Bollywood Business Talk With Taran Adarsh: Great ending

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

My father once told me, the climax should be the highpoint of every film. A viewer carries home, besides other things, the penultimate moments of a film. As the curtain falls on 2008, I can't think of a more appropriate comparison for the year 2008 that will soon be considered a 'Flashback'.

The year 2008 would be remembered for so many things, good and bad, positive and negative, but, thankfully, it closes today with a bang. The frown on our faces is replaced by smiles. The laugh lines on our faces are pretty evident, what with RAB NE BANA DI JODI and GHAJINI elevating the mood [and the balance sheet] of the film industry. Moviegoers are back and how!

Every year teaches you something and the year 2008 has taught the industry several lessons…

* The economics have to be kept in check if everyone has to survive. The correction in prices [actors' fees, production costs, selling prices] is already taking place. Besides, most film-makers are thinking out of the box, daring to push the envelope further. So expect some great stuff in 2009 and 2010.

* The success of medium-budget and low-cost films indicates that moviegoers are ready to patronise films without stars.

* The corporates are taking stock of the situation currently and it goes as a request that they shouldn't get into an overzealous mood and acquire films at artificial/inflated prices.

* The actors have decided to cut down on their fees [most of them have been cut to size by the flops they delivered; they aren't doing any favour]. Star remuneration amounts to 50% - 60% of a film's budget and if this aspect is controlled, the economics would be in check.

So let's begin 2009 with optimism. Let's hope and pray that the year ahead brings prosperity to an industry that is just out of the Intensive Care Unit. Goodbye 2008, welcome 2009!

Now GHAJINI. Armed with a solid, record-breaking 4-day weekend of approx. Rs. 42 cr. nett [approx. Rs. 70 cr. gross], the film opened to a terrific response on Monday, which is an acid test for all movies, big or small. The film has had an extensive release in the domestic market and a fall in business from Monday onwards was imminent.

But GHAJINI sprang a pleasant surprise, for the Monday figures were heartening [70% + at several screens], which only goes to prove that a good film works on all days. Its super-success is a tight slap on the faces of several naysayers who had the gall to predict that action films are an absolute no-no in today's times.

JUMBO got sidelined completely. The GHAJINI wave was so omnipotent that not one person enquired about how this animation film was faring. JUMBO is a sweet film, but GHAJINI was too strong an opposition for it to handle.

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