With more than Rs 200 crore riding on the three big-budget films set for release this Diwali weekend, the Hindi film industry is keeping its fingers crossed hoping to end 2009 on a cheerful note after having incurred financial losses due to IPL and producers' strike earlier this year.
Three big films, Ajay Devgan starrer 'All the Best', Akshay Kumar's 'Blue' and Salman Khan's 'Main Aurr Mrs Khanna' will release on the coming Friday.
Film experts point out that Bollywood, which has seen only four hits so far this year, badly needs some relief after setbacks due to IPL and producers' strike this year.
The only hits in 2009 have been 'Kaminey', 'New York', 'Love Aaj Kal' and 'Wanted'. The big banner films like Yash Chopra's 'Dil Bole Hadippa' and David Dhawan's 'Do Knot Disturb' bit the dust at the box-office.
"Diwali has always been a time when people are ready to spend more. If we see the past records, most of the chartbusters have been released during this time, be it 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'Veer-Zaara' or 'Fashion'," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
"This time we have three releases of big starcast. And if the film is good, the multiple releases theory still can work like other films in the past," he adds. Last year, films like 'Fashion and 'Golmaal Returns' did very good business during the same period.
"I think all the three films should do above 80 per cent business in the first week due to the long weekend. Diwali season has always proved to be a success for multiplexes. Theoretically, multiple releases can fragment audiences. But as disposable income increases during this time, moviegoers will flock to theatres and see more than one film," says Amitabh Vardhan, CEO, PVR Cinemas,
All the three films are of different genres. While "All the Best' is a comedy and 'Blue' an out and out action film, 'Main Aurr Mrs Khanna' is a romantic film. To add to the euphoria, multiplex-owners have opened the advance booking for Akshay Kumar-Sanjay Dutt starrer 'Blue' in the beginning of this week, while the other two movies are expected to open advance bookings by early next week.
"Moviegoers will see more than one film as they want to enjoy the festival time. The number of films releasing is not the issue as the important thing for the people during this time is that they should get tickets. So, despite multiple releases, we are hoping for the best," says Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, makers of 'Main Aurr Mrs Khanna'. PTI