Content is king as viewers troop back to cinemas
NEW DELHI : The theatrical business is starting to show green shoots of recovery buoyed by a slate of successful films from Hollywood such as Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One, Oppenheimer and Barbie and Hindi romantic comedy Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.
Theatre owners and producers say that the success, especially of the seemingly niche American titles underlines the willingness of audiences to come to theatres, as long as there is compelling content.
Similar success stories have been seen in Punjabi and Marathi cinema where Carry On Jatta 3 and Baipan Bhari Deva have done well despite being made on a smaller scale, proving that Bollywood needs to focus more on character development and storytelling.
“Our business is entirely content-driven and our experience over the past 15 months since the last lockdown has been that while people may be apprehensive otherwise, if there is good content on offer, they are coming back to cinemas in good numbers," Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, executive director, PVR Inox Ltd said.
While sleeper hits have returned to Hindi cinema only now with a small-scale film like Zara Hat Ke Zara Bach Ke minting over ₹87 crore, markets such as the South have done well not only with dubbed versions of entertainers like KGF: Chapter 2 and Kantara finding draw across India but even movies like Bro (Telugu), Baby (Telugu) and Maamannan (Tamil) resonating, albeit in their home states.
A delay in Bollywood releases in the past few months may be attributed to filmmakers delaying their films in order to get the product completely right, Bijli said.
While a lot of films come with initial hype, the big takeaway from the past few months is that the scale of production doesn't matter as long as content manages to touch an emotional core with audiences, said Shariq Patel, chief executive officer at Zee Studios. “The big scale spectacles aren't necessarily working anymore. It is more important for audiences to root for the characters and invest in the world created," Patel said.
Be it Malayalam film 2018 that has now emerged as the highest grossing movie ever made in the language, or Zee's own family drama Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway that made around ₹21 crore when released in March, audiences can no longer be taken for granted, Patel added.
Apart from Hollywood films setting the cash registers ringing, the heartening news is that even Bollywood movies have begun clocking encouraging, if not outstanding numbers, said Tanuj Garg, partner, Ellipsis Entertainment.
More films are now planning releases and much confidence has been restored, he added. “The reduction in F&B prices by multiplexes is also a huge incentive. It shows that they're also making an effort," Garg said referring to the combo offers initiated by PVR Inox that make certain items available for Rs. 99 on weekdays between 9 am to 6 pm and allow unlimited refills on the weekends.
As with Pathaan, The Kerala Story and Zara Hat Ke Zara Bach Ke, the lesson also is that films need to seem worth the time and money for small-town India. “In case of a lot of films post covid that were urban and elitist, there was a deep disconnect with the sensibilities of audiences at large. That is an issue because viewers in metros like Delhi or Mumbai, are anyway spoilt for choice and it is these tier-three and four audiences who need avenues for collective recreation," said film distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi.
Source: Live Mint
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Zeenat Aman Collaborates With Film Heritage Foundation For A Don Special Published 27 minutes ago
To mark 45 years of the celebrated action thriller film directed by Chandra Barot, Don that released on 12th May 1978, the famed leading lady of the 1970s and ‘80s. Zeenat Aman has joined hands with not-for-profit organization, Film Heritage Foundation to present an exclusive one-night-only live event in Mumbai.
Titled ‘Zeenat Aman Rewind To Don', the event will be hosted on September 29 at the 1000-seater majestic Regal Cinema in Colaba.
The presentation will feature not just a 3-hour screening of the restored version of the original landmark film Don but will also witness film's lead female protagonist Zeenat Aman engage in an evening of conversation about her life and career with filmmaker and director Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, over a 30-minute moderated session.
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Filmmaker and Director, Film Heritage Foundation states, “It is my honour and a dream come true to present a special screening of Don in conversation with the one and only Zeenat Aman. When we screened Don at the Bachchan Back to the Beginning festival last year, the audience fell in love with “Roma” all over again. Her tremendous charisma and her aura of grace and sensuality is timeless and it is no wonder that she continues to be a star today. I am looking forward to my conversation with her that will give the audience a rare opportunity to listen to a diva walk down memory lane and to watch the original Don with the original Roma on the big screen.”
