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Box office analysis

Thursday, June 19, 2008 • Hindi Comments
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First weekend performance of latest release

It was expected that MERE BAAP PEHLE AAP would taken an opening in the middle range (around 50%) but it was a little lesser than that. Thankfully, it wasn't a shocking opening per se and decent collections over the weekend mean that this medium budget film would do well in recovering it's cost.

However, unlike majority of Priyan's last few films, most notably being Akshaye Khanna starrers like HUNGAMA and HULCHUL which were good successes, MERE BAAP PEHLE AAP would have to settle down on the lower side. Reason for film's ordinary opening is simple - audience has started finding the director's films all too predictable which is resulting in lesser footfall. It may have possibly increased but word spread fast about the film's second half being more of a family drama than a comic fare which resulted in 'let's catch it later on a DVD' effect!

Other two releases of the weekend - SUMMER 2007 and animation flick DASHAVATAR - have been washouts. With 2-3 shows a day, zero buzz, pathetic reviews and poor release strategy, both the films have bitten the dust. While SUMMER 2007 is all set to gross lesser than Sikandar's debut film WOODSTOCK VILLA, DASHAVATAR too seems to be going down the same route as 99% of animation films coming out of Bollywood have been in the year gone by.

Last week's movies

In last week's column, I had admitted that a clear verdict on SARKAR RAJ wasn't really on the cards. However, first week's collections have proved one thing crystal clear - the film is certainly not a flop as has been made out by some sections of media.

In fact the film is a clear success at the box office. Even though some media reports have been questioning the film's pull, especially after a huge number of prints that the film was released at, the fact remains that over 23 crores coming in the first week means that at the least SARKAR RAJ would prove to be an average success at the box office. The film has been quite good in Mumbai where it earned close to 5 crores. Delhi was good too with close to 2.5 crores while NCR got another 1.5 crores plus.

While in case of RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG, it was crystal clear after the first show itself that the film was a failure, and hence everyone associated with it - especially Ramu - was pulled down, SARKAR RAJ has troubled a few in a different way. Because the film didn't under perform in a way as some would have expected, the focus shifted on - 'Collections are good but not very good'!

However, most seem to be ignoring an all important point that Ram Gopal Varma has finally managed to end his poor box office run with SARKAR RAJ which now happens to be the biggest first week money spinner of his career. In fact the film has even created city records at a few centers that seems to have gone unnoticed by majority of trade pundits.

AAMIR too would prove to be an earner for it's makers UTV. That's because slowly but steadily the film has started making an impression at the box office. AAMIR didn't open to a response which would have made everyone sit up and take notice but that wasn't really expected from AAMIR which had everyone from it's director to leading man to cinematographer and other prominent crew members being rank newcomers. Also UTV didn't pump in big money into the film's promotion and instead wanted audience to check it out by themselves.

The experiment has worked as the film showed decent progress as it moved from it's first weekend into the week days. This Raj Kumar Gupta directed film has enjoyed a 1 crore first week which is certainly decent. All of this is courtesy very good word of mouth that has spread on quite strongly, hence resulting in urban centers (which is basically the target audience of the film) waking up to the film's credentials. Rajeev Khandelwal has come up with a flawless act in the title role of AAMIR and the film deserves to be sustained at theaters on a continued note to see collections stabilizing over a period of time.

From the past

WOODSTOCK VILLA crashed by more than 90% and collected a mere 20 lakhs at the box office in it's second week. With the film looking at wrapping up under 2.5 crores, it is time for the film's DVD release. The film wasn't bad but surprisingly master-of-promotion Sanjay Gupta seems to have given a half hearted release to the film that has resulted in it's early exit from the theaters.

Meanwhile JANNAT seems to be the only film that has done well in the week gone by along with SARKAR RAJ. With approximate 2 crores more coming in even in it's 4th week, the film saw a reasonable 60% fall and today stands at 32 crores. This is a huge HIT for Bhatts and Emraan Hashmi and one can expect the production house and their favorite actor to be coming together for many more projects together. Ditto for Kunal Deshmukh who has turned out to be yet another Bhatt find! Meanwhile, for the time being, pretty face Sonal Chauhan may just have to contend herself with the kind of roles that require her to sing and dance around the trees!

BHOOTHNATH saw it's biggest fall till date as it crashed by over 70% in it's fifth week. With close to 40 lakhs added to it's total, this Amitabh Bachchan starrer stands as an average success at 25 crores. The film should continue to attract eyeballs though since it's DVDs are arriving soon on Moser Baer which means that a Rs. 50/= tag would ensure continued sales for the home video.

In the future

Three young films release this weekend - DE TAALI, HAAL E DIL, KHUSHBOO. Out of the three HAAL E DIL deserves 10 out of 10 for it's excellent promotion which has resulted in decent awareness about this film that basically stars newcomers. A 30%-40% start for the film should be reasonable and since it appears to be a safe romantic genre film in the offering with some very good hummable tunes, HAAL E DIL may eventually sail through.

Same should be the case with DE TAALI which sees Ritiesh Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani return after MASTI. A comedy, it's opening isn't expected to be great but the youth flavor should make it a safe preposition in the long run. One can't say the same about KHUSHBOO though which hasn't been hyped the way HAAL E DIL has been. Between en established cast (DE TAALI) and hyped newcomers (HAAL E DIL), it may just get sandwiched in spite of good songs and decent vibes that it is generating.

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