varnachitram

A Blog on Cinema

Opening Week Bombardment

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This is the new Hindi cinema strategy.

The importance of the opening weekend is here to stay and increase. About 10 years ago, Mumbai’s Dreamland cinema was an important theatre and ran about 21 shows a week. But when Race released, Cinemax alone was screening 26 shows a day! In Andheri, between Cinemax, Fun Republic and Fame Adlabs [Get Quote], there were 50 shows of the film held in a single day. The mantra now is to get as much money as you can in the opening weekend and then forget about it. Golden and silver jubilees are a thing of the past. It’s better to get Rs 30 crores in a few days rather than over many weeks.[Why OSO worked, and Jodhaa Akbar didn’t ]

In fact this has been a popular Malayalam cinema strategy too. New films are carpet bombed all over the state trapping people in the first few days. Before public opinion about the movie turns sour, the producer has made his money. Then the public are wiser. With advent of cell phones and SMS texting people are able to message others about movies like Hallo and Flash, advising them to stay away. So the producers too have wised. They have decided to release new movies in both B & C centers (an artificial notation created by film industry).

Thus by increasing supply, the producers hope that the demand will also increase – at least on the opening days. Thus even if damaging reviews go out via text messages, they hope that the recipient would be in a movie theater watching this movie. One of the first movies to make us of this new rule of loot and run is Annan Thampi, which is getting released all over Kerala, in 75 centers.

While conventional wisdom would say that follow the trend, Mohanlal’s personal producer Antony Perumbavoor has decided not to follow the pack. His latest production, Innathe Chintha Vishayam, scripted and directed by Sathyan Anthikkad will only be releasing in 48 centers. So if you want to see the latest work of last year’s best script writer, you will have to watch it in one of the “A” class theaters.

By adopting this strategy, Antony is going against the trends in not just Malayalam, but also Tamil and Telugu. He is hoping that people will trek to “A” class theaters to watch Meera kiss Mohanlal and we are waiting eagerly to see which strategy will pay off.

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