With re-releasing RRR and Rockstar, rerunning old hit films the ultimate solution to end the dry run at the box office? - Hindustan Times

With re-releasing RRR and Rockstar, rerunning old hit films the ultimate solution to end the dry run at the box office?

ByNavya Kharbanda
Jun 02, 2024 08:05 PM IST

We ask insiders if bringing more classics back to theatres could help ease the box-office lull and keep audiences invested in the big-screen experience.

Rajamouli’s superhit pan-india film, RRR and Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar were re-released in the theatres last week. In fact, trade analyst Taran Adarsh also recently tweeted that it is high time distributors re-release movies, till the regular flow begins in the second half of 2024. Citing examples of classics such as DDLJ, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Ghajini, Kaho na pyaar hai, he added that re-releasing a successful film in cinemas will help reintroduce those films to an all-new audience. Considering the lull that Bollywood is witnessing at the box office with films tanking one after the other including biggies like Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and Maidaan, should fraternity actually resort to the trend of re-releasing old films which was a common practice in 70s, 80s and 90s?

Rockstar in theatres
Rockstar in theatres

Best solution for the dry run?

Producer Anand Pandit says that re-releases are not a new trend. “During the pandemic and even after, many premature obituaries of the industry were written. It took just one massive hit to change that narrative and the same will happen now. This does not mean that as an industry we cannot do better to match our narrations to the expectations of the audience.” To which Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh agrees and adds, “Instead of no releases and very few releases, it is better to do this. April and May are already gone and we have two months to go as April-June is a peak movie period till the schools reopen. No one wants to be glued to the television screen, they want to step out and watch a film.”

Meanwhile, Film Trade expert and producer Girish Johar brings to light that there might be multiple reasons behind the dry run in theatres. “One reason being that there are no new releases. Secondly, the audiences find resonance with these releases because they have already seen them, the traction and connection is faster. Moreover, cinemas get films easily available from the distributors. Lastly, the audience is not finding the current wave of content lucrative enough to come to theatres. It all depends on demand and supply. If theatres think that the classics can still draw the audience, then why not?” he emphasises.

Also Read: Action fatigue? Box office shows maybe with big screen spectacles tanking

People have been slamming films these days on social media left, right and centre. Producer Ramesh Taurani points out that re-release of established and big films is always a good idea. “It used to happen in the 80s and 90s and should be encouraged. There is bad music, scripts and poor films in the theatre these days, hence nothing is working. Jab tak koi bahut achi picture na aaye, re-release karte rehna chahiye, acha hi hai vo,” he reasons.

Banking on nostalgia?

“I would love to see retrospectives of Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra and other greats of our cinema. Instead of looking at this trend as a reflection on today’s films, we should enjoy it as a celebration of Indian cinema. This will also allow younger audiences to experience these classics once more on the big screen. Classic films should be released because they have an unmatched nostalgic value and they celebrate Indian cinema at its best,” says Pandit.

No pain, only gain

Adarsh feels that it is the best time for producers and distributors also, to bankroll on nostalgia, but keeping the ticket prices in check. “Giving it a good promotional push and raising awareness is also important. If done the right way, I am sure there’s an audience for it. But yes, one has to keep the ticket price in check to bring people to theatres. The producers, distributors and all other stakeholders can also make money in the process,” he says.

Devang Sampath, CEO of Cinepolis, also shares that as a cinema chain, they keep re-releasing successful films in their theatres, but he doesn’t agree with it being the last solution for the dry box office run. “We get good supplies. During the year, we get to know about the girth of content that will be coming in. Actually, Jan-Feb-Mar this year, has been ten percent better than last year. So, we can’t say for sure, it depends on the cycle. Re-releasing is not an answer or solution to end the dry run, but it does give the audience a reason to come back to theatres.”

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