Himesh and team buying Radio tickets in bulk to increase profits?
Posted December 8, 2009on:
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.”