Animation movies are hot abroad but in the Indian market, so far, it's been a comme ci comme ca story. Percept Pictures' Hanuman was an exception to the rule, it did reasonably well. Its sequel will be released in the last week of 2007.
But here comes the rub. According to trade lore, the last week as well as the first week of the year are far from auspicious. They do not strike up high ticket sales. Will Hanuman Returns be able to break this jinx?
List goes on
Take a look at few of the films released in the last week of December 2002 -2006 - Pitaah, Chalo Ishq Ladaaye, Hum Pyar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe, Mr and Mrs Iyer, Tujhe Meri Kasam, Talaash, Bollywood Hollywood, L.O.C., Ishq Hai Tumse, Dil Maange More, Rog, Vaada, Yehi Hai Zindagi, Shikhar, Anjaane-The Unknown and Mr Prime Minister.
Trade pundits point out that no film released in the last week or the first week of any year has proved to be a commercial success. Perhaps that's why no film has been scheduled for release in the first week of 2008.
Producer Nikhil Panchamiya's friends from the film fraternity were against his decision of releasing Dil Maange More toplining Shahid Kapur and Ayesha Takia on December 31, 2004.
In retrospect, he says, "The film industry is full of superstitions. Just because none of the films have done well in those two weeks, doesn't mean anything really. But yes, producers do shy away from releasing their films during this period."
Kumar Mohan, editor of Complete Cinema, says,"It's strange but true. None of the movies in the year's last and first week have done well."
Producer-director Anil Sharma, states, "As in the Shraddh and Ramzan months, we think twice before releasing a film in the last and first week of any year. So much money is at stake. So why take a risk?"