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By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The mood within the industry was anything but upbeat after two big-budget ventures, Jaan-E-Mann And Umrao Jaan, sank without a trace. But the immediate releases brought ample cheer... Vivah is a hit; in some circuits, super-hit. Apna Sapna Money Money is a success story as well. Casino Royale, the new Bond movie, ranks amongst the most successful foreign films in India. And now the stupendous business of dhoom... Really, it couldn't get better!
There was unquestionable elation as a result of the staggering opening of dhoom at the domestic box-office and also beyond the shores of India [read the 'Overseas' report]. The film had a record shattering start everywhere, deflating the rest of the marketplace [except Vivah] and effectively rewriting the box-office record book.
Not just big centres, even smaller stations embraced the film with rare enthusiasm. You would find this hard to believe, but the management of certain theatres were compelled to call the police to control the unmanageable crowd -- such was the dhoom effect. Also, the film set first-day records at several stations, including places where 'House Full' boards are a rarity. In Mumbai, the first week figures are expected to be gigantic because of the record number of shows [16/18/20/21 shows at multiplexes] every single day, also due to cent per cent occupancy and also thanks to the inflated ticket rates.
It's the same story everywhere! In Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, dhoom has hit the jackpot, registering record collections at almost every theatre. The first week billing is expected to be at an all-time high, with Yash Raj laughing all the way to the bank... yet again.
The collections did slide downwards on Tuesday, but the drop wasn't drastic or alarming by any standards. The drop can be attributed to the excessive prints in circulation also. Like, for instance, at a station where a maximum of one print is the requirement, Yash Raj has released the film at two/three theatres. That's an excellent strategy to accumulate as much as you can in the initial weeks itself. Resultantly, the shares from every station are bound to be huge, enormous and mammoth.
In a nutshell, dhoom is an upturn in fortunes and if the remaining heavyweights of 2006 [Baabul, Kabul Express and Bhagam Bhag] mirror its opening, the season will be more than salvaged.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: Novem1ber 25-27, 2005]
Armed with so many plusses, besides being a solo release and winning great reviews, Deewane Huye Paagal started on a tepid note. The first day collections, ranging between 20% and 35%, sent shock waves. The collections did improve towards the evening shows as also on Saturday and Sunday, but that wasn't enough. On Monday, the verdict was loud and clear, while the non-happening business on Tuesday cemented its status.
Barring a few cities, Deewane Huye Paagal found itself on a sticky wicket. The one aspect that puzzled everyone was that the audience feedback was tremendous, but the lavish and generous praises didn't translate into great box-office collections.
The second release of the week, The Film, went completely unnoticed. In fact, a number of multiplex-going viewers weren't even aware that the film had released. Not that there would've been a stampede outside multiplexes to grab a ticket of The Film, but the pre-release promotion was so low-key that even an average moviegoer wasn't aware of its release.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: November 26-28, 2004]
Priyadarshan's last two comedies [Hera Pheri, Hungama] didn't enjoy a cent percent opening, but Hulchul did. The fantastic start of the film came as a pleasant surprise, mainly because [i] Solo Akshaye Khanna starrers don't open so big and [ii] Comedies generally have a slow start at the ticket window, but pick up with word of mouth if the reports are positive [Munnabhai M.B.B.S also had an average start].
Promoting a film keeping its essence in mind is of paramount importance. And Hulchul delivered what the promos promised.
The second release of the week, AB... BAS!, didn't attract hordes of cinegoers despite provocative posters. In the recent past, films depicting skimpily clad women -- Mallika Sherawat [Kis Kis Ki Kismat], Antra Mali [Naach] and Diana Hayden [Ab... Bas!] -- had been shunned by the paying public.