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Chandni... choked

india Updated: Jan 19, 2009 16:42 IST
Princy Jain
Princy Jain
Hindustan Times
Chandni... choked

It’s just three days after the release of Chandni Chowk to China, and trade pundits are already debating whether to call it a ‘hit’ or ‘not a flop’.

Hit ya miss
Wonder why? Consider the math: CC2C was made on a budget of Rs 80 crore — as stated by actor-producer Akshay Kumar — plus it spent another Rs 7 crore on publicity in India, and organised seven premieres around the world, for which the expense figure is not yet known. Then, the 1,200 prints each cost Rs 50,000. All this adds up to almost Rs 100 crore in outgo. Against this, the film had solid bookings across the country only in the first two days of its release and its 650-odd paid previews. All told, this figure comes to about Rs 10-12 crore, say trade analysts.

What the heck?
Since yesterday, the film’s box-office takings have started declining. This is not what was expected from Hollywood giant Warner Bros big collaboration with Bollywood, especially after Aamir Khan Ghajini made Rs 200 crore.

Multiplex owners, who allotted the maximum number of shows to CC2C, are now moaning over their miscalculation. “The first two days registered an occupancy of 70 per cent, but it seems to have declined from Sunday morning,” says Munish Sharma of Satyam Cinemas. The story of cinema chain Adlabs is no different.

“The opening was average. Can’t say much for this week,” says Tushar Dhingra, COO, Adlabs Cinemas. Fun Cinemas, which has 16 screens across Delhi and NCR, saw 70-75 per cent sales in the first three days. “We had opened our advance booking on January 11. So we are saved for this week.

However, Monday onwards, the bookings have dropped to 25-30 per cent,” says Deepak Taluja, VP, Fun Cinemas. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh has the last word: “Once again, it is proved that it’s neither Akshay nor marketing but the script that is the real king.”