Would you watch a movie if practically every hoarding in the town is proclaiming it as a phenomenal box-office hit; supporting it with endorsements from reputed trade-pundits. The truth is, most of us will.Cine goers today are witnessing a sea of change in the face of films and their publicity. Gone are the days when audience decided a HIT by queuing up cinema halls to a House-full board. Today things have changed, with advance technologies and fancy statistics the box-office trade has gone murkier, which makes it easy to play around with figures to make a film HIT.
Are the stars cheating the audience by intentionally lying about the Box-Office numbers?
Quizzing some of the Bollywood insiders, we get the inside scoop on the truth behind box-office lies and overhyped stars.
Pritish Nandy – Yes, it’s very easy to cheat audience with such paid advertisement, or by simply buying air time on TV channels. Not just the producers and directors, even film stars to a certain extent do cheat audience with fabricated figures, over hyped remunerations. But at the same time, even film critics are not the best judge when it comes to the deciding factor of a film at the box-office. For example, Farhan Akhtar’s Luck By Chance got four and a half stars in all publications, but it was declared a ‘flop’. Basically, people take the call on hit and flop. The business of the cinema or the net profit are decided when everyone makes money, especially the distributors and the producers. It’s high time that we realize that whatever we see or hear in the showbiz is not correct. The actual figures are far scarier and not as fairy-tale, as otherwise portrayed.
Kay Kay Menon – I would like to mention that, it’s the audience which is to be blamed here. Good subjects with low-budget become the prey of audiences’ ignorant attitude. Why? Despite getting fooled by the same filmmakers who spend lavishly on promotion of the films with senseless subjects, audiences continue to watch such films. Indian cinema has a long way to go. Being a part of it, I feel very disappointed to see the way our cinema is heading. I feel pity at the very thought that Indian films have become a source to mint-money. Definitely, business is an important aspect but the notion of nurturing good subjects has disappeared somewhere, which hurts my creative sensibilities.
Imtiaz Ali – Yes, I don’t know who is to be blamed but somehow, I agree that collections do get misinterpreted and false claims are being made. I personally feel that it should be condemned, so that our audiences should no more be kept in dark.
Rajat Kapoor – I believe our Indian audience is way too immature when it comes to judging a film. Why can’t they get this thing straight that all that glitters is not gold? I fail to understand that how can a 90 seconds lavishly churned out nonsensical promo persuade them to go for a movie. Despite each time they discover-they have wasted their hard-earned buck on such filthy films; again they fall in the trap of publicity stunts. Weren’t films like Chandni Chowk to China, Welcome, and Singh is Kingg enough to decide whether one should go for a film like Kambakht Ishq? And to top it all despite the bad reviews producers have the audacity to declare it a hit and fool the audience. Its high time audience open their eyes and judge intelligently.
Anant Mahadevan – Well, the gross business figures of any film have nothing to do with the cine-goers because it involves distributor and exhibitors’ share. However, the audiences do get mislead by this marketing gimmick. If you go to compare our audience with the international audience; the latter is much more sensible than former. International audience doesn’t go by the full-page advertisement on newspapers or the good or bad reviews. They gauge on their instincts and do the selection, unlike Indian audience who seldom do that.
- Esha Razdan/ Sampurn Media