Vidya's KAHAANI is the biggest hit of year's first quarter
March 19, 2012 01:05:12 PM IST Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
In cost-recovery ratio terms Vidya Balan starrer KAHAANI with its Rs. 24 crore nett first week box office collections and a clear week ahead, which is certain to fetch in another 15 crores, is all set to become the biggest hit of the year thus far, pushing AGNEEPATH to number two position. It is a dream run for a film of this kind. It has turned out to be a highly profitable investment for its producer Jayantilal Gada and his first major hit. Gada must be ruing his decision to sell its satellite rights cheap to Star TV. Had he held back, he would have fetched a price in the range of 15-20 crores. The film may also revive the career of its director Sujoy Ghosh.
The film reinforces Vidya Balan's star power and puts her on as high a pedestal as the top line male stars of the industry. A comparison between the cost and the cast of AGNEEPATH and KAHAANI is quite revealing. On one hand you have an opulent production with the combined star power of maharathis like Rishi Kapoor, and Sanjay Dutt, and heartthrobs like Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, supported by a mighty banner like Dharma Productions led by one of the gods among producers/promoters Karan Johar, commandeering his media power worth crores. In KAHAANI you just have Vidya Balan who anchors and promotes the film single-handedly, travelling in buses and trains, walking on streets, with a dummy tummy, trying hard to create enough buzz for her small film that was shot on actual locations, mostly with a hand-held camera. And in the end it's this underdog of a film that does better than the behemoth. CHECK OUT: New releases fail, KAHAANI still the preferred tale!
AGNEEPATH cost close to 50 crores and went on to earn around Rs.100 crores with the widest ever release of a Bollywood film. KAHAANI cost about 5-8 crores, and it has already done a business of Rs. 24 crores and is still going strong and may end up with box office receipts of Rs.55 crores by the time it goes off the wide screen. Over and above, it has garnered universal critical acclaim. KAHAANI undoubtedly is an obvious winner in comparison.
There is one more comparison that must be made. AGNEEPATH success party happened on the second day of its release, the day its collections nose-dived. The success party of KAHAANI took place after the weekly box office collection reports certified the film a hit. Hype works, sometimes hard work and perseverance work too.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)