MUMBAI: Come 29 August and it’ll be raining movies in theaters! As many as seven movies are slated to release theatrically on 29 August, which in itself is a record.
Of the films that will hit theaters on this day are Bollywood films Rock On, C Kkompany, Chamku, Mukhbir, Hijack and Hollywood films Wanted and Wall-E.
To add to this pie, the previous week’s releases on 22 August – Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Phoonk and My Friend Ganesha 2 will also be in their second week run on 29 August. Additionally, Singh Is Kinng and Bachna Ae Haseeno too are expected to have a few shows 29 August.
This takes the total to as many as 13 different movies that are slated to screen in theatres on 29 August. Ironically, this does not come as good news for the industry as it’s difficult to accommodate so many movies even in a four screen multiplex. To add to the woes, multiplexes have no choice but to show all movies resulting in a poor showcase for the movies and in turn drastically affecting the performance and business of each.
Citing the reason for this rush of releases, the programming head of a multiplex chain says, "Most producers and distributors are in a rush to release their movie before the ‘shradh’ and Ramzan period, which starts in September. This is because movies generally do not do well during that period. However, releasing these movies in a flock will not do them any good either."
Moreover, releasing the movies after September is also not a viable option as many big flicks like Kidnap, Drona, Roadside Romeo, Fashion, Karzzzz, Golmaal Returns etc. are making their way to theaters in October. So this leaves producers and distributors with very little option.
For 29 August, on the programming front, 50 per cent of the screen space will be occupied by the movies that release on that day itself and the balance 50 per cent will be occupied by previous week’s releases. Also, most movies may end up getting only two shows each and only the most buzzing ones may get three shows in some theaters. A clearer picture will emerge depending on how each of the 22 August releases fare and how the buzz builds up for the 29 August releases.
Talking about single screens, G7 managing director Manoj Desai says, "This is a suicidal situation for movies. At G7 we will be able to accommodate only four movies, so we will screen only those movies that have a demand."
Also, in such a scenario any multiplex company is likely to give first preference to its home productions or acquisitions, be it a Bollywood or Hollywood movie.
Since on 5 September, only two movies are releasing, it may result in the previous week’s successful movies getting a better showcase and more shows in their second week than in the opening week.