Business Talk with Taran Adarsh - Box-office rewards or critics' awards?

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

A few misconceptions...

A 4 and 5 star rating by reviewers doesn't imply that the film is a 'Hit' at the cash counters. Both are two different things. Let me explain.

Film reviews are out -- in print and on television channels and also on web -- on Friday itself and even though the first day may not have come to a close, a film-maker starts calling his/her film a success only because a reviewer or two has been overtly generous with star ratings in the review.

Turning a blind eye [ignorant?] to the box-office numbers, the film-maker starts calling up his friends and well-wishers, "Apni picture Hit ho gayee yaar." This, even before the first show has commenced at plexes/single screens. Most film-makers don't even bother to check with various distributors across the country as to how the film is behaving in various circuits.

The question is, is the film-maker ready to face the truth?

Misconception 2... It's about the numbers provided by distributors/exhibitors to the media. When a distributor/studio claims their film has done a business of Rs. 45 crores in its opening weekend, most media persons as also the aam aadmi reading the news assume that the entire amount [Rs. 45 crores] has gone into the distributors' pockets.

In fact, some wannabes masquerading as analysts are completely clueless about the difference between gross and nett figures and also the eventual amount that comes in as distributors' share. Worse, even film-makers, especially the new breed, are completely ignorant about it. Haina kamaal ki baat?

Every person has a right to express his/her opinion in a democratic setup, but what really shocks me is the yardstick most critics use to review commercial/masala films and art house cinema. I know of a lot of critics who look down upon masala films because it's fashionable to do so. I know of a lot of these types who heap lavish praises on art house/middle of the road cinema for fear of being ridiculed on the blogs run by some 'intellectual' types. They fear, if we run down a film made by an 'intellectual', we've had it on these blogs.

Baap re baap, save us from these fake pseudos and their biradari!

Three diverse releases -- DEV D, MERE KHWABON MEIN JO AAYE and CHAL CHAL CHAL -- but none could set the box-office on fire. MERE KHWABON MEIN JO AAYE and CHAL CHAL CHAL were poor in content, hence the disastrous outcome doesn't come as a surprise.

As for DEV D, the film has had a decent run at few plexes of big centres, but the business is below the mark in several circuits. On Monday night, a top notch producer had a screening of his new film [slated for release this Friday] for the multiplex personnel exclusively [attended by this writer as well]. Believe me, almost everyone was of the opinion that 4 and 5 star ratings, of late, haven't helped movies gather any speed at the ticket counters.

Talking of DEV D, it will have to rely on its India theatrical business to cover its costs. The film has had a miniscule release in Overseas [the videshi junta doesn't take to such films] and the returns are negligible.

The Satellite price for 'A' certified films or films that cannot be enjoyed by the family audiences [DEV D is one of those] is not bright either. In any case, the Satellite price is down by 40%-50% of late. The same yardstick applies for the Home Video rights. The music rights were sold quite some time back, so it would be interesting to see where DEV D stands at the end of the day.

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