Releases of last week have got rave reviews

Feb 5, 2009 IANS

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Zoya Akhtar's first film "Luck By Chance" may have got rave reviews, but it has failed to set the cash registers ringing at the box office. Cricket-based film "Victory" by debutant director Ajitpal Mangat too fell flat.

Both these medium-budget releases of last week (Jan 30) have proven to be duds in terms of business. Despite much appreciation by critics in India and abroad, "Luck By…" got a slow initial on the opening day with the counters warming up in the evening.

The momentum did stay over the weekend, but started dwindling Monday onwards.

On the other hand, the cricket drama starring Hurman S. Baweja has proved to be a debacle with no takers at the windows. Despite mixed reviews and some appreciation for Hurman's portrayal of an underdog cricketer, the film couldn't lure audiences.

"It doesn't happen with too many movies. Surprisingly, the collections for a genuinely well-made movie like 'Luck By Chance' haven't been as per expectations over the opening weekend. The film has seen a good release but the occupancy at theatres has only been near 50 percent," trade analyst and critic Joginder Tuteja told IANS.

"As for 'Victory', it has turned out to be one the lowest openers in the last many months with only around 20 percent odd collections and that too only at single screens. There wasn't much buzz about the film to begin with and somehow as the film got close to the release, the interest level only continued to go down. Promotion was weak, promos uneven and marketing uninspiring," he added.

Said Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor: "Sports movies are not that successful in India and considering the disastrous record of Hurman's first movie 'Love Story 2050', 'Victory' already had less chances of survival.

"So far as 'Luck By…' is concerned, the movie is being appreciated for its true flavour and the inside look of Bollywood, but business-wise it could rake in whatever was possible only over the first three-days," he explained.

Produced by Excel Entertainment in association with Big Pictures, "Luck By Chance" stars Zoya's brother Farhan Akhtar and an ensemble cast featuring Konkona Sen Sharma, Dimple Kapadia, Rishi Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Hrithik Roshan and Isha Sharvani.

It is the story of an aspiring actor who arrives in Mumbai to make it big in Bollywood.

On the other hand, "Victory" produced by Mangat and Manmohan Shetty is the story of a father's dream to see his son become a national cricketer.

Released over 900 screens worldwide, Excel's Ritesh Sidhwani did not divulge any details about the budget of "Luck By Chance" while "Victory", which hit close to 500 screens in India, was made at around Rs.400 million.

However, keeping the box-office boat steady have been Vishesh Films' "Raaz - The Mystery Continues" and Danny Boyle's Oscar-nominated underdog drama ""Slumdog Millionaire".

Despite being in the second week, while, the former had already proven to be 2009s first hit, the latter has also picked up the momentum because of the hype due to the 10 Oscar nominations.

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