No, the week gone by hasn’t changed anything for Bollywood. In fact it has only made the hunger for better films increase by leaps and bounds if box office response for the newer releases is anything to go by. Even the combined collections of each of the five films – ‘Apartment‘, ‘Bird Idol’, ‘City of Gold’, ‘Kuchh Kariye’ and ‘Muskurake Dekh Zara’ - wasn’t good enough to result into 100% collections for a single show on any of the days. In simpler terms, the average standing of each of the five films didn’t even touch 20%.
So bad was the response to the newer films that shows had to be canceled for number of them. This writer was himself witness to at least three of them – ‘City of Gold’, ‘Kuchh Kariye’ and ‘Muskurake Dekh Zara’ – which were played solely on request basis since the multiplexes had originally cancelled the shows. Now that’s quite an irony since the best and the worst that was offered in this weekend met with similar fate.
So while ‘City of Gold’ found most favourable reviews coming its way, not many even cared about ‘Kuch Kariye’ and ‘Muskurake Dekh Zara’. And those who did gave it nothing more than a single star rating. Naturally, the films didn’t survive beyond a weekend. As for ‘City of Gold’, it was hurt due to zero promotion and its Mumbai centric appeal. Its violent narrative means that family audiences aren’t expected to walk in either despite good reviews coming its way. In fact that’s the only silver lining for this Mahesh Manjrekar directed film which is not any great shakes to begin with but has benefited (at least in printed words) primarily due to utter shortage of even reasonably good software during last few months. At the box office, fate of each of these films is going to be horrendous.
As for ‘Bird Idol’ and ‘Apartment’, they may end up saving some face since they have their ends covered due to DVD and satellite rights. ‘Bird Idol’ is an animation film and though box office response was again close to zilch, it can expect some revenue coming its way via kids channels and DVD sales. One wonders though if this is what indeed makes the makers happy, why do they opt for a theatrical release at all? It is painful to see handful of people in theatre when the screening of such animation films begins.
As predicted last week, ‘Apartment’ saw a better opening when compared to the rest. Of course this too was on a lower side but the fact remains that controversies surrounding the film and the perceived sex element due to presence of two hot bods – Neetu Chandra and Tanushree Dutta – managed to get some foot falls at the least in its target audience at single screen theaters. Low budget costs and quick DVD and satellite release would result in possible recovery in some time to come. The biggest beneficiary of the film though is Neetu Chandra who has managed to fetch good visibility due to an author backed role which has been appreciated by quite a few.
- Rudhir Burman / Sampurn Wire