Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘manoj desai

Himesh Reshammiya and Radio producer Ravi Agarwal have been buying tickets in bulk just to show that their film is making money

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 08, 2009)


Is Himesh Reshammiya his own biggest fan? Buzz is that he is himself buying tickets of his recently released Radio. Though hundreds of tickets have been sold (or bought) there are just a handful of viewers in the cinema halls. Fact is that Radio, which released on December 3, Thursday, is faring abysmally at the box-office.

Manoj Desai of G7 multiplex said, “Someone comes to my theatre and does block booking. Har ek show mein block booking hota hai toh management ko tajjub hota hai aur accha bhi lagta hai ki jaa rahi hai tickets.”

However Himesh emphatically denies the allegation. “It’s a false allegation just to prove that some tickets are being bought by the production house or my people. The tickets can be bought directly from the manager if the production guys want them. Anyway, what difference will a few tickets make in the overall impact of the collection. It’s baseless, that all I can say. The producer has recovered his cost even before the film’s release and it is a target-audience film, where my performance has been appreciated. There is no need to prove any theatre collections to make it a hit. There is no reason to do so by anyone.”

A famous suburban multiplex’s manager revealed, “Radio is a very bakwaas film and if such radio jockeys are born, then all our FM stations will shut down.”

When quizzed about the production house of Radio buying tickets in bulk, the manager said, “They are buying hundreds of tickets every day just to show that the film is doing well but actually, the theatre is empty. About 20 odd tickets are bought by the public and Himesh buys about hundred tickets. For every show, he buys tickets saying he wants to show the film to his relatives and friends. One day Himesh’s men come, the other day someone from the producer’s end comes to buy tickets while on the third day somebody from the actress’s side buys tickets in bulk. No one really comes to watch the film. The theatre is empty as no one (associated with those who are part of the film) comes to see it even for free. They are barely 20-25 people in the theatre.”

When asked how he knows that the ticket buyers are sent by Himesh, the manager replied, “Unke chamchon ke zabaan pe lagaam nahin hai. Even my booking guys are very smart, they ask for letters if one does bulk booking. That’s when they end up saying that the tickets are being bought for Himesh’s relatives and friends.”

When asked why his staff asks for letters, he said, “We normally don’t do bulk bookings. Samjho 100 aatankwadi aagaye toh the end ho gaya na?”

When we called producer Ravi Agarwal to know the collections of Radio, he said, “The collection is superb. Mumbai has got a good collection almost 75-80 per cent. People thought Himesh was a single theatre hero but he is doing very well in multiplexes too.”

When asked if he has done corporate bookings or bought bulk tickets, Agarwal said, “I have notdone any bookings. We had to give tickets to our media partners.” Are tickets being bought by people from his production house? “I am not that big a producer to make a film and also only buy its tickets. These are rumours,” he said.

When we spoke to another multiplex manager to know the collection of Radio, he said, “Friday saw 54 per cent and Saturday 47 per cent.”

Are the theatres empty, despite tickets being bought in bulk? “People are coming but the number of people coming in is not equal to the number of tickets being sold. Sometimes it happens that the people distribute the tickets but often people don’t turn up. We can’t predict that.”

“We manage to get the collections and whatever tickets are sold out, irrespective of people turning up or not, he is paying us cash and we are earning money. We don’t exactly ask who comes to buy tickets.”

Yusuf M Sheikh, the Mumbai distributor, said, “It is a very decent film and has picked up really well over the weekend. Friday morning was a little slow because there was a Thursday night paid preview. It tends to happen that when one watches a movie on a Thursday night, Fridays are slow. I am not saying it has done an excellent job but has picked up very well on Saturday, Sunday and has got a nice collection.”

When quizzed about theatre being empty and bulk bookings being done by the production house, Sheikh said, “Are you mad? I don’t know who is telling you these stories? What makes you think so? This is not the case at all. Tell me which corporates have bought these tickets. I’ll give them my next film also. If that were the case then Radio would have major collections everywhere. I have visited each and every theatre and this was not the case anywhere.”

The most-awaited film this year, Kurbaan has turned out to be a turkey. We speak to trade analysts and industry insiders to gauge what went wrong with the film
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


2009 has been a very bad year for UTV. After three films — What’s Your Rashee?, Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Kaminey — failed to set the cash registers ringing, they were heavily banking on Karan Johar’s Kurbaan, directed by Rensil D’Silva.

But their hopes of having a hit were dashed with Kurbaan proving to be a turkey at the box-office.UTV had bought the film from Karan for about Rs 50 crore and released it across 1,700 screens.

One could understand if the audience gave it a thumbs down after watching it. However, the shocker is that the film didn’t even get a good opening when it released on November 20. Despite being a solo release, it barely managed 35 per cent occupancy on the first day. The box-office collections thereafter have been far from encouraging, flattering reviews from film critics notwithstanding.

Endorsing the fact that the film did not register more than 40 per cent collections in its first three days, trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Shockingly, the collections on Sunday were even less than that on Friday and Saturday. The film is a big blow to Dharma Productions and UTV. “

Mehra adds, “People are not interested in seeing terrorism any longer. New York did fairly well but that’s because it wasn’t publicised as a film based on terrorism. It looked like a very youthful film with fun elements by John and Katrina. The entire publicity of Kurbaan was wrong. If the heroine of Kurbaan doesn’t want her mother to see her steamy scenes with her boyfriend, how can one go with family members to see such a film?”

