Monday, August 13, 2012

Salman's Eid fever

A well-worn industry joke goes like this: Eid belongs to Salman Khan, Diwali to Shah Rukh Khan and Christmas to Aamir Khan. IPL, World Cup, festive occasions and Ramzan had become dreaded times for filmmakers to release their films. However this year, Yashraj Films has planned to release Ek Tha Tiger five days prior to Eid. So, for Muslims a movie after Ramzan, that too of Salman Khan, is like icing on the cake. And they don’t really have to wait till Friday. The tiger is set to roar across screens and multiplexes on Wednesday, 15th August. Strategically positioned to release on a public holiday, it will surely garner the benefits of a long weekend. 

 “Because of Ramzan the Muslim community which forms a size-able chunk of the movie audience around the world does not generally prefer to watch movies as they have to observe Roza on a daily basis. Hence they avoid going out for entertainment options. Also this period mostly coincides with the month of Shravan for the Hindu community during which they observe self restraint in terms of eating, drinking and entertainment. It is the peak of monsoon season and hence the footfalls at multiplexes and malls are low in the month of August. Eid marks the end of Ramzan for Muslims and also is the beginning of festive season for the Hindus. Sometimes it also coincides with 15th Aug which is national holiday. Thus bringing people out of their homes. Hence films are released on EID. And since Salman has a huge mass fan following he prefers to release his film on EID and is assured of audience. Obviously no small budget film maker would attempt to release his film in the same week”, says Vishal Desai, a media professional who works for World College-School of Media Studies in Mumbai and teaches film marketing at various media institutes as visiting faculty.
Ek Tha Tiger is the latest addition to Salman's collection of high pumping adrenaline masala entertainers to open on Eid, hoping to fortify his position as the king of the occasion. The trade pundits have already predicted that Ek Tha Tiger may collect above Rs. 30 Crore on the opening day - A new Box Office record! Some say that the film may even go very close to 200 Crore mark, which no one has ever achieved so far in Bollywood.

Not surprisingly, Salman has also scheduled his forthcoming movie Sher Khan for an Eid release in 2013. On the contrary, Dabangg 2 is slated to release this Christmas. It would be interesting to see what fate the non-Eid release meets with. 

Here’s a quick recap - 

Wanted (2009)
This Prabhu Deva-directed action flick had Salman playing a cop who goes undercover as a gangster. Salman tasted super success at the BO with this film after a prolonged lean spell. Wanted released during Ramzan (September 18, 2009) but collections picked up significantly on and after Eid (September 20). While the opening day’s collections were only Rs. 5.5 crore, the film completed the weekend with Rs. 16 crore. The action flick went on to net Rs. 34 crore in its first week at the box-office. It further added another Rs. 20 crore to its kitty by the end of the second week.

Dabangg (2010)
The Abhinav Kashyap-directed film proved Salman’s stance as an action hero. Salman played the cop (Chulbul Pandey) with effortless ease, and the film became the biggest hit of 2010. Released on Eid (September 10, 2010), the film took an enviable opening of Rs. 14.35 crore. The first (3-day) weekend yielded Rs. 48.70 crore. What’s more, the opening week broke all previous records, save that of 3 Idiots, and amassed an impressive Rs. 81 crore! The next week added in with Rs. 35 crore. 

‘Bodyguard’ (2011)
Even as Salman turned from cop to bodyguard, the audience still loved him. Khan’s on screen persona and action sequences were enough to help the film sail through at the BO, in spite of a poor script. Released on Eid (August 31, 2011), collected a record-breaking Rs. 20.5 crore (net) on the opening day. On the day 2, the film collected Rs. 17.50 – 18 crore. The film’s 5-day weekend’s collections crossed the Rs. 80 crore net.

Ek Tha Tiger (2012)
Wait and watch…

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