Small but plentiful films head for multiplexes

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MUMBAI: Movies releases like Chak De! India and Heyy Babyy proved to be a blessing for theatres all across India in August. While September has no ‘big’ movie releases, the large and constant supply of films have come to the rescue of multiplexes.

This month has already seen as many as nine Hindi and English releases and has more than nine films lined up for release. Some of the forthcoming movies include Priyadarshan’s Dhol, Abhay Deol starrer Manorama Six Feet Under, Sriram Raghvan’s Johnny Gaddar, Prakash Jha’s Dil Dosti Etc., debutant director Manish Acharya comic film Loins of Punjab, Punjabi movie Mitti Awaazan Mardi and Hollywood films like No Reservations, The Bourne Ultimatum and Resident Evil.

Fun Cinemas programming head Bhumika Tiwari says, “September is generally expected to be the lull period for multiplexes. But this year fortunately due to the sheer number of releases, the going has been good. These movies have contributed averagely towards revenues. As a matter of fact, it is better than last year when we had only few movie releases and those too were not so good.” Fun Cinemas has witnessed occupancy of 30 to 40 per cent this month.

Although Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, which released on 31 August had biggies associated with it, the movie turned out to be a disaster. Dhamaal had Sanjay Dutt to drive audiences to the theatres and the movie proved to be an average money spinner. Forthcoming movies that are surrounded by good buzz are Dhol and Johnny Gaddar.< Page Break >

With Ramzaan commencing from 14 September and Ganpati festival from 15 Spetember, this may have an effect on the fate of these movies. Cinemax vice president marketing and programming Devang Sampat says, “Ultimately everything boils down to content. If a film’s content is good, it will work, irrespective of Ramzaan or Ganpati.”

However, G7 managing director Manoj Desai adds, “Chak De! India is still running house full in Gossip (105 seater). Now due to Ramzan, the repeat audiences, which are primarily Muslims will stop coming in for this movie.”

Sampat further adds, “From the multiplex point of view, more number of releases is a plus point. Moreover since most of the movies are multiplex movies, September is a good month for us.”

While multiplexes may be able to put up a good show for the month of September, it is 12 October that is most awaited by them. With releases like Yash Raj Films’ Lagaa Chunari Mein Daag and T-Series’ Bhool Bhullaiya lined up, the multiplexes can easily look forward to meet their projected revenues.

After these, the spate of good movie releases will continue till the festive period of November and December with movies like Om Shanti Om, Saawariya, Aaja Nachle, Welcome, Hanuman Returns and Taare Zameen Par to name a few.

Fireworks at the box office are yet to be seen!