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Mad rush of releases in Dec, Jan!

By Manisha Deshpande


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Download Swades WallpapersWith more than 35 films scheduled for release in the month of December and January and Rs 100 crores at stake, there is a mad rush among distributors to book theatres for their films, with the result that exhibitors are now left with the option of scheduling only limited shows even for the best of films. To start with, December 10 will have three major releases, MUSAFIR, ROK SAKO TO ROK LO and..., followed by SWADES, HUM HAI LAJAWAB (THE INCREDIBLES, in English), on December 17. The real anxiety in the trade however is about December 24 when at least 10 films have been scheduled for release, including AB TUMHARE HAWALE..., DIL MAANGE MORE, RAINCOAT, ABRAA KA DABRA and five major English films. This will be followed by five big films in January including BEWAFAA, KISNA, BLACK, INSAN and TANGO CHARLIE.

"It is a tricky situation trying to accommodate so many films. We'll be forced to exercise the option of giving limited shows to every film in the process. The problem will be bigger for single-screen theatres that are releasing major films like MUSAFIR and SWADES, since they will not be in a position to discontinue those films abruptly to make way for the December 24 releases," says Neeraj Goswami, General Manager Programming, Shringar Cinemas.

Another problem facing exhibitors is the 3 hour, 12 minutes length of SWADES, which will restrict its run to a limited number of shows. "We were earlier planning to schedule the film in two shows since it was longer than the current duration but we will now be able to schedule it in three shows. Fortunately both DIL MAANGE MORE and RAINCOAT, have a two-hour duration, which will make it possible for us to have additional shows for the films at 11 p.m.," adds Goswami.

Download DIL MAANGE MORE WallpapersThe confusion among exhibitors has been further compounded by the recent postponement of A.T.H.W.S., which has now been confirmed for a December 24 release. "The film's postponement had created confusion among exhibitors whether they should go ahead and book the other films. Some of the distributors were also undecided about the release dates of their films, which added to the confusion," says exhibitor Rajesh Thadani.

"The cluster of so many films releasing in a short span of time will definitely result in divided prospects for each of them. It will undoubtedly limit the chances of their box-office potential being fully explored," says Arun Sharma, programming director of INOX.

Some theatre chains are now considering the option of booking films only for a week and deciding their run after looking at the first week's response to the film. According to Sanjay Dalia, Programming Manager, Cineline theatres, the heavy rush of films has compelled them not to confirm any film for an open run (indefinite run). "We don't want to miss out any film in the bargain so we have decided to watch the collections of every film in the first week and later decide whether we want to continue the film in the same number of shows in the following week," says Dalia.

Niraj Goswami has the last word. "It is a perennial problem that has faced the trade for years, every year in the Diwali and Christmas season, when theatres are over-flooded with films and exhibitors have a tough time scheduling them. It is time the producers realized that their films deserve a better platform and sustainability than just trying to release their films in a mad rush because of the Christmas week."


 
 

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