Friday chock-a-block across theatres

MUMBAI: This Friday, the drama unfolds three times over on celluloid as 29 June, 2007 will see three big Hindi films releasing.


While the Bhatts and Emraan Hashmi’s fans will be treated to their most expensive project Awarapan budgeted Rs 180 million (Rs 18 crores), Himesh Reshammiya’s admirers will see the singer turn into an actor with Aap Kaa Suroor.


The Deol trio on the other hand, will be seen on screen together for the first time with Anil Sharma’s family drama Apne. Hollywood movie Die Hard 4 starring Bruce Willis as the police detective John McClain will also hit theatres this week.


With a handful of movies releasing on the same day, the audience is bound to get divided. However, it will be interesting to find out which movie will generate the most hype on Friday.


Multiplexes across India are giving an equal leverage to the three Hindi and one English film in their programming mix.


“This Friday has been the most chaotic on the programming front and since we never know which film will click, we had to give an equal opportunity to all. At Inox properties across India we are screening approximately five shows of all four films,” says Inox programming head Saurabh Verma.


Along with the addition of these four releases, previous releases such as Yash Raj Films’ Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Rajnikanth starrer Sivaji: The Boss, Oceans 13 and Fantastic Four also continue to be screened at all multiplexes in the range of one to three shows.


Shringar Cinemas director Aditya Shroff points out, “All these films are being released by major distributors so it made logical sense to divide the number of shows equally.”


Adlabs is releasing Aap Kaa Suroor in approximately 425 screens with 270 physical prints and 150 digital prints. Studio 18 is releasing Awarapan in Bombay and Delhi with 135 physical prints and 50 digital prints. Apne is being distributed by Rajiv Malhotra with 320 physical prints and 210 digital prints. Warner Bros’ Die Hard is slated to release with 300 prints in India of which approximately 170 are Hindi dubbed. (The print count stands at the time of filing the story and is for all India, unless mentioned otherwise).


As far as the censor certification is concerned Apne has a ‘U’, Aap Kaa Suroor, Awarapan and Die Hard have a U/A certificate.


Cinemax is screening approximately four shows of the four movies across all its properties and Fun Cinemas will be screening four – six shows across its properties.


While all films stand at par in multiplexes, G7 managing director Manoj Desai has a different arrangement. “Apne will be screened in Gaitey (1000 seats), Awarapan in Galaxy (900 seats) and Aap Kaa Suroor in Gemini (300 seats).”


Throwing light on the advance booking of these films, Desai says, “The advance booking for none of the films has been spectacular. Aap Kaa Suroor has had 40 – 45 per cent booking, that too, because the seating capacity of that theatre (Gemini) is less. Apne stands at 40 per cent and Awarapan at 15 per cent. But the true potential of these films will be known only on Friday.”


We’ll have to wait and watch.