Bollywood Box Office Report ...

By Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM

imageMadhur

Bhandarkar completes his trilogy with TRAFFIC SIGNAL and everyone’s

curious to know its box-office fate: Is it red, amber or green signal

at the ticket window?

Call it a coincidence, Madhur never tasted success when he made

hardcore commercial films. TRISHAKTI [his directorial debut] and AAN,

both masala films, sank without a trace. With the sole exception of

SATTA, the realistic films he helmed, CHANDNI BAR, PAGE 3 and

CORPORATE, proved paying propositions. That explains why Percept

Picture Company, the producers of TRAFFIC SIGNAL, never found a dearth

of buyers for Madhur’s new film.

TRAFFIC SIGNAL found its share of advocates and adversaries. While a

section of the paying public liked the concept as well as the twist in

the tale in the second hour, a section of moviegoers didn’t agree to

the abrupt end of the film. A prominent North India distributor felt

that the protagonist should’ve done something more, so as to conclude

the story on a satisfying note. That’s a valid observation!

Like all Madhur’s films, TRAFFIC SIGNAL too had its best opening in

Mumbai/Maharashtra and the business escalated towards the evening

shows. The film behaved well on Saturday and Sunday in this territory

[70% +], although it was plain ordinary in some circuits.

As things stand today, the film should yield rich dividends from

Mumbai territory for sure. Mumbai city-suburbs, Thane and Pune were

rocking in the first weekend. Ditto for South. Its business in other

circuits seems to vary. Delhi/Uttar Pradesh should have a good first

week billing. In other circuits, the business ranges from decent to

ordinary.

Percept Picture Company, the producers, have made a neat profit

thanks to the sales of India theatrical rights [Mumbai fetched a

handsome price], Home Video and Satellite rights. Music rights also

fetched an okay amount, while the recovery from Overseas is almost

half-a-crore [and still counting].

Overall, it’s a ‘green’ light in some circuits [Mumbai/Maharashtra,

South] and ‘amber’ in some, partly due to its reasonable price tag!

THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: February 3-5, 2006]

A pleasant surprise and a rude shock. That’s how AKSAR and MERE

JEEVAN SAATHI behaved at the box-office.

AKSAR, backed by excellent music [Himesh Reshammiya], fantastic

promotion and an actor who’s popular with the youth [Emraan Hashmi],

was the first choice of moviegoers. The lethal combination of music and

sex [the smooches, the skin show et al] and qualitative promos ensured

that the film would attract more footfalls at movieplexes than the

much-delayed MERE JEEVAN SAATHI.

Consequently, when AKSAR took an encouraging start at several places

[75% +], it didn’t come as a surprise. But what caught a lot of people

unaware was the fact that the opening numbers were much better than the

two biggies of January [FAMILY, ZINDA]. For a film that has been made

at a modest budget, the good start was indeed an achievement.

On the other hand, MERE JEEVAN SAATHI aroused little passion from

Show 1 itself. The opening numbers at some places were in the range of

10%, which, again, caught a lot of people unaware. Yes, no one expected

MERE JEEVAN SAATHI to embark on a 90% start, but in view of the fact

that Akshay Kumar is riding high on popularity charts and with

billboards screaming ‘She’s back’ [hinting at Karisma Kapoor], one

definitely expected a 50% + initial for sure.

The failure of MERE JEEVAN SAATHI only underlines the fact that it’s

the content that drives a movie, not the stars.

THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: February 4-6, 2005]

A Sanjay Leela Bhansali film should ensure a 100% response for the

first three days in advance booking itself. But the opening of BLACK

was dismal: It ranged from 30% to 50% at several cinema halls. The

multiplexes were generating better business, as expected. The

collections of the film showed an upward trend at multiplexes on

Saturday and Sunday. Even on Monday, it was steady at several

multiplexes of metros. But it wasn’t as expected at several single

screens.

As for SHABD, what was so special about its script that excited

Sanju and Ash in the first place? And what kind of cinema was debutante

writer-director Leena Yadav trying to serve us? It’s very, very

important to keep the mindset of the Indian audiences in mind when you

attempt a film.

Also, where most debutante directors really falter is when they

compensate a cohesive script with brilliant visuals. Who cares if the

visuals are great or not? At the end of the day, a moviegoer wants to

witness an engrossing story, not a bizarre theme.

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