By: Rajesh Ahuja
Friday, May 18, 2007
New Delhi (UNI): A ''realistic'' and "engaging" portrayal of life in a modern metropolitan city, coupled with brilliant performances by Shilpa Shetty, Konkona Sen, Irrfan Khan and yesteryears' star Dharmendra, in Anurag Basu's Life In a Metro have left the audience as well as critics floored, translating into a rocking box office response for the film.
Released on May 11 across the world, the UTV-produced Life...in a Metro, a look into the lives of people living in a metropolitan city where the fast pace of life leaves no time for emotions and feelings leading to flippant relationships, opened to gushing audience reactions and amazing box office collections, garnering total gross box office reciepts of Rs. 6.5 crore in just 4 days, UTV sources said.
Great reviews in India as well as across the world greeted the release of Life In a Metro, which deals with an increasing number of heartbreaks and agony in a Metro city be it Delhi, Mumbai, London or Melbourne - an increasing number of short-lived relationships arising out of human beings having too many choices and chasing too many dreams.
The excellent response to Life in a Metro-the film got a decent opening overseas while collections in the cities picked up remarkably during the opening week due to word-of-mouth publicity - is being seen in trade circles as another example of the innovative distribution strategy of releasing a film with limited number of prints and increasing them in subsequent weeks as it picked up in popularity.
Attributing the excellent opening taken by Life In a Metro, which had its London première in Leicester Square (the first time for an Indian movie) besides premieres in world metros like Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney and Mumbai, to its unique distribution strategy, sources in the UTV said. ''In yet another strategic coup in the distribution space, UTV released the film with 163 prints across India. This kept demand at all-time high levels and the positive word of mouth led UTV to increase prints across India in the second week by 20.'' Says Suniel Wadhwa, AVP India Distribution, ''we were super confident of the product and knew that word of mouth and reviews would create a huge demand post release.
Our strategy of releasing limited prints and generating high demand for the film ensured that we would have audiences clamouring for tickets which would help keep the film buoyant and in demand for a sustained period.'' For example, there was a 40 per cent jump in collections on Saturday as compared to Friday followed by a 66 per cent hike on Sunday compared to Friday.
Also, in an industry where the average drop in collections on Monday is as high as 40 per cent, Metro recorded a drop of less than 20 per cent. Trade sources say that collections of Life In a Metro, which is being seen as ''entertaining as well as thought provoking'' with a theme that holds true for any metropolitan city in today's world, could well further pick up by word of mouth in the coming days. They expect it to score in the cities, specially in the multiplexes, given its brilliant portrayal of life in a metro city.
In fact, this is the second back-to-back release by UTV, after The Namesake, where UTV's strategy to release a film with a limited number of prints and subsequently increasing the number of prints has reaped dividends.