Eid-ul-Fitr, for the past many years, has proven to be a troubled festival for our cinema industry. More so for our local releases. You ask why?
The ‘Eid releases’ phenomenon
It is because most of these local releases are touted as money spinners without focusing a lot on their content and promotions (our film-makers think that the occasion of Eid, by default, will bring people to the cinemas and that their content and promotions game come later). As expected, these Eid releases have not been able to create the required impact, all these years.
In 2017, we had Yalghaar and Mehrunissa V Lub You, with both of them opening to good numbers. However, the business began dying down as the days progressed because as mentioned earlier, it is not the occasion but the content that keeps a movie going. Yalghaar grossed a total of 15 crores while Mehrunisa collected around 12.5 crores. Moving on to 2018 aka last year, we saw 4 releases; 7 Din Mohabbat In, Azaadi, Na Band Na Baraati, and Wajood. These 4 films’ combined lifetime collections were less than 30 crores which were, as the numbers very well exhibit, not a very great result for the industry.
Hollywood/Bollywood taking over, on Eids
While we are on the subject of Eid releases, here is another pattern that needs to be noted. It looks like despite multiple local releases, Eids have mostly seen Hollywood or Bollywood films taking over the Box Office. This again reiterates our point that the film content and its marketing and promotional strategies are more important than the occasion.
Last year, for instance, the Eid winner was Jurassic World, as the summer blockbuster went on to cross a very healthy total i.e. 16.1 crores. The film opened with good numbers and continued to hold well for all the coming weeks showing that the public on Eids, too, is looking for some quality entertainment, contrary to what some of our local releases may have us believed. However, amidst all of this, another important point to note is that big action or adventure brands with their excellent CGI effects and action appeal also help Hollywood releases take precedence over local releases. Furthermore, the dubbed versions of these movies also do well for the multiplex audiences prefers them much more.
As for the Bollywood releases, one week after the Eid last year, we saw the release of the Salman Khan starrer Race 3, which opened with robust numbers of 2.62 crores – the 2nd biggest opening for any Indian movie at that time last year. The film was able to do this business despite the negative publicity surrounding it but this year with the current ban on Indian content, there won’t be any Bollywood films releasing which will be a huge blow to our box office.
Will Hollywood releases outshine local releases yet again, this Eid?
This year, we have two local releases scheduled for this Eid; Chahlawa and Wrong No.2. The films as of now have not peaked in any way, as they do not seem to have created any hype among the audience. The film’s advance booking has opened at many centers but the response is low as of yet. Right now, the films need to up their promotions game and release more songs and trailers so that the public interest can be developed to an appreciable extent.
Hence, this year again, it seems likely that Hollywood releases will rule the Eid collections. The first major Hollywood release this year will be Aladdin. The film is the live-action remake of the yesteryear classic with a good cast and an excellent public demand so this one will definitely rule the multiplex cinemas, as per our predictions. Moreover, due to the character’s popularity among all age groups, the film has the ability to outperform at mass centers too.
The second major release is Godzilla: The King of Monsters. This one is going to be a big action entertainer and can be a good watch for the masses as well as sections of the audience, looking for their action films’ appetite to be fulfilled. These two films are expected to register some great numbers as the audiences looking for good entertainment will like to go for the more dependable releases such as these. Besides John Wick 3, which released 4 days back, will also retain some screens in the multiplexes all over the country and will be able to attract good footfalls owing to its huge success worldwide.
We hope that the local releases on Eid this year generate some good hype in the last 15 days of Ramzan or else this Eid too seems to belong to the Hollywood releases.