Too many films cluttering one Friday

Subhash K.Jha

Mumbai, Feb 5 (IANS) "Mai...", "Listen...Amaya", "Midnight's Children" and "Vishwaroop" - four films came in a cluster Feb 1. The result? Only "Vishwaroop" managed to get an audience while "Midnight's Children" received a lukewarm reception and the other two are struggling for survival.

What is the rationale behind releasing as many as four to five films on one Friday? Is the audience expected to see so many films during the same week?

No, says trade expert Taran Adarsh.

"When will producers learn from their mistakes? Too many movies clashing on the same Friday does affect the overall business. I fail to understand the mad rush to release so many films during the same week. The common man has no time, money or inclination to watch so many films in a week. The business is bound to suffer," said Adarsh.

However, Vikram Malhotra, chief operating officer of the thriving production company Viacom18 Motion Pictures, thinks the audience's buying capacity at the box office window remains undiminished.

"There is a healthy trend of movie-goers flocking to theatres. But it only happens with the films that connect with audiences. They won't come to the theatres just because films are bound to be released every Friday.

"Consumers are more value-conscious than ever before. They totally reject films that don't seem to be worth their time and money," said Malhotra.

He sees no harm in a bunch of films being released on the same Friday.

"If two or three good films would release together, they would all get their due provided the content engages," he added.

One solution to the surfeit of releases on Friday is the Direct-To-Home (DTH) facility, whereby the more intimate character-based films like "Mai..." and "Listen...Amaya" could be premiered directly to homes via satellite.

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