Sequels & the need to cash in on previous successes

The film industry is going through its worst period in a long time. Nothing seems to be working as film after films flop losing almost total investments. This, when private investors are staging a comeback to invest in film distribution business as the big houses have curtailed their activities.

While the producers of recent films have been suffering, the main sufferers are the single screens as well as the multiplex chains who, besides servicing their investments, also need to tend to their fixed costs like, staff, power, maintenance and other such costs.

This is a Catch 22 situation. While the independent producers, who are keeping the supply going, they have to do it in limited budgets. The multiplex chains won’t give them decent playtime or reduced admission rates and the paying audience won’t be lured otherwise.

The stalemate continues.

The recent trend seems to be of making wome- oriented films. That is fine. They do work at times as was the case with, Kahaani, Dirty Picture, Neerja, Chalk & Duster, Ki And Ka, Fitoor, Sarabjit, Begum Jaan, Maatr, Noor and so on. But, just a few worked.

If Kahaani worked, why did Kahaani 2 did not? It did not because it came across as a product of greed. A need to cash in on the success of its predecessors. The makers did not even care that their ‘Dare It All’ protagonist of Kahaani was turned in to a helpless, hapless woman in Kahaani 2.

Both new releases of the week, Noor and Maatr, were women centric films. Both faced disastrous outcome at the box office.

Noor was much hyped as the Pakistani journalist writer Saba Imtiaz’s account of her life as a journalist in Karachi, among the most violent cities in the world. It was published as a book, Karachi, You Are Killing Me! The account had no story, looked like a dramatised and fictionalised writing. Nothing in the book seemed fit to incorporate it in the life of a Mumbai journalist.

Maatr was a vehicle for one time sought-after star, Raveena Tandon, as a senior actor to return in her veteran avatar as a mother. She played a mother on revenge mission for her raped and killed young daughter. The film failed to get an opening of any kind.

*Raveena’s comeback, Maatr, sadly, could not find enough footfalls to run a show. Turned into a ‘No audience No show’ affair as the collections remained in lakhs. The film’s promotion was poor too. The three day collections remained short of one crore at about Rs 70 lakh.

*Sonakshi Sinha, essaying the role of a struggling journalist, lacked head or tail. Is a loser on all counts as the film barely manages to put together Rs 4.1 crore crore for the first weekend.

*Begum Jaan, an outdated story told poorly, fails badly to incite the audience. After a poor opening weekend of Rs 10.6 crore, the film ends it first week with a total of Rs 15.1 crore.

*Badrinath KI Dulhania has taken its six week total to Rs 114.7 crore.

*Laali KI Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana, Blue Mountain, Mirza Juuliet and Mukti Bhawan are also ran.

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