Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback film Pathaan has rocked the box-office with a worldwide collection of Rs 700 crore and counting. On the flip side, other films that opened this Friday struggled to get shows despite coming from the stable of well-known directors. Be it Anurag Kashyap’s Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat or Hansal Mehta’s Faraaz, in tricity alone, multiplexes like Elante PVR, held only one or two shows on the opening day. However, Centra Mall did accommodate two shows a day for these films amid the massive traffic for Pathaan even during the second week.
What’s in the name?
Pathaan has been hailed for good writing, dialogues and star-cast, but it doesn’t make Hansal Mehta’s eye for unique subjects or Anurag Kashyap’s passion for filmmaking null and void. But given that both the directors couldn’t get shows for their films also puts forth the industry’s struggle, as it tries to revive cinema.
Also, the shows of Hindi films were less as the regional directors of Punjab came up with a fresh onscreen pair — Satinder Sartaaj and Neeru Bajwa in the film Kali Jotta. Since Punjabi films have their own audience, they bagged more shows than Mehta’s Faraaz and Kashyap’s Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat!
Ask distributer representative Raj Juneja from the region and he explains, “There is no bias or favouritism when it comes to shows. The number of shows have always been decided according to the demand for the film. As for Faraaz and Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat, their directors could have shifted the dates if they wanted to but they chose not to. Moreover, they did not promote the films much. Whenever a show is scheduled, makers too bear the expense of UFO-Wolf AirMask device (cinema-specific air sterilization device) and hard drive/Blu Ray discs/satellite links per show. So, it’s their prerogative after the risk analysis, and that’s how shows are decided.”
In other words, it’s the audience that is deciding a late night, 11:30 pm, show of Pathaan and it’s the directors decision as to how they plan to recover their filmmaking costs.
If in theatres there are challenges, there is always a digital route, right?
Shift in dates
Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada was the first film whose makers pushed the release date owing to Pathaan’s craze at the box-office. Earlier, it was supposed to be released on February 10 but now pushed to February 17. In the same way, ace producer Karan Johar, who will be making his directorial comeback with Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, has shifted the release date of film yet again from April 28 to July 28. It was to avoid a clash with Mani Ratnam’s PS2, given the first instalment released in September, 2022, did exceptional business in India and overseas. Another untitled film produced by Johar, starring Vicky Kaushal, Ammy Virk and Tripti Dimri, has been pushed from July 28 to August 25.
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