Bollywood Box Office Report ...


By Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM

Come April

and not only does the mercury shoot up, even film business starts

projecting an upward trend. While the first three months have witnessed

approx. 95% flops, you earnestly prayed that the summer phase would

boost the morale of the industry. The general feeling within the industry is

that things begin to brighten from April onwards. And there are valid

reasons to support this viewpoint…

* With school/college exams getting over in April, the youth makes

a beeline for movieplexes in large numbers. The occupancy, therefore,

shows a rise.
* Summer vacations [April-June] are amongst the productive periods to

release films. That explains why one sees a plethora of films -- big and

small -- vying for audience attention.

But the first week of April this year didn't set the cash registers jingling.

The two diverse films -- SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM and PROVOKED

-- have met with the same fate in the domestic market.

The pre-release buzz of SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM was pretty

strong and its catchy music [Himesh Reshammiya] and attractive promos

were expected to attract the youngsters in hordes. The opening was fairly

good at several multiplexes, but dull at single screens. More specifically,

the opening was better in Mumbai and North multiplexes, but slippery at

most centres.

The word of mouth tilted towards ordinary/negative and that explains

why the film remained steady on Saturday and Sunday, but had a rapid fall

from Monday onwards. SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM is better than

several films that hit the marquee in the recent past, but, for some reason,

the film couldn't do the trick.

For Suneel Darshan, who has distributed the film globally himself, it's a

wait-n-watch situation since it's too early to comment whether he'd be able

to break-even or lose a part of his investment.

PROVOKED, on the other hand, was much in news prior to its

release, but the hype and hoopla didn't translate into a favorable opening at

the ticket window. The start was dull and it remained on the lower side as

days progressed. In fact, when the select media watched the film almost a

year ago at the I.I.F.A. Awards at Dubai, I distinctly remember the general

feedback ranged from ordinary to poor.

But let's not lose hope. The weeks ahead look motivating enough and

there's a strong possibility that the numbers might escalate with the arrival

of several biggies. Umeed pe duniya kaayam hain!

[Weekend: April 7-9, 2006]

The low-key response to two of the three films that opened last Friday

[April 7] caught a number of industrymen by surprise. In fact, barring

SHAADI SE PEHLE [good first week billing in Mumbai, Delhi-U.P.,

Rajasthan], the other new releases, BANARAS and SAAWAN, generated

less heat, finding it difficult to stand on their feet in the opening weekend


SHAADI SE PEHLE had a poor start on Thursday [Ram Navmi]. In

fact, the opening day figures of this Subhash Ghai-produced laughathon

were in the range of 20% +, although a few centres reported a much lower

audience turnout. But things improved on Friday and the collections

stabilized on Saturday and Sunday, in some pockets. Monday was dull,

but the holiday on Tuesday helped to an extent.

One of the prime reasons why BANARAS went unnoticed was

because the promos didn't generate any heat prior to its release. Also, a

title like BANARAS - A MYSTIC LOVE STORY has its limitations.

However, I must add that in terms of audience feedback, BANARAS

enjoyed better reports amongst the three releases, but it caters to a tiny

segment of viewers and hence, such poor business everywhere.

The third release, SAAWAN, took a better start in the Hindi belt [40%

+] because of the star presence of Salman Khan. But the audience reports

were outright negative; consequently, the film went downhill from Day 2

itself. In fact, the moviegoers felt cheated that Salman was plastered on all

posters/hoardings when the fact remains that he arrives slightly before the

intermission and appears in parts towards the second hour.

[Weekend: April 8-10, 2005]

The much-awaited season of biggies commenced with LUCKY and in

an otherwise arid movie-going scenario, the film notched a fabulous start

everywhere. After a long, long time, serpentine queues were witnessed

outside both single screens and multiplexes. After weeks of no-show, the

'House Full' boards sprang up at the entrance of cinema halls, which,

frankly speaking, was a rarity.

Promotion also played a crucial role in creating tremendous excitement

for LUCKY. The quality and quantity of promos were both splendid.

Besides, T-Series, the masters in promotion, left no stone unturned in not

just making the film, but releasing it with the hype it deserved.

LUCKY performed exceptionally well during its first weekend. The

film had a wide release and most multiplexes performed six/seven shows

every day, garnering superb collections all over. With a fabulous start on

hand, half the battle was won. The collections did totter on Monday and

Tuesday [Indo-Pak cricket match], but given the magnificent start of the

film, it proved a plus proposal for its investors eventually.

[Weekend: April 2-4, 2004]

MURDER proved to be the first universal success of 2004. Like

JISM, the film talks of adultery, how a married woman cheats on her

husband. If Pooja Bhatt produced JISM, MURDER was produced by her

chacha Mukesh Bhatt.

* The flying start of MURDER indicated that the combination of a

captivating story and generous doses of sex could work big time at the


* The superb start of MURDER also indicated that you don't need

to bank on stars to sell the film to distributors first and audiences


* The audience reaction to MURDER also proved that SEX sells.

Ironically, the two desi versions of UNFAITHFUL, released in two

consecutive weeks, have brought respite for a hungry-for-hits industry.

Last week's HAWAS and this week's MURDER set the cash registers

jingling and one was equally optimistic about MASTI, a sex comedy

[coincidentally, this one also talks of extra-marital affairs], improving the

scenario for the better.