Fridays are an important day for everyone in the film fraternity. This is the day when films release. This year, there have been way too many films produced in Bollywood. While most Fridays have seen Bollywood films clash at the box office, the release of popular Hollywood films have made it worse.
Most of the producers want a safe Friday for their films in Bollywood. Whenever films like Jab Harry Met Sejal or Tubelight, that have big stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, hit screens, relatively smaller films try to stay away.
Last two months saw the release of some of the biggest Hindi films this year. From Ranbir Kapoor’s Jagga Jasoos to Arjun Kapoor’s Mubarakan, films jostled hard to grab eyeballs. In fact, the numbers of Jab Harry Met Sejal worsened after the release of Akshay Kumar’s Toilet Ek Prem Katha in the next week. Thankfully, this film worked and is likely to register a profit of more than 400%, highest this year for any Hindi film.
Bareilly Ki Barfi, that released last Friday, had to compete with Viceroy’s House (Partition 1947 in Hindi) and Shreelancer. But Bareilly Ki Barfi managed to stay ahead because the other films were released in select screens.
The unavailability of screens on particular Fridays pushes the producers to go for other Fridays and eventually those dates become crowded with more than three films.
However, what’s going to happen coming Friday, August 25, is a bloodbath. Not one or two, but ten films are going to battle it out at the ticket window. Staying alive at the booking counter seems more important than making profits for these projects.
The biggest two films this Friday are A Gentleman and Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. While the first one starring Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez have been publicised well, the trailer of the second one has created a good buzz around it. A Gentleman is likely to occupy 1,500-1,800 screens and Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is expected to get 1,000-1,200 screens. This will make it difficult for the other eight films to get enough visibility.
One of these is Yash Raj Films’ Qaidi Band which is also the launch of Aadar Jain and Anya Singh in Bollywood. Because it’s a YRF venture, Qaidi Band will be favoured by some distributors. In those particular zones, it will be seen as a direct competition to the first two films. This triangular fight will make it really difficult for any of them to make profits.
Amol Gupte’s Sniff will focus on kids and if this film succeeds in receiving a positive word of mouth then it may eat into the box office share of A Gentleman and Qaidi Band. Babumoshai Bandookbaaz looks secure that way as its target audience is quite well defined. Gupta has done well with Stanley ka Dabba and Hawa Hawai, and he can do it again.
Then two Hollywood projects, The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson, and Terminator 3D are also scheduled to hit the theatres. Their release dates in India can change even at the last minute though. But if that doesn’t happen then these films can split a part of the urban-multiplex audiences.
Films like The Rally and Mr Kabaadi are not likely to impact the bigger picture, but they can be dominant in particular areas. For example, Mr Kabaadi has been given some publicity in Delhi-NCR area and there, it can receive decent footfall.
Muskurahatein and Toh Fir Aao Na are not in the race, but they can cause more loss of screens to bigger films which may affect their total collections.