses in the opening weekend. The best part of this 'clash' is that the two films belong to diverse genres. And avid moviegoers would definitely watch both.
The pre-Christmas lull continued to spell havoc. The sole Hindi release last Friday, Strangers, opened to almost empty houses across the nation. Frankly, it didn"t come as a surprise to me. A lot of people weren't even aware that a film called Strangers had hit the marquee. And those aware of the film weren"t excited.
"Is it an English film?" a prominent U.P. exhibitor asked me, a few days prior to its release. What added to the confusion was Strangers being listed in the category of 'English films', not 'Hindi films' in newspapers, even after its release. Yes, you read that right -- something that its director Aanand Rai also lamented, post release.
Strangers caters to a miniscule section of moviegoers, but a not-too-motivating star cast as also the low-key promotion made the effort go unnoticed. The film opened to below 10% response and faded into oblivion as days progressed.
|Taare Zameen Par trailer|