Though "Black" is a far more expensive film than "Page 3", its audience is growing by the day.
Exults Mumbai's primary financier and distributor Shyam Shroff: "It's a gem of a movie. Ideally it should have been released with less number of prints and certain shows having Q & A sessions with the director and the actors.
"To me, it's a crime to watch this gem for less than Rs.500 a ticket. This movie is for a certain section of the audience and the attempt should have been made to recover on an average more than Rs.500 from each such patron. Why show it to those who do not appreciate such quality product?"
But the question is, do "Black" and "Page 3" appeal only to the elite class?
"Going by the way the stars and cinema are heading this year, I'd say the much maligned masses are ready for a change," predicts filmmaker Hansal Mehta.
"I've a feeling, 'Black' is going to be like the new age 'Sholay'. If you remember, 'Sholay', which is today considered a milestone, started off tamely. 'Black' too is a slow starter, but is fated to change the way we look at cinema. And this change will reflect on 2005 as a whole."
Mehta has a point. 2005 does seem to be the year of the different cinema. Big stars are striving to move away from their starry images. After doing an entirely different image defying role in Ashutosh Gowariker's "Swades", Shah Rukh Khan is now working with avant-garde director Amol Palekar in "Paheli" where he plays a ghost!
Aamir Khan has just completed a historical, "The Rising", and Salman Khan will in all likelihood move completely away from his bad boy image to play the Maratha king in Bhansali's proposed historical "Bajirao Mastani".
Hrithik Roshan too has almost been finalised to do a major historical opus.