King Akshay gives Salman, Ranbir run for money!

By Robin Bansal

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Two romantic comedies "Bachna Ae Haseeno" and "God Tussi Great Ho" - both releasing Friday - are getting a cold response at the ticket counter in terms of advance bookings, thanks to the overwhelming reaction to last week's release, "Singh is Kinng".

The films are releasing over a long weekend that marks Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan celebrations. But distributors and cinema owners in Delhi are keeping the Akshay Kumar starrer on regular screening slots because it is doing good business.

"'Singh is...', which released last week, is still going strong and would be the first choice of family audiences during the festival weekend," Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor, told IANS.

"'Bachna Ae...' is only for the young audience vis-à-vis 'God Tussi...', which is a film for the masses because of Salman Khan's presence."

"There has also been no pre-release tempo preceding both the films. Even their music has not made a mark in comparison to the music of 'Singh is Kinng' that is still driving people crazy," he added.

Director Siddharth Anand's "Bachna Ae..." is the story of a Casanova, played by Ranbir Kapoor, and his three girlfriends - Deepika Padukone, Minissha Lamba and Bipasha Basu.

"God Tussi..." by Rumi Jafry is said to be a remake of Hollywood movie "Bruce Almighty" and stars Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra in the lead. Amitabh Bachchan too features in the movie as the almighty.

In terms of budget, producer Afzal Khan invested around Rs.400 million in "God Tussi..." and comparatively Yash Raj Films' (YRF) "Bachna Ae..." is a medium-budget film. Its total cost is about Rs.190 million.

"God Tussi..." will be released worldwide with around 700 prints. YRF refused to divulge details regarding the prints but director Siddharth Anand said the movie would be released with the average print limit of the banner for a medium-budget project.

A reliable source from PVR cinemas said: "There is a good pre-release response to all the three movies. However, it is true that 'Singh Is...' is still managing high sales."

Anjali Malhotra, manager, brand communications, Adlabs, echoed the same saying: " 'Singh...' is going strong in its second week and is expected to keep on garnering sales. But we have divided our screens equally for all the three movies."

However, Ashok Bisht, assistant manager of Jam Cinemas, Ghaziabad, showed confidence in the Ranbir starrer, saying: "We are expecting a good business with 'Bachna Ae...' because of the Yash Raj banner in comparison to 'God Tussi...' but 'Singh is...' is still getting us business of around 70 percent even on weekdays."

However, the slow start at the booking counter has neither disturbed Anand nor Jafry - both directors are confident of their projects.

Anand said: "Nothing affects the ticket sales. It is tough, but it depends on the film. If an individual has to go for a film, then he or she will definitely go for it, come what may."

Jafry stated: "I don't fear any movie. There is nobody greater than god and I have my faith in him. My movie is commercial, but different. The audience would come to know of it when they will watch it."

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh too is optimistic of both the releases and is looking forward to watching them.

He said: "There are a lot of expectations from both the movies. Both are big projects and have big stars. It would be a great holiday period and the movies are expected to do great business."

"However, what movie fares well at the box office depends upon the content that is the driving force of a film," he concluded.

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