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Moolah rage

Films with no super crowd puller also work because a movie is now a product well-marketed, writes Princy Jain.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2006 15:50 IST

It’s ringing loud and clear at the BO. Bollywood’s smiling as the year so far has meant success in packets big and small, all of which translates into money.

While at least three-four films are released every Friday, each new release this year has made enough to keep the whole industry happy — producer, distributor, exhibitor, and of course, the actors.

Is every Bollywood film suddenly such a great piece of art that the people can’t stop thronging cinema halls? A little unlikely, but the fact is that more than one factor is at play.

Says trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “With due respect to content, movies today are packaged well to draw public to the theatre ultimately.” As Adarsh says, content of a film is a major factor for its success.

But star power too has rarely failed at the BO. This year, Aamir Khan (RDB, Fanaa), Kajol (Fanaa), Hrithik Roshan (Krrish), Akshay Kumar (Phir Hera Pheri), all succeeded in getting cash registers ringing.

But even others, like Shiney Ahuja-Emraan Hashmi (Gangster), Nana Patekar-John Abraham (Taxi 9211), made their filmmakers smile.

Films with no super crowd puller also work because a movie is no longer just a three-hour-long software, but a product backed by a proper marketing strategy. Madhur Bhandarkar emp hasises: “A good film can die if it’s not marketed well.”

So, right from the high-profile RDB and Krrish, to small-budget films like Corporate, most movies tied up with some brand to spread the word around. Explains Prabhat Choudhary of Spice Communication (that markets films for Yash Raj, among others,) says, “The idea is to target the right viewer at the right place.”

Today, the exhibitor too is more than just a passive facilitator of entertainment. Says PVR’s Saurabh Varma, “With publicity acts like merchandising and freebies, we ensure that the viewer comes to the screen.” And every new screen translates into almost 200 more viewers —- this year, 16 new screens have already been added in Delhi and the NCR.

So, are the days of the Indian film industry’s Diwali dependency over, when big projects used to be timed for a mega release?