Ticket counters cold for the week's releases

Sep 4, 2008 IANS

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The three films up for release Friday - "Tahaan", "Hijack" and "A Wednesday" - have so far not got the box office ringing in terms of advance booking. Experts feel, the audience will be guided by the reviews before visiting the multiplexes.

"These all are low-budget movies and audiences will wait for the critics review first," Munish Sharma, marketing head of Satyam cinemas, told IANS.

"Moreover, Ramadan is not a month for movies as such. However, releases from previous weeks like 'Rock On', 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' and 'Singh is Kinng' are still doing well," he added.

A reliable source from PVR echoed the thought: "Though people have variations to choose from this week, still the advance bookings have been cold. However, 'Rock On' 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' and 'Singh is Kinng' are still bringing in business."

Directed by debutant Neeraj Pandey and produced by UTV, "A Wedndesday" stars veteran film actors Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead and is about a series of events that unfolds on a particular Wednesday.

"Tahaan" is set in Kashmir and narrates the story of the young boy Tahaan and his quest across the mountains to find his donkey friend Birbal. Directed by Santosh Sivan, it stars Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Rahul Khanna, Victor Banerjee, Sarika and debutant Purav Bhandare.

"Hijack" on the other hand is again directed by a debutant - Kunal Shivdasani. It stars Shiney Ahuja, Esha Deol, K.K. Raina, Mona Ambegaonkar and debutante Kaveri Jha.

"A Wendesday" is releasing with around 250 prints worldwide, and "Tahaan" with around 100 prints in India and it is also competing in different festivals around the world. No details were available about the prints of "Hijack".

In terms of budget, producers of "A Wendesday", UTV have invested around Rs.60 million including the marketing and distribution costs. Producers of "Tahaan" and "Hijack" refused to divulge any details about the budget of their films.

However, the distributors claim "A Wednesday" will be a clear winner among the three movies.

"There is no competition between the three movies. However, 'A Wednesday' looks a clear winner as it has already been hyped a lot due to UTVs promotion and has been much appreciated at the screenings too," informed Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor.

"All three films have different stories to tell. They are all very well directed. However, the business of the films would be affected due to Ramadan but a good film will always find its audience," Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said.

Added Santosh Sivan: "All the films have an audience. The idea is to get a good release so that good visibility is ensured."

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A Wednesday


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