Business Talk With Taran Adarsh: Surprised, shocked, saddened!

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Everyone's surprised and shocked! Everyone's surprised because LUCK BY CHANCE was supposed to prove yet another jewel in the crown of Excel [Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani's production outfit], after ROCK ON!!, but the film failed to take off. Everyone's shocked because VICTORY failed to fetch a face-saving start. Its business would make Harman's [or is it Hurman] monumental flop LOVE STORY 2050 look like an epic.

Let's talk of LUCK BY CHANCE first! I've often said and I'd like to reiterate the fact that box-office can be most unpredictable. ROCK ON!! took a speedy start, but LUCK BY CHANCE, despite winning rave reviews, was limping in its debut weekend.

Fantastic reviews [at par with SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE], great word of mouth and a motivating promotional campaign couldn't do the trick. The appealing star cast, with more than a dozen cameos from top-of-the-line stars, didn't help either. To put it bluntly, there were hardly any takers for this well-made film.

A section of the industry feels that the English title was a put-off. I don't subscribe to this theory because almost every Hindi film today has an English name. Why, even ROCK ON!! was an angrezi title, but did it prove to be a deterrent? Another theory doing the rounds is, the topic [film industry] wouldn't appeal to the common man, unless it's supported by strong drama. Almost four decades ago, Hrishida's GUDDI had the same backdrop and it worked big time. I guess, we start making excuses when a film fails.

The bitter truth is, LUCK BY CHANCE has been given a skip by most moviegoers for reasons unknown to all of us. You can never read the moviegoer's mind, really. For Big Pictures, its distributors, LUCK BY CHANCE is a financial setback, given the fact that the film was sold for a big price.

Now VICTORY! I rubbed my eyes in disbelief when you keep hearing of its box-office collections at various centres. Agreed, VICTORY lacked in merits, but no one estimated the film to collect 1/4th or 1/5th of what LOVE STORY 2050 collected in its opening weekend. You can well imagine how poor and tragic the business of the film is. In fact, it would be an achievement if the film manages to complete an entire week at several screens, since the collections are as good as zilch.

You'd be surprised to know that supreme disasters like DRONA and LOVE STORY 2050 had a better weekend than VICTORY. The collections, even at plexes, are as low as 2% and 3%. Only goes to show that what may be hot within the industry, may not necessarily be hot with moviegoers.

The failure of VICTORY will hit Harman's forthcoming films hard. You're as good or bad as your last Friday and the last two Fridays in Harman's life have been miserable. Sad, but true!

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