All efforts to resolve the contentious revenue sharing issue between the multiplex owners and producers/distributors remains unresolved. In fact, rather than inching closer to a solution, the differences have become more pronounced and bitter. Some sections of the trade feel that in a way the talks have broken down, so there is no hope of any reconciliation in the near future. All the same we are still hopeful and optimistic of some headway in the near future.
The coming Friday will see the release of just one film, the relatively unheard of DETECTIVE NANI, featuring Ava Mukherji in the title role and master Zain Khan of CHAIN KULII KI MAIN KULII fame. If the makers feel that the families with kids in tow will throng the cinemas due to the holidays and the genre of their film, DETECTIVE NANI, they are sadly mistaken because they are likely to see almost empty theaters.
Last Friday saw the release of People Pictures' 99, the first film in a long time to have released across all multiplexes chains and most single screens of India. As we had said last week, producer Anupam Mittal had postponed the release of his film for the sake of the unity of the producers and distributors and he got some rewards for his gesture! Released (by People Pictures) at around 80 cinemas of Bombay-Thane, the film saw a dull to ordinary first day across India, but the film picked up on Saturday and quite noticeably on Sunday. The first weekend haul is likely to benefit the film as the feedback has been somewhat positive. Trade is hopeful of a decent second weekend for the Vinod Khanna, Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Boman Irani and Cyrus Broacha starrer, and that should hopefully see the reasonably budgeted 99 through to safety.
SUNO NA… EK NANHI AWAAZ:
The only other release of the same week, the Tara Sharma starrer, SUNO NA…EK NANHI AWAAZ, saw a horrifyingly poor start across India and it will add to the long list of disasters for 2009.
It is becoming crystal clear that box-office collections have hit an all time low. The heat wave condition prevailing in most part of the country has also taken its toll on the starless releases. One such film, the visually appealing Danny Denzongpa starrer, FROZEN, has proved to be a dud, with 3.75 lakhs from Bombay being the only significant collection.
Meanwhile the Kamal Haasan and Asin starrer DASHAVTAR (dubbed) is moving out of the cinemas. With 2 lakhs from Ahmedabad and 1.20 lakhs from Nagpur, the film adds another 15 lakhs and has so far netted around 1.90 crores in four weeks from India. DASHAVTAR has already been declared a trade disaster and obviously there is no change in that.
Just like the last few week, it is Nagesh Kukunoor's psychological thriller, 8X10 TASVEER, starring Akshay Kumar and Ayesha Takia, which continues to occupy the cinemas, though achieving precisely nothing by way of a change in its status! Just for the records, 8X10 TASVEER collected 2.50 lakhs from Bombay, 3.15 lakhs from Ahmedabad, 3.50 lakhs from Delhi city, 1 lakh each from Noida and Ghaziabad, 1.10 lakhs from Kanpur and 5.15 lakhs from Jaipur. Adding another 45 lakhs during its latest outing, 8X10 TASVEER has so far netted a poor 15.75 crores in six weeks from India. The film is a trade disaster, both in India and Overseas.
AA DEKHEN ZARA:
Moving on to the Jehangir Surti directed AA DEKHEN ZARA, the film manages to collect 1 lakh (approx.) from Bombay, 1.15 lakhs from Ahmedabad and 2 lakhs from Delhi city. With another 10 lakhs AA DEKHEN ZARA has netted around 5.85 lakhs in 7 weeks from India. The Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu starrer continues to be rated as a trade disaster.
Before we wind up, it is good news for the lovers of Marathi cinema. The latest release, JHAK MAARLI BAIKO KELI, continues the winning run (in Bombay-Maharashtra) of GALLIT GONDHAL DILLIT MUJRA and the six week old superhit, MI SHIVAJIRAJE BHOSLE BOLTOY.