Bollywood box-office report of the week : 13 may 2009

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Just as it seemed that a solution to the ongoing dispute between multiplexes and producers/distributors was around the corner, the news came that the talks between the disputing parties had failed. The negotiations between producers/distributors and the seven multiplex chains, which are engaged in a battle of sorts over revenue-sharing and other problems, hit a roadblock. With neither side willing to budge during the May 5 meeting, the talks had to fail. The repercussions of the stalemate will continue to be felt on either side in the months to come.

Anyway, after the renewed negotiations broke, producers and distributors met last week and decided to lift the embargo on new film releases, but only in single-screen cinemas and the independent multiplexes.

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However, producer Anupam Mittal, who had postponed the release of his 99 by a week, for the sake of the unity of the producers and distributors, is going ahead with the release in the single-screen as well as the seven multiplex chains too. The long absence of any worthwhile watch at quality cinemas may just help the cause of the Vinod Khanna, Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Boman Irani and Cyrus Broacha starrer.

Last Friday saw the release of Seagull Media Productions and Phat Phish Motion Pictures' FROZEN. The Danny Danzongpa, Raj Zutshi and Gauri starrer, released by Enlighten Film Co., thru Shringar Films Ltd., saw a weak opening, despite a limited number of prints. Trade feels that FROZEN will be a total loss for all concerned, but it is a movie definitely worth a watch, thanks to some good technical values and exotic locales.

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Checking out the performance of the Kamal Haasan and Asin starrer DASHAVTAR (dubbed), the film collected 2.05 lakhs from Bombay, 3 lakhs from Ahmedabad and 1.60 lakhs from Nagpur. Adding another 25 lakhs, DASHAVTAR has netted a very ordinary 1.75 crores in three weeks from India and is a trade disaster.

Meanwhile Nagesh Kukunoor's psychological thriller, 8X10 TASVEER, starring Akshay Kumar and Ayesha Takia, continues to be the predominant film at the cinemas due to absence of any other alternative! The film collected 3.50 lakhs from Bombay, 4.15 lakhs from Ahmedabad, 6.50 lakhs from Delhi city, 1.15 lakhs from Noida, 1.05 lakhs from Ghaziabad, 1 lakh from Kanpur, 1.20 lakhs from Lucknow, 1.25 lakhs from Gurgaon and 5.50 lakhs from Jaipur. Adding another 50 lakhs during its latest run, 8X10 TASVEER has netted 15.30 crores in five weeks from India but remains a trade disaster. The film has also been totally rejected in the Overseas.

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Just like 8X10 TASVEER, the Jehangir Surti directed AA DEKHEN ZARA is another film that has been kept on at the cinemas despite a poor run, once again due to no other alternatives. The film collected 1 lakh from Bombay, 1.25 lakhs from Ahmedabad and 3.15 lakhs from Delhi city. With an additional 15 lakhs, the Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu starrer, AA DEKHEN ZARA, has netted 5.75 crores in six weeks from India. The film though remains in the disaster category.

Before we leave, here are some interesting facts about how Marathi cinema has come to the rescue of the Bombay as well as adjoining area multiplexes of Western India! It is quite well known by now that Mahesh Manjrekar's MI SHIVAJIRAJE BHOSLE BOLTOY! has set many new records and is still running to packed houses at many cinemas of the region. But what should come as a pleasant surprise for the lovers of regional cinema is that even the latest Marathi release, GALLIT GONDHAL DILLIT MUJRA (granted tax free status like MI SHIVAJIRAJE BHOSLE BOLTOY!) too is setting the cinemas on fire, in its opening week!

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