Our Twitter timeline has gone crazy today with most people failing to understand what we try to squeeze into 140 characters. We don’t want to blame them because every Tom, **** and Harry today talks like an all-knowing trade analyst.
On a more serious note, two big films released in theatres this week and unlike most other clashes, both films are finding acceptance amongst the audience.
When a film like Rustom and Mohenjo Daro clash at the box office, the impact is minimal because one film (Mohenjo Daro) was rejected outright while the other became a runaway hit at the box office. Rustom became a super-hit, while Mohenjo Daro probably didn’t deserve to collect more than it actually did.
Ae Dil Hai Muskhil and Shivaay didn’t majorly affect each other’s business too, because the Karan Johar directed film performed very well at city multiplexes, while Shivaay proved to be a non-starter at multiplexes and only performed at single-screens and smaller centres.
This week though, is different.
On Day 1, it was a one-sided contest with Raees – riding on better promos, high pre-release interest and the star power of Shah Rukh Khan – swept Kaabil aside.
But it’s on Thursday (holiday) and evening, night shows on Saturday, when the impact of the clash has started to have a real impact on the business of both films.
It’s not the screen or show count here, but when two good films are running in theatres, the audience has to make one choice between the two films.
Given the high price of tickets (a movie outing for a family of four, can easily cost anywhere between Rs 2000 – 4000 including snacks etc) very few families can afford to watch two movies in theatres in the same week. In fact, the super performance of Dangal not too along ago, would’ve also had a small impact on both Raees and Kaabil.
On Saturday night, when the word-of-mouth was beginning to come into play, Kaabil isn’t really getting the breathing space that a film like this needed. It’s running on lower capacity screens at multiplexes and it has fewer shows too. The night shows were running to full capacity at several theatres, there was demand for more tickets, but tickets weren’t available.
The business of Raees is getting affected too, else the film would’ve easily collected about 20-30% more than it has so far. Not just because of fewer shows, but also because the audience has to choose between two films.
Shah Rukh Khan won’t get the major grosser (200 crore plus) that does justice to his stardom and stature. He needs to be competing with the likes of Aamir and Salman Khan here. Hrithik Roshan too won’t get a big grosser, even though it’s his first good film in 5 years. Producer and Distributors of both films lose money too.
It’s a clash that should not have happened. It’s too late for Raees and Kaabil, but producers of other films should try and avoid clashes like this in the future. The exhibitors lose, the audience lose and the industry – which barely manages to get 10 clean-hits in a year – also ends up losing business.
P.S: We hope that the clash between Tiger Zinda Hai and Rajkumar Hirani’s Dutt biopic is averted and both films get a solo release and the kind of showcasing that they deserve.