This January’s been bad for Bollywood. The 13 releases in the month proved unlucky for the box office at the outset of 2013, reiterating the long-standing superstition that films fare badly during this month most years.
The movies that released this month were Dehraadun Diary, Dekha Jo Pehli Baar, Meri Shadi Karao, Rajdhani Express, Table No. 21, Gangoobai, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Bandook, Inkaar, Mumbai Mirror, Akaash Vani, Main Krishna Hoon and Race 2. The sequel to Race was the only movie that pulled some footfall in the first weekend, but didn’t score thereafter.
“January has always been jinxed for Bollywood, barring some exceptions. The box office is generally cold during the first month of the year and this year too, we saw losses. Out of an approximate investment of around R250 crore with 13 movies, there’s been a loss of around Rs. 125 crore excluding the satellite and music rights for these movies,” says trade analyst Atul Mohan. “None of the movies from Bollywood and Hollywood could create magic. It’s the same story every January,” says distributor Joginder Mahajan.
Theatre authorities too echo similar sentiments. Satish Garg of G3S Cinemas says, “It was a dull month except for Race 2. It is also because of this fear of the jinx in Bollywood that good content is not released during this month.” The end of vacations is another factor, says Yogesh Raizada of Wave Cinemas: “The young generation goes back to schools and colleges. People resume work after their annual leaves too.”
Trade analyst Joginder Tuteja, however, disagrees with the jinx philosophy. “January or no January, content is what matters. If these films had good content, they’d have worked.”