Bollywood Business Talk with Taran Adarsh
It was meant to be a clash of the titans, but the battle royale tilted more in favor of one film from Day 1 itself -- JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA. The headlines screamed, 'Harman versus Imran'. The soothsayers predicted a big start for LOVE STORY 2050. The promotion of this sci-fi film was also befitting its stature.
But, over the years, I've realized that the viewers never get carried away by the hype and hoopla. They go by their instinct. If their heart is set on a film, there's no stopping it. Actually, the industry is always clueless about what the audience wants. We can only indulge in wild guesswork. Kabhi nishaana sahi baithta hain, kabhi nahin.
Right now, it's a JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA wave across the nation. I haven't seen such enthusiasm amongst exhibitors quite frankly. The industry was in the I.C.U. and JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA has come as the sanjeevani booti.
I'd use just one word to describe its business -- Rocking! Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the opening weekend of this teenage prem kahani was superb everywhere. Monday usually witnesses a drop in business, but Monday [75%], Tuesday [70%] and Wednesday [60%+] business only made the trade jump with joy. A few exhibitors tell me that they're increasing the shows in its second weekend, owing to the public demand.
At the rate at which JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA is speeding, it should emerge a bigger hit than TAARE ZAMEEN PAR and the biggest hit of the year so far, in terms of economics.
Now LOVE STORY 2050. Anil Ambani's Big Pictures sent me a note on the extensive release strategy of the film on the eve of its release. It's a big film and that explains a big release. So far, so good!
Now let's talk hardcore business! As per the weekend statement sent by the producers to 'Bollywood Hungama', the film has grossed Rs. 7.70 crores in its opening weekend and the week should end at Rs. 11.5 / Rs. 12 crores nett. Which, in the first place, is not a hefty figure keeping in mind the number of prints in circulation. Two, assuming that the week closes at Rs. 12 crores nett [I am being optimistic, since the film dropped drastically from Monday onwards], the distributors' share [after deducting theatre rentals] would be approximately Rs. 5.50 crores. And the shares would only decline as the weeks go by.
Remember, the pricing [Rs. 40 cr., includes prints + promotion expenses] wouldn't be a cause for concern if the film enjoyed strong reports. But it doesn't!
In such a scenario, will the distributors recover the huge price they've invested in the film? Sure, the sale of Satellite and Home Video rights may ensure a chunk, but the theatrical business in India [below the mark] and Overseas [weak] is disappointing. Will it pick up in its second weekend? I doubt! The JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA wave is too strong, too omnipotent, simply unstoppable!