By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Let me come to the point right away. The much-hyped, keenly-anticipated SARKAR RAJ hasn't taken the domestic box-office by storm, except in a few circuits. As pointed out in the 'B.O. Update', the film didn't open to the desired response. And this did catch a lot of people by surprise. In fact, the not-as-expected opening of SARKAR RAJ was the topic of discussion at the IIFA weekend in Bangkok.
In view of the fact that SARKAR had fetched an excellent start, one expected SARKAR RAJ to open equally well, somewhere in the 90% + range. While recording an interview with Priyadarshan and Akshaye Khanna [I pulled off a mini coup by bringing the two media-shy personalities to talk on camera], Priyan made a valid observation when I enquired why he attempted comedies again and again.
“60% of the movie-going audience comprise of youth who tilt towards light entertainers and romantic-musicals, followed by the family segment. Serious fares enjoy limited patronage these days,” Priyan remarked. I endorse this viewpoint. Could be one of the reasons why SARKAR RAJ didn't open to packed houses.
The response to SARKAR RAJ at big centres [multiplexes] was heartening till Sunday, but Monday onwards, a drastic fall was witnessed everywhere. Single screens and smaller centres were down on Day 1 itself.
So what's the final status? Two things! One, Mumbai-Maharashtra and South belt should earn profits. In other circuits, it would swing between average and losing. Two, the price factor [it has been sold for huge prices] would be a deterrent. There's an old saying in the industry, which holds true in this case at least: It's not the film that fails, it's the price that fails!
With SARKAR RAJ on one hand and heavy rains lashing various parts of the country on the other, AAMIR faced the heat at the ticket window. Everyone who watched the film couldn't stop raving about it, but the lavish praises didn't translate into great collections. Now that's truly unfortunate!
At least AAMIR won critical acclaim, HUMSEY HAI JAHAAN never won any acclaim from both, the critics as also the moviegoers. In this case, the collections were in hundreds, no even thousands. Knowing the mindset of the exhibitors, this film wouldn't be complete even a 1-week run at the ticket window at several screens.