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Shaitan gains critical appreciation but low footfalls

IndiaGlitz [Tuesday, June 14, 2011]

It was always expected that 'Shaitan' would take a slow beginning for itself. However what happened on the opening day was even below expectations as 'Shaitan' managed only around 30% occupancy for itself. One expected that the edgy promos would do the trick but there were quite a few factors that went against the film.

First and foremost the film didn't quite reach out to the audience through promotion. There weren't many who were aware about the existence of 'Shaitan' due to which the film scored poor on the awareness quotient. Secondly, audience was still queuing up for 'Ready' which stayed on to be the first choice, hence reiterating that it is foolhardy to come anywhere close to a big film. Thirdly, it was a non-starcast affair which means the film was anyways standing on a sticky wicket.

One may argue that even 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' started slow but settled down for good. However the fact remains that for this film which was again a non-starcast affair, there were hit songs as well as light hearted humour that enticed a large segment of audience. For a film like 'Shaitan' there is anyways a restricted audience and due to factors as stated above, it was even more difficult to stay afloat.

As things stand today, the film has garnered close to 3 crores in the opening weekend. However that is certainly not good enough for this film since in weeks to follow there is huge competition. As many as half a dozen new films release on the coming Friday while biggies start attacking the screens in weeks to follow. This means that 'Shaitan' would go down as one of those unfortunate films which do get massive appreciation but don't quite manage to do well at the box office due to wrong release timing.

The other major release of the week was 'West Is West' which saw mixed reviews coming it's way. Due to minimal promotion, there wasn't much awareness either around this English-Punjabi film that resulted in minimal footfalls again. Reports around the film are mixed too as it doesn't have enough ingredients in it to warrant a theatrical watch. It would be tough for this Om Puri starrer to survive beyond a weekend.

Same holds good for 'Love Express' which was a disaster on Day One itself. A formality of a release for this stuck film means that promotion too was low key that resulted in zero awareness. Poor reviews and negligible footfalls mean that this Subhash Ghai production would go down as a disaster at the box office.

Hema Malini captured by Salmania

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