Friday, 7 September, 2007

BollyBoxOffice-This week

First weekend performance of latest release

How much I have been proved wrong! All this while I had a strong belief (even reflected in last week's column) that whatever be the eventual box office status of RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG, the least it would do is get a good box office opening. After all AAP KAA SURROOR is a living example of how hype and curiosity (negative or positive) can bring in audience.

Sadly, it didn't quite happen for RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG that neither got anywhere close to flames nor stayed on to show any sparks. The film simply failed after the first show itself and by the time Friday came to a close, it was crystal clear that the film had disappointed one and all. It was always expected that the film would fetch extreme reactions from people (nothing wrong with it) but an all around hostility was something that the cruelest of critic, audience or industry insider had not predicted.

So what went wrong? Was it just the comparison factor or a film being plain bad or any conspiracy? Well, rule out conspiracy because if that always worked then some of the biggest box office gainers from past and present may not have worked. Was it the film being plain bad? Well, let's get it right. Coming from a film maker other than RGV may probably not have fetched such extreme reactions. Yes, the film did disappoint but it wasn't the kind that was unbearable in entirety or didn't have a minute of anything which was redeeming.

In the nutshell, it is clear that it was the SHOLAY comparison coupled with huge expectations from the film maker simply killed the film at the box office.

VICTORIA NO. 203 had it's maximum hopes on picking up by word of mouth. Well, but what can one say about a film that didn't have a word of mouth at all. With as low as 10% occupancy at number of centers on the first day followed by all around negative vibes that it generated, the film has been a non-starter at the box office. With no USP to boast, lukewarm promotion, zero hype and overall being an average product, it is set to be a looser at the box office.

Third release of the week DHOKHA isn't expected to fare any better in spite of good word of mouth by those who saw the film. The sad part is that the film was hardly seen by many which didn't give rise to a kind of spread that Bhatts would have been hoping for positive vibes over the weekend. The film's best aspect is discovery of Muzammil followed by Pooja Bhatt's best direction till date. A good subject treated quite well, the film may just loose out at box office but has good prospects on DVD circuits if marketed better than the way it's theatrical release has been.

Last week's movies

It's confirmed. HEYY BABYY has taken the second best start at the box office this year after PARTNER and is now one of the best openers in the history of Indian cinema. Raking in excess of 27 crore across the country, the film had close to 5.5 crores coming from Mumbai followed by Delhi being strong at 2.5 crores. Delhi NCR was very good too at 1.35 crores while Ahmedabad too crossed the 1 crore mark. In all a recipe that reads a definite hit at the box office.

The film's second week is also expected to be strong due to AAG fiasco though it would be interesting to observe if the film manages to cross PARTNER's 60 crore + total. Reason? DHAMAAL releases this weekend and the film is carrying excellent reports. It may just prove to be too much of a competition but more about that later. Sajid Khan now finds himself in the A league of directors and he should be choosing his next project extremely carefully due to high level of expectations from him going further.

There is nothing at all to say about KAISEY KAHEN since it is a colossal disaster of the highest degree with less than 10 lakhs coming from the box office across the country!

From the past

Talking about disasters, MARIGOLD now sits at the top of the list for Salman Khan's all time biggest box office disasters with the film being pulled out of theaters in one week flat. With no more addition to it's total of 75 lakhs, the film's collections are lesser than some of the soft porn films that are released at regular intervals.

BUDDHA MAR GAYA is another addition to the flops in 2007 with more than 90% fall over the second week. Raking in just 20 lakhs, the film has fallen very badly and is closing at a total of 3 crores. Since the film was made at a shoe string budget, the losses would be minimal and makers can expect the DVD sales and satellite re-runs to compensate for it. Yet another film this season apart from RGV KI AAG that was criticized by almost everyone and everyone (even if most had probably not even seen the film)!

With the third week of CHAK DE INDIA also holding quite strong in spite of competition from more popular cinema like HEYY BABYY, this Shimit Amin/Jaideep Sahni/Shahrukh Khan film is now a Superhit. Less than 50% in the third week has resulted in 8.5 crore more coming in to bring the total to 45 crores. This is for a movie that was stated to be offbeat/unconventional to begin with and had doubts around it's entertainment quotient! Collecting close to 1.75 crore from Mumbai, 1.2 crores from Delhi and 65 lakhs further from Delhi NCR, CHAK DE INDIA is a winner all over.

The film's anthem composed by Salim-Sulaiman is now the sports anthem across India as well as abroad, something that can be witnessed from all the victory cheers around recent cricket and hockey wins for India. Many girls from the film are also being noticed with Vidya Malvade getting a fresh lease in her career and Sagarika Ghatge getting the best of offers.

Taking a 50% fall in collections but still staying into the Top-3 charts, PARTNER has made another 1 crore in it's 6th week. At 61.5 crores, the film is now breathing it's last and should wrap up with another 75 lakhs or so in it's kitty over next 3 weeks. Lara Dutta finds herself into the big league again after critical acclaim in JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM followed by tremendous box office success in PARTNER.

In the future

One sincerely hopes that Ram Gopal Varma's DARLING doesn't get engulfed into the negative fire that AAG has created. A film that looks genuinely well made while reminding of the director's vintage BHOOT, it still doesn't promise to shake the box office with it's opening. All it's hopes lie in word of mouth since the opening isn't expected to be promising. On the other hand DHAMAAL is expected to take a good opening (60%-70%) and if industry insiders are to be believed, it has all in it to show 100% collections by Sunday. Reason? The film is said to be extremely well made and total 'dhamaal'. Expect fireworks from this laughaton.

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