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y: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
- In 2004, I discouraged producer Nikhil Panchamiya and director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan when they called to say that they were releasing Dil Maange More [Shahid Kapoor, Ayesha Takia, Soha Ali Khan] on 31st December.
- In 2005, I repeated the perils of releasing a film in the last week of the year to the team of Shikhar, including actor Shahid Kapoor. However, the people behind Shikhar were of the opinion that the business actually gets a boost on 31st December and 1st January. They realized their folly later!
- This time, I told Arjun Rampal that he had chosen a wrong release date for the release of his production debut I See You.
Here's why I dissuade people from releasing their films in the last week of the year...
31st December is not an ideal day for people to walk into cinema halls to watch a film. The aam junta would like to spend their quality time with family/friends, perhaps watch round-the-clock entertainment shows on TV, even visit a restaurant and bring in the New Year by partying hard. At least those in the metros, especially the youth brigade, don't like to rush to a nearby cinema hall to catch a film in the evening or night show on 31st December.
Also, most people like to take it easy on 1st January, after a night of heavy partying. Expecting the film to draw audiences from 2nd January onwards, when the festivities end, the schools and colleges re-open and the common man gets back to business, would be asking for too much.
Going by this logic and also the fact that I See You is targeted at the youth, the film should've released during an opportune period. Not that I See You would've embarked on a flying start had it opened during any other period, but its opening wouldn't have been so poor at least.
I've always felt that a moviegoer makes up his/her mind after watching the promos on TV. Either the promos excite you or they don't. The promos of I See You were being aired 24x7 and the promotion was also in full gear, but the promos weren't the type that would compel you to rush to a nearby multiplex to catch the film.
Even otherwise, I See You lacks in merits to have a sustained run at the box-office. Although K Sera Sera, its presenters/distributors, very correctly released the film at multiplexes mainly, the poor turnout at venues playing the film would give anyone a cold sweat at the peak of winter.
Financially, I See You would hit its investors hard, but Arjun Rampal's ranking as an actor would also take a beating. In an industry that relies on box-office figures more than anything else, Arjun can't afford to feature in solo leads till he finds a firm footing!
How did Bhagam Bhag fare in its second weekend? Well, the collections were much better than I See You, the new release. In fact, it wouldn't be erroneous to state that Bhagam Bhag did make a dent in the business of I SEE YOU at some centres, especially in Uttar Pradesh and parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Talking of Bhagam Bhag, the film began its second week on a dull not [Friday was approx. 30%], but gathered momentum on Saturday and Sunday. Monday being 1st January, the film was ordinary at places.
You will get a fair idea of how Bhagam Bhag has fared in its second weekend if you observe the collections at Indore, an 'A' class centre of C.I. circuit.
As things stand today, the distributors [who bought the film at exorbitant prices] should recover their investment, while a few may book profits eventually.
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: December 30, 2005-January 1, 2006]
The dismal opening of Shikhar, a multi-star cast, multi-crore venture, sent shock waves throughout the industry. Keeping its ensemble cast in mind, the film should've embarked on a 90% + start at least, but the opening of the film was as low as 10%-20% at several places. There are multiple theories being attributed to the non-response to Shikhar. But the two reasons that I strongly believe are:- [a] The quality of trailers weren't motivating enough and [ii] The release period was wrong.
The remaining two releases of the week -- Mr. Prime Minister and Anjaane - The Unknown -- proved non-starters as well. While Dev Anand's film garnered 5%-7% collections, Anjaane - The Unknown met with an equally sad fate.
THIS WEEK IN 2004
[Weekend: December 31, 2004-January 2, 2005]
Dil Maange More opened to a below-the-mark response at several centres. Besides the wrong release period, the film faced rough weather due to the climatic conditions. The cold wave had hit the business hard and the occupancy at cinema halls in the Northern states had fallen to 20% during the evening and night shows. Every film, whether big or small, would shiver after sunset as the temperatures dropped.