The three films which released at the weekend – Not A Love Story, Chatur Singh Two Star and Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande (SDGB) – failed to impress the audience. In many centres, several shows were even cancelled. Worse still, the previous week’s big release, Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan, also failed to work. Now distributors and exhibitors are looking forward to Salman Khan’s Bodyguard which releases next weekend.
Mumbai distributor Rakesh Sippy of Raksha Entertainment remarks, “I have no idea about the three new releases. I don’t really care because they took a very poor opening in Mumbai. Aarakshan’s collections were quite decent despite the new releases. The audience and distributors are now waiting for the Eid release, Bodyguard.”
In Punjab, the weekend collection of Ram Gopal Varma’s Not A Love Story was approximately Rs 25 lakh. Despite featuring actors like Sanjay Dutt and Ameesha Patel in the lead, Chatur Singh Two Star failed to entertain the audience. Aarakshan’s collections were just not impressive. But the buzz for Bodyguard is very good,” says Tushar Dhingra of BIG Pictures.
Delhi, of course, was preoccupied with the brouhaha surrounding social activist Anna Hazare, and the people there ditched cinemas during the weekend. Delhi and Uttar Pradesh distributor G D Mehta of Bobby Arts International says, “None of the three movies are worth watching and they took a very poor opening in both Delhi and UP. In Delhi, due to the Anna Hazare rallies, the big screen suffered a great blow. The movies are simply a wash-out.”
Finally, the ban on Aarakshan was lifted last week but, in Uttar Pradesh, the film was only released in cinemas equipped with digital screens.
Adds Mehta, “In UP, the new releases drew a skeletal audience on Friday and Saturday. They were a complete wash-out, with a weekend collection of 30 to 35 per cent only. The opening of Aarakshan was quite weak but during the weekend, the film managed occupancy of 80 to 85 per cent in multiplexes. In single-screens, Aarakshan took an opening of 50 to 55 per cent. Bodyguard is being anticipated by exhibitors, big time.”
Kolkata Distributor Debashish Dey of Aum Movies says, “In West Bengal and Bihar, weekend collections of Chatur Singh Two Star were Rs 4.75 lakh and Rs 5.85 lakh respectively. The weekend collection of Not A Love Story in West Bengal was Rs 9.27 lakh and in Bihar, Rs 1.76 lakh.”