The financial year 2014-15 is coming to an end, and apart from a few successful movies, the film industry hasn’t had much to cheer about in the last quarter — January-March 2015.
"From Tevar to Roy, a lot of films that carried expectations didn’t do well at the box office. The last quarter could have been better, but we have had to compete with the World Cup too. However, the next three months look good, so we are hopeful," says Devang Sampat, business head — strategic initiatives, Cinepolis.
Manoj Desai, the executive director of Mumbai Central’s Maratha Mandir cinema and the G7 Multiplex in Bandra (W), is also disappointed by the past three months' collections. "I can’t trust any big film today. I have forgotten the definition of a big film in the last three months. A film is big only if it works business-wise," he explains.
But Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, has a more positive outlook. "Some Hindi films earned less than the expected numbers, but, that said, Baby, Badlapur and NH10 were among the shining stars," he says, adding, "Oscar-nominated Hollywood films continued their successful track record with American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and Birdman doing well at the box office."
In the first quarter of the financial year 2015-16, Sampat says he’s looking forward to the next installments of Hollywood films in the Avengers and Fast And Furious franchises. He adds, "Bombay Velvet is also keenly awaited. At our theatres, we constantly do surveys, and the trailer of this film has generated a lot of positive buzz."
According to exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, Furious 7 will have the widest release for an international film in India, while The Avengers: Age of Ultron, is also expected to rake in good figures. He adds, "Akshay Kumar’s Gabbar and Sunny Leone’s Ek Paheli Leela have potential as well. And Piku has the possibility of becoming a sleeper hit that gains momentum with positive word-of-mouth."
Many filmmakers have stayed away from this time period in the past few years, to avoid clashing with the Indian Premier League (IPL). But Gianchandani doesn’t consider the cricket tournament a hindrance anymore. He says, "IPL and films have co-existed for a while now. If it’s not a distraction for producers who release their films in this time frame, you can be sure it won’t be a distraction for our patrons either."