Distributor Ramesh Sippy says cautiously, “I don’t want to make any assessment. But yes, Kurbaan has not lived up to its expectations.”

We also spoke to some of the theatre officials. Manoj Desai (of Maratha Mandir, Gaiety-Galaxy) says, “I registered 80 per cent collections on the first three days whereas it did not go beyond 40 per cent in other theatres. However, the collections have nosedived since yesterday. Koi picture dekhne ke liye tayyar hi nahin hai. The overall feeling is that it’s a very serious and cruel film.”

An official from Cinemax, Andheri, says, “We had expected that this film would rake in around 85-90 per cent collections. But from day one, we knew that it wouldn’t be a hit. First day, we registered only 40-45 per cent collections. People have not related to the film, it has no repeat value. On Saturday and Sunday, we recorded only 50 per cent ticket sales.”

Vikram Varma, Fun Republic, communications manager, says, “We recorded 35 per cent in the first three days. But today (Monday), we only have 15-20 per cent occupancy. I think that too many films were released in the past few weeks and this has adversely affected Kurbaan.”

We then spoke to the public to find out why they haven’t gone kurbaan over Kurbaan. 23-year old Eka Lakhani from Lokhandwala says, “I was dying to see Kurbaan as I had heard a lot about it. The film started very well, but soon I realised that there was neither any love story nor any terrorism track. Kareena and Saif got lost in the second half and I had to look for their scenes together. The terrorism part wasn’t explained well either.”

34-year-old Menka Chandiramani from Seven Bungalows says, “I was quite impressed by Kareena and Vivek’s acting but the film hasn’t stayed with me. It had nothing new to offer. Moreover, I wonder why there was so much brouhaha about Kareena and Saif’s sex scenes. We have seen much more than this in Hindi films.”

The director of Kurbaan, Rensil D’Silva, put up a brave front. He says that people are trying to bring down his film. “That happens with every new film. But you know, I am getting a lot of calls and text messages from people whom I don’t even know saying that they have enjoyed my film. I am basically a creative guy. The best people to talk about this will be the distributors of Kurbaan (UTV).” However, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV remained unavailable for comment.

Karan’s first film with UTV, Wake Up Sid raked in average returns but failed to be a profit-making proposition. And the audience’s thanda response to Kurbaan has only made things worse for Dharma and UTV.

MM

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 20, 2009)

Mumbai: If thespian Dilip Kumar’s film Mughal-E-Azam ran at Maratha Mandir for over six years, Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge has completed 14 years of continuous run at the same theatre. The film enters its 15th year on Tuesday at Maratha Mandir and the exhibitor is quite optimistic that the theatre will have a houseful board.


Managing director of Maratha Mandir, Manoj Desai, said, “The film completes 14 years in our cinema hall and we still get at least 60-70% occupancy on weekdays and a houseful on weekend and holidays. Whoever claims it is not doing well can come and check.’’ Desai said, “Dilip Kumar’s Mughal-E-Azam
had a record run at Maratha Mandir before we took over the cinema hall. The film ran for nearly six years and the first three years in full shows.’’


One of the main reasons DDLJ still gets an audience is the ticket pricing. Manager Ramesh Vajpayee says, “Balcony tickets are for Rs 22, Dress circle for Rs 20 and stall tickets for Rs 18.’’ Desai said, “Yashraj
gives us the rental and we do good enough business.’’ Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay ran at Minerva for more than five years. Sholay was the first film to celebrate silver jubilee at over 100 theatres. The film released on August 15, 1975, and cinema halls did not open its current booking for 75 weeks.


Trade analyst Amod Mehra recalls spending only Rs 2.50 paise to watch Sholay at Minerva. He said, “The era when films ran for weeks, months or years will never return. We don’t even hear of a film completing a silver jubilee (25 weeks) at a cinema.’’ Not many know that Ashok Kumar’s anti-hero film, Kismet, that released in 1943 ran for nearly three years in Mumbai and Kolkata theatres. It was with this film that Ashok Kumar became the most sought-after actor.

KamineyMultiplexes in city crawl out of swine flu slumber

Mumbai: Life Partner and Kaminey, the two releases which got bitten by the government’s enforced swine flu vacation, opened to a slow start on Monday with just about 35% occupancy. However, by the end of the day, business had reportedly zoomed to 75% at theatres in the city, with Kaminey scoring over Life Partner.


After taking the hit of missing out on the opening weekend, some marketing gimmicks were used to attract audiences. At G-7 multiplex, Bandra, the cast and crew of Life Partner sold tickets at the box-office and later interacted with the audiences. The occupancy picked up by the second show, said Manoj Desai,
managing director of G-7.


Most multiplexes around Andheri saw a growing crowd towards the evening. Said Devang Sampat, senior vice-president, Cinemax Cinemas, “Kaminey opened at 50% and Life Partner at
30%. The audience at our cinema halls is more enthusiastic about Kaminey.’’ Because of missing out on the I-Day weekend, both films have reportedly lost about Rs 5 crore jointly. “It is doubtful if the films will be able to recover the losses, as reactions to them are very mixed,’’ said trade analyst Amod Mehra. “Kaminey was hugely hyped, but the dropping numbers in Delhi and other places look a bit scary.’’
M M Sathish, who heads Anti-Piracy Worldwide, said, because of piracy, 25% of Mumbai had already seen the film. “You may not find physical prints, but my sources tell me that pirates have begun making home deliveries,’’ he said. Meanwhile, Kaminey’s producers, UTV, claimed that the film did about Rs 33 crore worth of business in the first weekend worldwide.


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