The usual slump in footfall at theatres and lack of Bollywood releases due to it that is expected around Ramadan every year might not be a major cause of concern at the box-office this time around. This is partially due to the approximately Rs 150cr collections made in June-July, and partly because the only film releasing in the middle of Ramadan — Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan (August 12) — is falling on a long weekend.
“I don’t think there will be a dry spell this time,” says Taran Adarsh, trade analyst, before elaborating, “Firstly, the industry is going through a great phase, almost a revolution of sorts. From Ready, Double Dhamaal to Delhi Belly, Murder 2 and now Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, it’s raining hits at the box-office. It’s been a pleasant shock for the industry since we’re so used to flops. Also, releases in August should not be underestimated at a time like this, when people are coming back to theatres and patronising all genres of cinema.” Trade pundit Komal Nahata says, “Multiplex audiences are contributing and many Muslims now watch films during this period.”
While Ajay Devgn starrer Singham opened to packed houses in single-screen theatres, all hopes are now pinned on the Saif Ali Khan-Amitabh Bachchan-Deepika Padukone starrer Aarakshan, releasing on August 12, and Salman Khan’s Bodyguard which opens around Eid. And even though business in single screens is expected to suffer to a certain extent, Aarakshan will have the advantage of the long Independence Day weekend. “That will work in their favour. Also, this is the only time that small films get shows at plexes,” says Amod Mehra, trade pundit, adding that after battling the Indian Premier League, school examinations and the World Cup earlier this year, there is not much to fear. “We’re used to this. Releasing films is a marketing art and we are prepared for these lulls.”
Movie fans are glad that there will be no monsoon blues for them. “Wow, there’s so much to look forward to,” says Neha Vij, 19. Asif Razaqqui, 25, says, “Not even one film is worth missing this time!”