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What makes Diwali releases so special?

By Manissha

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Download Kal Ho Naa Ho WallpapersIt is that time of the year that distributors and exhibitors eagerly await to herald box-office boom, when collections are at their best and theatre attendance is at an all-time high. For years, traders have counted on the Idd week and the Diwali week, to usher in a fresh ray of hope at the box-office. With the two coming together in one week, there is an even greater expectation about the business possibilities this year. "There is just another day to go before the returns start flowing at the box-office. We are all waiting for this period, since the past few weeks have been really bad for business," says Sanjay Dalia, General Manager, programming, Cineline theatres.

Dalia feels that the festive season of Diwali and Idd are probably the best periods for releasing films. "Even if there are a handful of releases during this period, one can be rest assured that none of them will go unnoticed. Everyone is busy making hay while the sun shines at the box-office in this period," he says.

Download Dhoom WallpapersAccording to him, the period has come to acquire even more importance with more than 40 percent of the year proving to be a loss-making one for distributors and exhibitors. "Ten years ago the trend was such that distributors and exhibitors would write off 10 weeks in a year as loss-making periods, particularly the period of Ganesh festival, Navratri, the March exams, the Ramzan season and others. But the scenario has changed today with the loss-making weeks now being extended to 20 weeks, with more oppositions coming in of elections, political developments and cricket matches. That's why the Diwali and Idd periods have come to acquire even more significance," Dalia adds.

Download Humtum WallpapersMumbai distributor Rakesh Sippy feels that a Diwali release gives an added impetus to the film at the box-office. "The timing definitely brightens the film's prospects if it is backed by a fair amount of content," he says. Sippy recalls the time seven years ago, when he released the Nana Patekar starrer, GHULAM-E-MUSTAFA in Diwali. "Nana was a reckoned name at that time and the film was a highly priced one. It also had a big opposition in YashRaj Films 'DIL TO PAGAL HAI'. The trade pundits termed it as a flop but the truth was that it did exceptionally well in the interiors doing great business in the bargain," he says.

Noted Mumbai distributor, Shyam Shroff of Shringar, feels that Diwali is always a better period to release a film with the audiences being in a holiday mood and the spending power of people going up. "It is the time when people go all out for entertainment. I remember we had released MISSION KASHMIR a couple of years ago and the film did excellent business, one of the reasons being the timing of its release," he recalls.

However, Shroff has no regrets about the postponement of AB TUMHARE HAWALE..., which he was to release in the Mumbai circuit. "I feel it was a wise decision since the film would have clashed with too many other films if it had released in Diwali," he says.

Download Naach WallpapersAccording to Nester D'souza, Executive Director of Metro who is releasing NAACH at the theatre this Diwali, a film released during Diwali definitely draws better crowds showing a marked increase in attendance of 20-25 percent. "NAACH may not have got a great advance booking but the period of release will definitely boost the film's prospects. Even if a film is not a great one to talk about, the crowds are in a holiday mood and the spillover effect is always there," says D'souza.

Yashraj Distributors' Pillai has the last word, "There is a simple reason why traders get excited about Diwali releases. It is the most auspicious time for a film to release, especially a big one like KAL HO NA HO, which was last year's prime Diwali release. One can be assured that it will never fail though there are other films like HUM TUM and DHOOM, which did not necessarily make it in Diwali and still made their mark at the box-office. That's why Yashraj Films is so enthusiastic about having a release during Diwali," he says.


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