Zeenat Aman states, “Film Heritage Foundation is doing such incredible work to preserve and give our classic films a second life in cinemas. I am so happy to be presenting the special screening of “Don” with Shivendra Singh Dungarpur of Film Heritage Foundation and looking forward to our conversation. Unfortunately, I missed watching the film at the Bachchan Back to the Beginning Festival last year, but I am excited that it is being presented at a special screening and I can't wait to watch it back on the big screen on September 29th. I know that even 45 years after its release, the original Don is still a blockbuster.”
Last year, Film Heritage Foundation was instrumental in curating a nationwide four-day film festival titled ‘Bachchan Back To The Beginning' on the occasion of the legendary actor's 80th birthday that featured screenings of restored versions of more than 10 of his landmark films including Don.
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AP Dhillon Shares Cryptic Post Amid Shubh India Tour Controversy
AP Dhillon has shared a cryptic post amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Canada-based singer and rapper Shubh, whose Still Rollin tour now stands cancelled in India. Dhillon's post comes hours after Shubh issued a public apology for sharing a distorted image of India's flag on social media.
Dhillon didn't address the controversy directly, but requested people to not spread hate. He also spoke about how over the years it's become difficult for artists to stay focused on their craft as “someone, somewhere, is going to spin the narrative to their liking and create more division.”
“I try to stay out of all the social mania as it is clear to me that regardless of what I say or do, it is a lost cause… I try to be mindful of everyone's sentiments but it's gotten to a point where we have to second and triple guess our every move due to the fear of unintentionally fueling even more division,” Dhillon wrote on his Instagram Story.
The ‘Brown Munde' hitmaker continued, “Special interest and political groups constantly use our public image as a chess piece to further their agenda while we are just trying to make art that helps people on an individual level, regardless of their color, race, religion, nationality, gender, etc. Spread love not hate. Let's start thinking for ourselves and not let hateful influences program our beliefs. We are ALL one. Let's not let man made social constructs divide us. Division has gotten us to this point but unity is the key to the future.”
Canada-based Punjabi singer Shubhneet Singh, popularly known by his stage name Shubh, on Thursday expressed his disappointment after his India tour was cancelled following allegations of his support for Khalistan.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday, Shubh said he was “extremely disheartened” by the cancellation of the tour. Reacting to the controversy, Shubh clarified, “My intent in resharing that post on my story was only to pray for Punjab as there were reports of electricity and internet shutdowns throughout the state. There was no other thought behind it, and I definitely didn't intend to hurt anyone's sentiments.”
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When Thalapathy Vijay Encouraged Atlee To Give His Life To Jawan Published 23 minutes ago
Atlee is currently riding high on the success of the Bollywood blockbuster Jawan, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Nayanthara in the lead roles. While the director is well known for his collaborations with South Indian superstar Thalapathy Vijay, he recently opened up about the actor's reaction to him working with King Khan. In an interview with Hindustan Times, the filmmaker shared that the opportunity to work with SRK was like a dream come true moment for him. Atlee shared that initially, even the Master star couldn't believe him, but later, he encouraged the director to pour his heart and soul into the project.
The filmmaker recalled, “When Shah Rukh sir asked me to make a film with him, it was like a lifetime opportunity for any director. I was very happy, I said yes. Then I went to Vijay sir and told him. He said, ‘Are you serious? He came to you?' I said he did. He said, ‘Give your life to it'.”
“I learnt a lot from Khan sir, by being patient, getting everything right, taking the film to the next level. Shah Rukh sir has taught me to raise the bar. My next film will have even better energy and we'll make something bigger than Jawan,” Atlee added.
Further, the director mentioned that initially, he thought of creating a typical romantic film with SRK. However, the superstar expressed his desire to be a part of a project that fit Atlee's unique style and vision. He wanted to explore something different that he hadn't attempted before. This pushed the filmmaker to create a new concept and storyline that would align with his own creative world.
