Bollywood Business Talk with Taran Adarsh

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

At the commencement of 2008, a few people had opined that there would be a scarcity of new releases in the months to come. A clear picture vis-à-vis the flow of releases can never be ascertained at the very commencement of the year, since a producer has to keep a lot of factors in mind before he locks the release date. Also, he has to consult his distributors/financiers before he decides on a date.

As things stand today, the flow of films in 2008 is heavy and an equal number of films should be added to this exhaustive list as the year progresses. I foresee, 2/3/4 significant films clashing week after week, starting April this year. Although no one wants a clash, it's difficult to avert clashes in the coming weeks looking at the mass production happening in Mumbai.

I've often been asked, will things change for better in 2008? Also, which genre would rule the box-office this year? As an optimist, I look forward to every film that's slated for release. I've always maintained that box-office is most unpredictable and that's the beauty of this business. There's no rule that only biggies would attract big crowds.

As for the genre, any story well told will find its audience. Let's not forget, the viewer wants to listen to a gripping story unfold on screen. Rest everything is secondary!

So what's the verdict on JODHAA AKBAR? Like always, the opinions are divided. UTV calls it a success, since the money invested and the money recovered proves that it's a profitable venture. I endorse their viewpoint completely.

But the pessimists continue to indulge in malicious propaganda [do they have an agenda?] that it's not working at so-and-so small centre. But aren't we forgetting that even CHAK DE INDIA and TAARE ZAMEEN PAR weren't as strong at some smaller centres? If one were to go by this obnoxious theory, we should've called these two films flops as well.

Since UTV are the producers and distributors of JODHAA AKBAR, what matters is what money they eventually recover. If the cost is Rs. 50 cr. and the recovery is in the range of Rs. 70 cr., what would you call it? A flop? If that's a flop, will someone please explain the definition of a Hit to me? As for UTV, they're laughing all the way to the bank… and also at the zilch business sense of a few negative souls.

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