Perhaps the initial responses to the two films - as unlike as chalk and cheese - could be predicted even before they released. Initially, in Mumbai the producers of both the movies demanded the deal multiplex owners had given to Om Shanti Om - a 60 per cent share. But multiplex owners were adamant on sticking to 48 per cent.
Finally, Taare Zameen Par opened at all multiplexes from Friday afternoon. While, Welcome opened at all multiplexes from Saturday morning.
Reportedly, it was decided that the ratio would be decided only after checking out how these films fared commercially during the first week.
Anees Bazmee's Welcome with its farcical and below-the-belt comedy wasn't any different from a or David Dhawan Priyadarshan movie. With its star names and a popular title song, it attracted a whopping initial collection.
Despite the fact that Welcome did not open on Friday at the Mumbai multiplexes, its collections at single screen theatres were upbeat, opening at almost 90 per cent throughout the nation.
<b1>The trade expects strong collections right into the Xmas holidays. Welcome could well become one of the top grossers of 2007. But the trade also believes collections could slump after the initial curiosity subsides. Also the negative reviews are not likely to help its sustaining power.
On the other hand, Aamir Khan's first go at direction, Taare Zameen Par, has been appreciated widely but it has not shown collection figures to match.
On its first day, it opened with mere 40 to 50 per cent collections across the country, and about 60 per cent in Mumbai
Word of mouth buzz
Although Taare.. did not open well, Saturday shows witnessed encouraging ticket sales, thanks to favourable reviews and a positive word of mouth buzz. The trade expects its collections to rise steadily.
Taare.. has two things going in its favour - audience feedback and a relatively low production cost. Also there is talk that the subject of dyslexia will fetch the film a tax exemption certificate.
Meanwhile Strangers has bombed. Ditto Sanjay Gupta's Dus Kahaniyaan and Sudhir Mishra's Khoya Khoya Chand. Several shows had to be cancelled because of a poor audience turnout.
The last week of the year is considered to be a ‘jinx' by the trade. Defying the superstition, Hanuman Returns and Showbiz have been scheduled for release. Fingers crossed.