MUMBAI: Salman, Salman everywhere… for everyone to lap up! Two different genres of movies set for release within the span of one month… one is action packed, the other a romance drama… one star common to both – Salman Khan. While Wanted is releasing this week on Eid (18 September), his second film Main Aurr Mrs Khanna is releasing on Diwali (16 October).
With the festive fever catching up, it’s time to rejoice and make merry and Salman is bending over backwards to aggressively promote both his films simultaneously with one clear aim in mind — Get the maximum number of audience to the theaters! This is perhaps the first time ever that the actor has gone above and beyond everything to promote his movie with such gusto.
Since Muslims form approximately 25-30 per cent of India’s population, producers shy away from releasing movies during the holy month of Ramzan every year. Not surprisingly, the one month Ramzan period saw audience drying up in theatres for the lack of good Hindi movie releases and what better Eid cheer can one ask for than to be treated with a power-packed Salman Khan movie? Little wonder then that the actor of the masses is finally all out to woo his audience a la his peers.
Promotions for both his upcoming movies has kept Salman even busier than a bee. From music launches, brand tie-ups, charities, Dus Ka Dum, mall visits, to fan interactions, this Khan is omnipresent. In the news for all the right reasons, Salman has made sure the public at large is bombarded with his movies and activities around them. So much so that while browsing news and general entertainment channels, one just can’t miss him. This weekend, Salman will have the crew of Wanted comprising producers Boney Kapoor and Sridevi, director Prabhudeva and co-star Ayesha Takia as guests on his show Dus Ka Dum that is aired on Sony. While it may come across as an overdose of Salman Khan across all media, this brouhaha was a prerequisite in order for him to rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
Industry watchers say that Salman has realised that he needs to go all out and promote his films. Additionally, the fact of the matter is that his last big hit was in 2007, which is when Partner was released. A spate of flops like Saawariya, God Tussi Great Ho, Hello, Heroes and Yuvvraaj did little to give his career the much needed fillip. With a mass-appeal movie like Wanted, he has a strong chance to get back into the pecking order and his promotions around the film are definitely going to help in getting the opening numbers at the box office windows.
Studio 18 director distribution (India) Aman Gill tells Businessofcinema.com, "I like the way Salman Khan has gone all out to promote his movie. It has created tremendous curiosity and he has done something that he’s never done before by starting his promotions three weeks prior to the movie’s release just like the way Shah Rukh Khan did for Om Shanti Om, Aamir Khan did for Ghajini and Saif Ali Khan did for Love Aaj Kal."
Sony Entertainment Television senior vice president business development Sunil Punjabi opines, "The all powerful hulk is out and making his mark in public. The large hearted Khan is doing everything right – touching the right emotional cord: now with his shirt on! He is seen making an impact with the kids and more so now with NGOs thus reaching a larger family audience. He has lost inches and is looking good and fit. Though suddenly you see a lot of Salman, it was always due. The other Khans leave no stone unturned closer to their release; so why even question Sallu mia?"
Film editor Ashmith Kunder adds, "Salman is a huge star and his movies have big money riding on it. So it is really great that he is going all out to promote Wanted. While some say that the promotions have been done to the hilt, with great budgets come great responsibilities!"
While Salman may have realised that marketing a film and generating hype is crucial, it is finally the content that will talk. The opening weekend numbers will tell us whether his efforts have paid off or not! We hope they do!