Ramadan affects 'Rock On', 'Mukhbiir' prospects

Aug 28, 2008 Robin Bansal

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Despite the hype, "Rock On", "Chamku", "C Kkompany" and "Mukhbiir" - all releasing Friday - have not fetched much response in terms of advance bookings. They are being tagged as "gap fillers" or "average movies" because they are opening a day before Ramadan.

"Ramadan is supposed to be a month for average films or gap fillers, which don't get any other release date during the year. Generally, we don't expect much out of these movies," Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor, told IANS.

"Also none of the movies releasing Friday are family-oriented and neither the music of any of these movies has garnered a good response," he added.

Directed by Abhishek Kapoor and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, "Rock On" is the debut venture of director turned actor-singer Farhan Akhtar and Prachi Desai and tells the story of four friends and their rock band.

While, "Mukhbiir" is an espionage thriller by Mani Shankar starring Sammir Dattani, Tusshar Kapoor and Raima Sen starrer "C Kkompany" is a comedy made under the Balaji Motion Pictures banner.

"Chamku" on the other hand is an action drama based on Maoists with Bobby Deol and Priyanka Chopra in the lead.

While "Rock On" is releasing with around 600 prints worldwide, "C Kkompany" with 550 prints and "Mukhbiir" 200 prints. No details available about "Chamku" prints.

In terms of budget, producers Ekta and Shobha Kapoor have invested around Rs.130 million in "C Kkompany". Comparatively producer Sudhish Rambhotla's "Mukhbiir" is a low-budget film - he has invested only Rs.50 million in it.

Ritesh Sidhwani and Vijayta Films refused to divulge budget details of "Rock On" and "Chamku" respectively.

Ashok Bisht, assistant manager, Jam Cinemas said: "The advance booking for all the four movies has been average as the crowd is less during Ramadan. The movies haven't even been marketed well. Also, these don't have an appealing star cast with a good market value."

However, director Abhishek Kapoor did not seem to be deterred by the average booking of "Rock On".

"Times have changed quite dramatically. The film is surely going to run whatever it may be. People by now have a fare idea about my movie and I am sure they are going to watch it," he asserted.

A reliable source from Adlabs said: "We are betting on 'Rock On'. Farhan is an acclaimed director and 'Rock On' marks his acting and singing debut. Prachi Desai too will attract fans who have seen her on TV."

"Though some of the films form the previous weeks are still doing well like 'Singh is Kinng' and 'Bachna Ae Haseeno', we are trying to accommodate all the films considering the time and the target audience," added the source.

Same is the case with Rambhotla who is positive about "Mukhbiir".

He said: "It is not that films that have released during Ramadan didn't do well in the past. In fact, I look at it as an added advantage to my film because no big films would be releasing during the festive period."

Added "Mukhbiir" director Mani Shankar: "We have tried our movie for a Ramadan release because it is very advantageous for us as the protagonist in the movie converts to Islam as to be an undercover spy and when he battles terror, he chooses to be a Muslim."

Shankar also said that the movie has already recovered its cost of investment and hit a pre-release profit through intelligent budgeting.

Nandu Ahuja, CEO, Balaji Motion Pictures, says he is relying on the content of "C Kkompany".

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