Not five or 10, but as many as 20 films are set to fight it out at the box office in the last two months of this year. The maximum number of releases over the period of November and December has not crossed 11 in the last three years.
Experts say that while the risk of films eating into each other’s profits remains, footfall in theatres are maximum at this time of the year, owing to the overall celebratory mood around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
"Business is usually up around this time. Small films, unless they have great content, do suffer, but big films don’t get affected. By now, audiences will have anyway decided which film they want to watch... for instance, there is a lot of curiosity around Aamir’s film (PK); Emraan Hashmi has his own fan following (Ungli), and the masses will go for Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha’s action film (Action Jackson)," says film distributor Girish Johar.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan feels that the saving grace is that the releases of big-ticket movies are spread out well. "The business period of a film is short nowadays. Films have to make maximum revenue in their first weekend itself, so the business of other smaller releases in the same week will be affected," says Mohan.
Film-maker Rensil D’Silva is happy that, at least, no other big movie is releasing along with his Emraan and Kangana Ranaut-starrer Ungli. "Films are unlimited, but Fridays are limited. The competition is cut-throat. All one can hope for is a solo weekend," says D’Silva.
Meanwhile, producer Pooja Gujral’s film — which will mark the big screen debut of TV actor Barun Sobti — will clash with the debut film of Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty this December.
"It’s certainly bad, as the films do not get enough screens, which affects their collections. Besides, the average Indian family has a monthly entertainment budget so when 10 films release in a month in comparison to three, and a family has the budget to watch only three films, the other seven get affected," says Gujral.