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VEER ZAARA takes thumping advance all over

By Manisha Deshpande

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Download Veer-Zaara WallpapersIt appears that YashRaj Films' VEER-ZAARA will rule the box-office this Diwali, with the advance booking for the film getting a thumping response all over, sidelining the other three films in the bargain. At Mumbai's newly opened INOX multiplex at Nariman Point, the advance booking opened to an incredible response with the multiplex collecting Rs 12.5 lakhs on the very first day. "Out of this Rs 10 lakhs are from VEER-ZAARA alone, which is a record for one day's business. 80 percent of the revenue generated on the first day has been from the film, while the rest 20 percent is from the remaining three films," says Arun Sharma, Programming Head, INOX, who has scheduled the film for three of the five screens of the multiplex.

According to Sharma, the film is way ahead of the other three films, AITRAAZ, MUGHAL-E-AZAM and NAACH, with AITRAAZ taking a better advance in the Pune, Calcutta and Mumbai branches of INOX, among the three films. "The three films will certainly get the advantage of the period in due course. NAACH is a youthful film for the teenage audiences who don't quite believe in advance bookings, so the response to the film will be determined when it actuallly open," he adds.

Download  Mugal-E-Azam WallpapersExhibitor Naresh Mukhija, who controls more than 25 theatres in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, agrees that it is VEER-ZAARA, which will dominate the box-office this Diwali. "The mind-blowing advance booking that the film has taken is definitely an indicator. If I had to grade the initial prospects of the three films I would give 99 of 100 marks to the film alone," he says. But Mukhija like Sharma feels that the response to the other three films will be known when the current booking windows actually open. "There are multiple outlets for the three films and the volume of business will definitely be satisfying especially at multiplexes where there will be a spill-over effect with people opting for the other three films," says Mukhija.

At Fame Adlabs too it is VEER-ZAARA, which has taken centrestage with more than 70 percent of the weekend tickets for the film sold out. "The audiences queuing up for the advance booking are mostly for VEER-ZAARA, though the response is not as overwhelming as we had expected. The opening response for the other three films will be known only on the day of their release. We are also expecting MUGHAL-E-AZAM, to be the dark horse and take everyone by surprise," says Neeraj Goswami, Programming Manager, Fame Adlabs.

Download Aitraaz WallpapersExhibitor Guru Shenoy, who is releasing AITRAAZ at Mumbai's Plaza cinema describes the advance booking for the film as average, but is expecting the film to open to run to packed houses as the days progress. "The film will definitely get the benefit of its release timing though the clash with a biggie like VEER-ZAARA, is likely to affect its prospects," says Shenoy.

Exhibitor Manoj Desai of G-7 and Maratha Mandir, who is releasing AITRAAZ, at the latter is not contented with the advance booking for the film. "There is an average response for the advance booking plans. I wish I could have booked MUGHAL-E-AZAM, which would have been the ideal film for Maratha Mandir, knowing that it was released here 44 years ago here. But we could not book it in the nick of time," he says.

Meanwhile the exhibitors who paid hefty advances to book VEER-ZAARA at their theatres are in a festive mood, having their last laugh. "They have coined a new name for Yash Chopra, 'Housefull Chopra' and they sure seem to be celebrating," says Shenoy.


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