BOX OFFICE: ‘Talaash’ – Novel Idea Of 3 Months Pre-Booking Fails, Current Response Phenomenal

A still from movie 'Talaash'
A still from movie ‘Talaash’

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s ‘Talaash’ has hit the screens 30 November. Directed by Reema Kagti, produced by Farhan Akhtar and Riteish Sidhwani of Excel Entertainment, ‘Talaash’ stars Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Rani Mukerji.

Interestingly, in a novel idea Aamir Khan and the makers of the film opened the advance bookings for ‘Talaash’ almost 3 months ahead of the release. This tactic, however, did not seem to bode well for the film.

Speaking to President of Cinemax India Ltd, Mr. Sanjay Dalia said, “The advance bookings have not really seen too much of audience excitement. We only see the advance bookings picking up closer to the date of release, in this case around Wednesday and Thursday.”

A similar sentiment was echoed by Marketing Head PVR Cinemas, Mr. Gautam Dutta, as well, “Yes, the pre-bookings for ‘Talaash’ had commenced 3 months ago. But this was only a pre-booking, and not an advance booking i.e. no showtimes were decided. We usually see big institutions and corporate clients taking advantage of such pre-bookings for bulk reservations.”

But though for the general audience the pre-booking tactic may not have worked, the advance bookings in the last 4-5 have seen a robust trend.

“The last 4-5 days we have seen phenomenal advance booking for ‘Talaash’, which is on par with, if not more than, what we have seen for other blockbuster films!” adds Dutta.

This is notable more so because the film has not been heavily promoted by its makers. This was, of course, a conscious decision made by the ‘Talaash’ team, to ensure the film stands on its own merit and to ensure the suspense, and an aura of mystique is maintained around the film.

Said Aamir, about the deliberate reason to keep the promotions low-key, “I want the suspense to be there, that’s part of the promotions. Sometimes being quiet also might promote it.”

Talking about the current response, Mr. Dutta further added, “The bulk of bookings we see is still current. For instance, today’s evening and night shows are all sold out. We are expecting houseful for today’s shows in most territories, which brings up the occupancy rate for today at over a whopping 80%.”

Mr. Dalia, agrees, “We are seeing mostly current bookings, and the occupancy figures of today are in the range of 60-65%. The film report is very good; it is an Aamir Khan release after all. The thriller genre, Aamir’s role, that of a cop after a long gap after ‘Sarfarosh’, plus the Aamir-Kareena pairing will do wonders for the film. We definitely expect the occupancy to go upto 75% over the next three weekend days.”

Speaking about the competition to the film, Mr. Dalia mentioned, “There is only one competitor right now for ‘Talaash’, which is ‘Life of Pi’. All the Diwali releases have already been devoured by audiences, and ‘Talaash’ is a single release this week, so it will do phenomenal business for sure.”

Well, the prophecies sound good for ‘Talaash’s performance at the Box office. “It looks very positive indeed. We are expecting a similar occupancy rate over the next two days,” said Dutta.

The question is, Will Aamir Khan’s ‘Talaash’ surpass the biggest Indian film’s business so far – his own previous release ‘3 Idiots’?