Dry spell at Bollywood box-office continues

Jun 22, 2008 NR

Mumbai, June 22 (IANS) The Bollywood box office has not witnessed any big hit for last three weeks and the dry spell continues as none of the four recent releases - "De Taali", "Haal-e-dil", "Khushboo" and "Memsahab" could even draw a decent opening.

While the initial collections of "De Taali", "Haal-e-dil" and "Memsahab" varied from 30 percent to 40 percent, "Khushboo" could muster only a dismal 15 percent. Naturally, the four releases are not likely to continue their run for a long period.

"Haal-e-Dil" is the launch pad of Bollywood producer Kumar Mangat's daughter Amita Pathak along with popular TV personality Shekhar Suman's son Adhyayan and newcomer Nakuul Mehta.

"De Taali" is a comedy directed by E. Niwas and stars Aftab Shivdasani, Riteish Deshmukh, Ayesha Takia and Rimii Sen, "Khushboo" is again a romance drama starring newcomers Rishi Rehan and Avantikka and "Memsahab" features Yukta Mookhey, Govind Namdeo and Vijay Raaz.

Barring Emraan Hashmi starrer "Jannat", the movies released previously are running spasmodically across the country, not bringing in enough revenue for distributors to smile about.

Yes, this is also as much true for the much-vaunted "Sarkar Raj" that stars three Bachchans - Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya. The brouhaha the producers are making over its successful box-office run is mostly put-on.

Even in Mumbai, the movie's box-office performance is below par though, considering its subject matter and the star cast, it should have done well here.

"When the ticket sales of a movie which boasts of featuring otherwise the audience-friendly Bachchan family dropped to 40 percent in the second week of its run, it should naturally be a cause of worry for the distributors," said a trade analyst, wishing not to be named.

He further said that even Rs.60 million (Rs.6 crore) that the movie generated from 86 cinemas in Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane region in its opening week, is nothing to make much of, especially because of the steep price the distributors paid to buy its rights.

By the same token, the performance of "Jannat" is also none too encouraging collection-wise. But it has been declared a hit only because it is a low-cost movie from which the distributors have been able to recover their fair shares.

The same is also true for UTV Spotboy's "Aamir" starring TV star Rajiv Khandelwal in the title role.

The question now being asked is will "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic", a Kunal Kohli production for Yash Raj Films that is releasing June 27, be able to make the grade at the box-office when it releases next week?

More importantly, will this Rani Mukerji and Saif Ali Khan starrer be able to remove the jinx holding sway over the prestigious banner lately?

No trade pundit is willing to take a call on it.

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