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Box office blues continue

Of the six films released this month, none has managed to attract the audiences, reports Vajir Singh.
None | By Vajir Singh, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 20, 2007 11:24 AM IST

Theatrewallahs in the city are still waiting for that one film that will get the ‘House Full’ board outside their halls. Two films released this week, both to lacklustre openings.

Meghna Gulzar’s Just Married scored a poor opening in Mumbai as well as other parts of the country. In the city, it opened with a mere 30 to 40 percent, and the same in other parts of the country The next day’s collections dropped a few percent points.

The second release of the week, Milan Luthria’s Hattrick, had cricket as its backdrop and was expected to cash in on the ongoing World Cup fever. That didn’t happen and the film recorded a meagre 30 percent opening in Mumbai and less in other parts of the country .

Trade sources say audiences are staying indoors – and away from theatres – because of cricket on the telly and ongoing board examinations. Which explains why none of last week’s four releases made a mark.

With poor marketing and no big stars in its cast, debut director Amrit Sagar’s 1971 failed to bring in audiences. With Water, John Abraham has given his fourth dud in a row after Kabul Express, Baabul and Salaam-e-Ishq.Water made it to the final five at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category but Indian audiences weren’t impressed.

Production delays plagued director Raman Kumar’s Sarhad Paar and when it did finally release, saw disastrous collections in its first week. Vikram Bhatt’s Red had aggressive and steamy-looking promotion, which pulled in some money, but the film is still far from being called a hit.

This week will see the release of Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s Namastey London top-lining Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and Upen Patel. The second release of the week will be Mira Nair’s much-awaited The Namesake with Tabu and Irrfan Khan.

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