By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Friday, June 30, 2006
First Fanaa. Then Phir Hera Pheri. Now Krrish. It's raining hits at the box-office. Three hits in one month [Fanaa opened on May 26 and Krrish on June 23] is a rarity. At a time when the film industry was fervently praying for hits, the super success of the three films has rejuvenated the spirits and revived an ailing industry. Producers, distributors, exhibitors... everyone I meet these days is smiling from ear to ear.
The best part is, the volume of business has increased by leaps and bounds. The business in the domestic market as also the Overseas circuit has grown over the years. At the rate the print count and the overall business have escalated, I strongly feel that this is just the beginning. Wait till films like Omkara, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Jaanemann, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Kabul Express, Umrao Jaan, Don, Dhoom 2, Eklavya - The Royal Guard, Vivah and Baabul open.
The arithmetic of film-making has undergone a change for better and will continue to change in weeks to come. Hindi cinema is shining and how!
Krrish SPELLS MAGIC
It's magic, it's magic! No, I am not humming the song Hrithik Roshan rendered in Koi... Mil Gaya. I am only reacting to the day-wise figures of Krrish. Released with 1000 + prints [includes Tamil and Telugu versions as well as Digital prints], the sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya embarked on a historic start at the ticket window. The entire weekend was packed at most movieplexes in advance itself and the first week billing should cross that of Fanaa, as per initial indications.
As expected, Krrish was slammed by 'critics' and the reaction within a section of the industry was also 'mixed'. Looking at their predictions of late, a producer should start getting sleepless nights if these 'critics' praise a film or give it a 4-star rating. And if they shower the film with choicest of names, the producer in turn should pop champagne.
Films like Fanaa, Phir Hera Pheri and now Krrish were butchered badly, but the business of these films only goes to show that the paying public knows what's good for them and what actually deserves to be kicked. And no amount of nasty, mean, spiteful, vicious, disgusting and horrid reviews could make even 1% of difference to the fate of these films.
I am also perplexed at the double standards of a section of the industry. Everyone prays for a hit prior to a Friday, but when a film actually takes a historic/earth shattering start, the same people want to pull it down by spreading nasty text messages. Pet mein dard shuru ho jaata hain.
Reports mixed hain, they echo. So? Is this a new trend? Didn't Sholay go through a similar grind years ago? And didn't the same industrymen lash out at Hum Aapke Hain Koun, calling it a shaadi ka video? It's natural for the opinion to be divided. Some like it, some don't. But what eventually matters is how interesting your balance sheet looks at the end of the day.
Coming back to Krrish, a section of the industry was of the opinion that it's a poor clone of a Hollywood film. But I need to ask the same people one vital question: Why do we need to look for a Hollywood film in a Bollywood film? Krrish is a Bollywood film, made for those who relish such extravaganzas. And for the Indian masses, the stunts and effects are a novel experience.
Krrish has won immense praise from the expected quarters: kids. The children have taken to the film in a big way and their reaction to an Indian superhero has contributed to the repeat viewing of the film.
Armed with a fabulous weekend on hand, Krrish began the weekdays on an equally zealous note. The film has worked at not just A class centres, but also at single screens as well as smaller centres. Krrish has set new records and with no major release for another three weeks [till Golmaal - Fun Unlimited on July 14], the dream run is expected to continue.
THIS WEEK, LAST YEAR
[Weekend: May 24-26, 2005]
The much-in-news Paheli, starring the country's biggest star, SRK [who also produced this folklore] and co-starring a host of impressive names [Big B, Rani Mukerji, Suniel Shetty, Juhi Chawla], didn't open to a stupendous response at many places. The opening ranged from excellent to fairly good at multiplexes, but at single screens in Mumbai as well as at several stations across the country, the initial was not befitting a biggie.
When a movie doesn't open to a desired response, the blame-game begins instantly. It happened with Paheli as well. From SRK's moustache to the heavy downpour [the release of the film coincided with the onset of monsoons] to the not-too-exciting promos to the offbeat nature of the film, the industry was quick to point reasons that were responsible for the not-too-strong opening.
Let's just say that the paying public wasn't too excited. Or, perhaps, the hardcore masses had realized, even before the film hit the marquee, that Paheli was not their idea of entertainment.