Meanwhile, in an earlier interview with Siddharth Kannan, the Bigil director spoke about the potential collaboration between, Thalapathy Vijay and Shah Rukh Khan and shared that both actors had expressed genuine interest in working together on a project. Initially, Atlee thought they might be saying this as a birthday gift to him. However, the following day, Vijay confirmed his commitment to the project, while Khan, who was present during this conversation, also shared his eagerness to collaborate and asked if they were serious about making a film together.
Jawan is continuing its remarkable run at the global box office, having recently crossed the milestone of Rs 800 Crore in worldwide earnings. In India, the action-packed drama is rapidly approaching the Rs 700 Crore mark, while its overseas collection has collected Rs 295 Crore.
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Alia Bhatt, Shaheen Bhatt Share Throwback Photos With Father Mahesh Bhatt On His 75th Birthday Published 43 minutes ago
Director Mahesh Bhatt is marking his 75th birthday today. On this special day, his wife Soni Razdan extended her wishes on social media and offered fans a glimpse of his ‘then and now' photos. Meanwhile, their daughter Pooja Bhatt penned an emotional note for her father and shared unseen photos of him on social media.
Alia Bhatt and Shaheen Bhatt, too, took to Instagram to share throwback photos with father Mahesh Bhatt and penned sweet captions. Sharing a photo of her childhood self with daddy dearest and one from her adult years, Alia Bhatt wrote, “To the moon and back.. love you papa.. happy birthday my wise man."
Shaheen, too, shared photos from her younger days with her father and wrote, “Always ♥️
Best friend, happy birthday."
Pooja Bhatt, too, penned an emotional note for her father. Sharing throwback photos, she wrote, ““To the man who gave me roots, wings, the courage to stand on my own feet, walk alone & unabashedly be myself.. “A real guru, if there is one, frees you from himself.” That was the understanding that UG Krishnamurti instilled in him and what he reinstates to me & countless others day after day.. Happy 75'TH Pops! Gratitude to you & my mother for bringing me into this world. And for re-birthing me through the gift of sobriety by simply saying to me “If you love me, then love yourself.” 🙏♥️".
On this special day, his wife Soni Razdan, too, extended her wishes on social media and offered fans a glimpse of his ‘then and now' photos.
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Sophie Turner Enjoys Dinner With Joe Jonas
Joe Jonas' exes Sophie Turner and Taylor Swift spent Tuesday night together. The Game of Thrones actress and the Shake It Off hitmaker have been romantically involved with Joe. While Taylor briefly dated Joe, Sophie was longtime engaged to him and was married to him for four years. He reportedly filed for a divorce from her earlier this month. While Joe and Sophie have kept their divorce a private affair, fans were stunned to see Sophie and Taylor together. In photos shared by the paparazzo and fans online, Sophie and Taylor were seen walking out of a restaurant arm-in-arm.
The photos revealed Sophie picked out a sexy outfit for her dinner date with Taylor. She was seen wearing a gray outfit that allowed her to show off skin. On the other hand, Taylor wore a red dress paired which she styled with brown boots and a denim jacket. It comes as no surprise that the photos have gone viral.
Fans on X, previously known as Twitter, couldn't stop themselves from screaming. “IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS CHAOTIC TIME WOW," a fan posted. “Is this for real??????" many asked. “All Hail the Royalty in this picture! The Queen of the North & The Queen of the Music Industry!" a comment read. “Sophie Turner and Taylor Swift had the opportunity to do the funniest thing ever and they did," added another.
See a few more reactions below:
Taylor and Joe dated a decade ago. Although their relationship ended in an awkward way, Taylor and Joe managed to mend things. A glimpse of that was seen when Taylor sent Sophie a gift after she and Joe welcomed their daughter Willa in 2020. It is no secret that Sophie is a big fan of Sophie.
Meanwhile, Joe and Sophie confirmed that they are headed for a divorce earlier this month. They issued a joint statement that read, “After four wonderful years of marriage, we have decided to amicably end our marriage. There are many speculative narratives as to why but, truly this is an united decision and we sincerely hope that everyone can respect our wishes for privacy for us and our children."
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