MUMBAI: As the curtains come down on yet another year, the Hindi film industry has reason to cheer. Ghajini has given Bollywood the much needed blockbuster and that’s enough of a reason to celebrate.
To mark the success of the film at the box office, a party was held in Mumbai’s Taj Land’s End hotel on 30 December. Till Monday night, the movie had grossed Rs 1.10 billion (Rs 100 crores) worldwide and still counting. Ghajini is the first Hindi movie to cross the Rs 1 billion mark in six days.
Moreover, to add to the cheer, occupancy levels at theaters over the last six days across shows have been rock steady, which is a first. Speaking to Businessofcinema.com Studio 18 vice president marketing and distribution Priti Sahani says, "The collections for the movie have been consistent since the movie has released. There has hardly been a dip since Monday, which is normally the case for any movie. On Wednesday, the movie’s performance has been high and we expect numbers to go up on Thursday (1 January), since it is a holiday. We expect to close Thursday night with gross worldwide collections of Rs 1.40 billion (Rs 140 crores)."
Inox vice president vice president programming and distribution Utpal Acharya adds, "Ghajini has witnessed a very marginal drop of about 20 – 25 per cent from Monday onwards at theaters. This week’s most shows have been going houseful barring one or two shows in the day. The evening shows from Monday – Wednesday have been packed. Usually movies witness about 50 – 60 per cent drop in occupancies from Monday onwards but Ghajini has been going strong."
PVR Cinemas head of programming Prakhar Joshi informs, "Across PVR properties, the movie has had average collections of about 70 – 75 per cent from Monday onwards. In Mumbai properties, the occupancy was about 60 per cent from Monday, whereas Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi properties still have 100 per cent occupancy, which is unprecedented."
The movie’s performance has invariably been compared with Gadar, which has been the best performing Hindi movie ever. Acharya opines that it is unfair to compare the two since the number of prints with which the movies released are drastically different. "Another factor is that the ticket prices of the two movies are also on different levels. While Gadar tickets may have been priced in the range of Rs 80 – 100, that of Ghajini range from minimum Rs 150 and go as high as Rs 750," he says.
Moreover, Gadar released at a time when the multiplex culture had not hit India and hence the revenue share that went to the distributor from single screens was far more than what Ghajini’s distributors will end up with.
Aamir Khan said, "It has been an enriching experience working on the film. Moreover, working with Murugadoss was amazing. I wonder the kind of passion he has that he re-made the film. Even I wouldn’t do that for Taare Zameen Par. He deserves all the credit. I would specially like to thank the marketing team for their efforts."
The success party was attended by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Asin, Jiah Khan, AR Murugadoss, Allu Arvind, Madhu Mantena, Tinu Anand. From the corporate world, executives from Studio 18 and Reliance BIG Entertainment like Rajesh Sawhney, Sandeep Bhargava, Priti Sahani and Jawahar Sharma amongst others were present.