By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Towards the end of last year, while the only confirmed big release was that of Shah Rukh Khan starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, two other much anticipated films like Ghajini and Chandni Chowk To China saw quite some change in their release plans as they reached closer to the finishing lines. While Ghajini settled down for a Christmas release, Chandni Chowk To China decided to come all the way in 2009, precisely 16th January.
"And it was a wise decision on part of Warner Bros. to avoid any clash whatsoever", says Madhu Mantena, co-producer of Ghajini that has literally written box office history by being the biggest grosser ever of the current times in two weeks flat, "Why would any sensible producer want to get into a scenario where his big film clashes with another biggie."
He goes on to add, "Even we were releasing two weeks after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. There is no room for ego here. Anyone who knows how to program films would do the same and have gaps between the big releases. Warner Bros. understands that hence it was good for everyone if Chandni Chowk To China arrived after a gap of 3 weeks. With the kind of films and the budgets that CC2C and Ghajini have, it would have been foolish to bring them together."
Suppose CC2C and RNBDJ would have been confirmed for December release then what would he have done for Ghajini plans? "Of course I too would have opted for a later release date. Ghajini is such big a film and I wouldn't have taken any risk. Gone are the days when two big films released on the same day. We all have been witness to Don v/s Jaan-e-Mann clash", he says quickly.
Madhu also presents another line of reasoning, "They say that if two films release on the same day, the second film in the list gets an overflow of audience if the first is a bigger success. Sorry, I don't buy that argument."
"It used to be the case in good old single screen days when houseful boards left audience with the option of either returning after 3 hours or watch another film in the running. However, today in the era of multiplexes, show timings are programmed in such a way that tickets are always available for Choice #1. In the best case scenario of a film being houseful, you can always check it within 30 minutes or 1 hour later because of so many shows in the running. So basically, the point I am trying to make is that people always get to see their first choice on the same day", he explains.