Fenil and Bollywood

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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.

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LAUGH OUT LOUD: Ajay Devgn, Bipasha Basu and Sanjay Dutt pose with fans who have loved watching their film

Audiences, Bollywood stars and trade analysts, say Ajay Devgn gave them ‘best’ gift of all for Diwali

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; October 23, 2009)


Ajay Devgn kept his promise. His film All the Best — Fun Begins… directed by Rohit Shetty, is as fine a Diwali gift to cinegoers as it may get. Slowly, it has picked up steam at the box office and is now laughing its way to the bank. Literally!

“The film didn’t open big on Friday but on Sunday and Monday, it jumped by leaps and bounds — from 30 per cent to 95 per cent,” said trade analyst Amod Mehra. Indeed, because audiences everywhere are having a blast watching the comic timings of Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Mugdha Godse, Fardeen Khan and Ajay. “It’s very refreshing. No number of stars given by critics can change the opinion of cinegoers. Once the public says a film’s a hit, then it’s a hit. This film picked up because of word-of-mouth publicity,” added trade analyst Komal Nahta.

Multiplexes are enjoying the post-Diwali ticket sales that this Ajay Devgn Ffilms’ release is fetching them. “On Tuesday, the film did better business than it did
on Sunday and Monday. The audience, just like me, was laughing its guts out,” said Ashish Saxena from Reliance BIG Pictures. Devang Sampat from Cinemax attributes the success to Ajay having picked the right script for the festive season. “It’s been a trend where people look for total entertainment during Diwali. They just want to have a good time… I’m expecting this film to do even better in the coming days,” he said.

Not strangely, film critics
have given good ratings to this one too. Even Bollywood stars, keeping their own films aside, have been entertained by this comedy. “It’s an honest entertainer and I laughed throughout. I felt happy after watching it,” said hunk John Abraham. Ditto was the reaction of the producer’s wife and beautiful actress Kajol. “I laughed, my daughter Nysa laughed and the whole theatre laughed. And that’s when Diwali started!” she said.
— SWB

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