Gauri Shinde 'constantly surprised' by reaction to her films

Dec 2, 2016 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai: Gauri Shinde, whose latest directorial "Dear Zindagi" has hit the box office bull's eye, says she is constantly surprised by the reaction to her cinema.

According to box office estimates across the country, the film collected approximately Rs 55 crore during the first five days of its release.

The film, which released on November 25, was made at a budget of Rs 33 crore.

Shinde said: "Whether it was ‘English Vinglish' or now ‘Dear Zindagi', I am constantly surprised by the reaction to my cinema."

Her husband and filmmaker R. Balki, who has co-produced "Dear Zindagi" with Karan Johar's Dharma Productions and Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainments, said: "I am really touched by how much ‘Dear Zindagi' has connected with people. It's unbelievable!"

"Hats off to Shah Rukh for an incredible performance and producing such an incredibly bold film. Hats off to Karan Johar for seeing the vision so clearly from the beginning. Hats off to Alia Bhatt for hitting it out of the park. Nobody can do what she does."

Incidentally, Balki is also in "Dear Zindagi". He said: "Yes. I am proud of the two-second thank you card for lending my voice to a disclaimer. So, happy to be a two-second part of Gauri Shinde's classic. I want to thank Gauri for battling it out uncompromisingly through all the ups and downs, and still making one of the finest films that has been made."

Trade analyst Atul Mohan says the success of "Dear Zindagi" proves the audience will go to a film if they like it, no matter what the financial circumstances.

"The success of ‘Dear Zindagi' proves that in spite of the demonetisation, the audience is ready to grab good content. The overall packaging of ‘Dear Zindagi' was good enough to attract all. The credit must be given to the marketing and distribution people behind the film. They knew the potential and target audience of this film."

Mohan feels releasing the film in far less theatres than the usual numbers for a Shah Rukh starrer, helped the box office collections of "Dear Zindagi".

"Releasing strategically with limited screens -- only 1,200 screens, not the kind of wide release associated with SRK or Dharma or Red Chillies -- across major metros and multiplexes and very select single screens did the trick for the film. The movie was already in the safe zone before release for the makers and the all India distributors should benefit with this strategy."

Alia added that they made the film they wanted to. "We were not thinking of box office numbers while shooting. I think that honesty of purpose is what paid off."

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