Diwali is considered the festival of 'Laxmi' and there is an accepted notion around the country side that if any new venture is undertaken on the eve of Diwali, it indeed is going to please goddess Laxmi and she would shower her benevolence and the home would be inundated with truck loads of money. Film industry being the place that worships money and strives to maximize the revenue from a product in one form or the other also tries to do associated stunts around Diwali to please goddess Laxmi.
No wonder, Shahrukh Khan also roped on to the bandwagon and released his latest offering RA.ONE on the eve of Diwali, though it was not a regular film release day aka Friday, under the perceived notion that the fans would throng the cinema halls and give it a resounding verdict. But the fans did not oblige, and RA.ONE could not get the benevolence of goddess Laxmi to the desired extent that was anticipated by timing the release of the film around the occasion of Diwali. Well, there were two other films as well, TELL ME O KKHUDA and DAMADAMM which also tried to seek benevolence of goddess Laxmi but she has not obliged. RA.ONE, it has been reported has been able to muster the investments, but TELL ME O KHUDA and DAMADAMM continue to chase the elusive Manna from heaven.
Diwali came into vogue as an occasion to release a film just 4 years ago when Shah Rukh Khan released his film OM SHANTI OM in 2007. In the first week the film collected 40 crore, which fell to 25 crore in the second week, and as OM SHANTI OM entered forth week, its collections plummeted to 5 crore.
Along with OM SHANTI OM was also released, which was able to get a collection of 20 crore in first week, which dropped to 3.75 crore and to 0.75 crore in the third week.
GOLMAAL series of films are considered as Diwali money makers. However, the figures for two of GOLMAAL series that is GOLMAAL RETURNS and GOLMAAL-3 are illustrative. While GOLMAAL RETURNS had a collection of 41 crore in first week, it fell to less than 10 crore in the second week, and by the fourth week it was 0.5 crore. GOLMAAL-3 had a collection of 62 crore in first week, which fell to 31.99 crore in second week and by the end of the fourth week it was hovering at 2.5 crore.
What is illustrative from the above is the fact that the longevity of the films has undergone metamorphosis, catalyst being increase in number of prints for viewing, RA.ONE having released more than 3000 prints. Now a film going into fifth week is a rarity and rarely does one talks about the film once it enters into fifth week.
What emerges from the above is the fact that there might be a symbolism associated with festive occasions in the country to whip up elements of festivity and try to converge it with movie going as an ultimate celebration for the occasion. However, the fact of the matter is that the festivities in India are associated with certain sentiments, and cinema still has to grow up to make inroads into the average households where it achieves priority as an issue seeking attention of prominence.
Even without an occasion if a film is a good product, it does work wonders, and the message to be imbibed is that the release of the films should not be occasion specific rather the nature of content should be such that it gets converted into an occasion in history.