Walk the talk
Even after two production houses, Phantom Films and Dharma Productions collaborated to make Hasee Toh Phasee which boasted of a fresh pairing, Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra, the film did not have a bumper opening as expected. However, on Saturday and Sunday, it picked up through good word-of-mouth publicity.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “Hasee Toh Phasee was expected to dominate the weekend business and it did, despite an unenthusiastic start on Friday morning. Saturday and Sunday witnessed an escalation, specifically at urban sectors which, in turn, compensated for the not-as-expected business from the mass belt.” The film enjoyed 60-70 per cent occupancy on Saturday and 85 per cent occupancy on Sunday at most centres, as compared to Friday, when the occupancy was 40-45 per cent. Mayank Shroff, Cinepolis, shares the opinion, adding that the film is doing well at multiplexes, especially B-centres.
Although the film collected Rs.15.75 crore in its opening weekend, according to Akshay Rathi of Rathi Group Of Cinemas, “Hasee… didn’t have a phenomenal opening despite being backed by two very iconic entities. But because of its interesting content, the film subsequently picked up. In comparison to Friday, the collections were almost one and a half times more on Saturday and Sunday was even better. The footfalls on Monday was quite good too. I personally believe, that the film would have got a very good opening if it had terrific music, as you can’t expect Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra, to draw the audience on their own strength. But, the movie has performed on its merit, and looks like it will earn a neat profit for all those involved.”
However, trade expert Vinod Mirani feels that it hasn’t been up to the mark. “Even though it was the only film with known faces, and with prestigious banners to back it, Hasee … did not meet up to the expectations. The film had nothing to offer to the single screen audience, and the initial response from the youth and at the multiplexes were quite low, with a slight rise in Saturday collections, which further peaked on Sunday,” adds Mirani.
There were other small releases like Heartless, Babloo Happy Hai and Ya Rab, which failed to generate any business at all. Taran Adarsh opines that the business of these films was far from euphoric. In fact, they should have avoided a clash at the box-office since they didn’t get the desired number of screens. Mayank Shroff adds, “The occupancy for Heartless has been only 15-20 per cent over the weekend, and we aren’t playing Ya Rab at our cinemas.” Unfortunately, the business was so low of these films, that the trade experts didn’t even calculate the money they generated.
Jai Ho has entered the 100-crore club at the end of its second week at the box-office, collecting `Rs.110.78 crore. Mirani says, “ The entertainment tax exemption in some states, had little effect on Jai Ho collections as the exemption came after the bad word-of-mouth had already done the damage. It earned Rs.88.78 crore in the first week and added Rs.22 crore in its second week.” One By Two had also opened to a dull response and ended with a mere Rs. 2.5 crore in the first week.
The drought period
The beginning of the year, and the month of January has always been considered a dull period for films, barring a few, in the earlier years, like No One Killed Jessica and Agneepath performing well. January 2014 was no different, with even the Salman Khan-starrer Jai Ho performing below expectations. The year hasn’t yet seen a blockbuster release so far. Now with films like Gunday, and the Farhan Akhtar-Vidya Balan-starrer Shaadi Ke Side Effects lined up, let’s wait and watch if the drought period at the box-office ends.