Special occasions are meant to be celebrated and it seems that Bollywood has found the right formula for making these special occasions truly spectacular. Bollywood festival releases of big films has become the norm of the day. Eid, Diwali and Christmas are the three grand days that are logically or illogically being chased by the stars. Booking a release date for the films in advance has become an obsessive trait in Bollywood. Filmmakers have started giving press releases, booking advertisements and keeping a well equipped PR Machinery in place to announce the dates they have circled in the calendars for their future releases.
Just like various products have their own categorical time of launch, Films too have eventually found their right time for release. Shahrukh is largely known for releasing films on Diwali, Salman and Aamir are known for choosing Eid and Christmas respectively. While some people believe this obsession to be a consequence of the actors’ superstitions, others understand it as a clever, strategic tool of ensuring success at the box-office. Given the fact that there are only 52 Fridays in a year and almost double the number of releases, getting a premium release date has become a crucial aspect for the producers. Releasing dates are hence finalized well in advance, in some cases even before the shooting of the movie begins.
While the trend is an added advantage for highly anticipated movies, it tests the comparatively weaker movies that are voluntarily or involuntarily released adjacent to them. Consequently, many movies reschedule their release dates so as to ensure that one movie does not eat into the revenues of the other. In the case of Chennai Express and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Returns, the latter had to postpone its release date to 15th August. If two equally anticipated movies release on the same date, the results become hugely unpredictable. The competition between Son Of Sardar and Jab Tak hai Jaan and the disparity in the number of theatres between the two ensured extra compensation for Son Of Sardar.
Which holidays are the bigger and better choice for releasing a movie, is still a perplexing question. National holidays are apparently more lucrative as they are not accompanied by any traditional customs that need to be followed or need to be prepared for as in the case of Eid, Diwali or Christmas. Moreover, it is not the festivals but the holidays that are looked upon by the stars for releasing their movies. The existence of a holiday near the weekend is the best opportunity for filmmakers to draw maximum audiences to the theatres, especially when the movie stars a Shahrukh or a Salman Khan. If the film is a true entertainer, it gets promoted during the weekdays by word of mouth thereby ensuring its successful run in the upcoming weekends. As a result of the increase in ticket prices and the number of screens, an extended weekend can easily push a movie into the 100 Crore club.
But it is ultimately the content of a movie that can guarantee its success. Festive mood of the special holidays can only ensure that people come to see the movies on Day 1. A movie would run to packed houses on day 2 only when it is a genuinely well crafted story. This myth of making phenomenal box-office collections by releasing films on holidays has been strengthened by the success of movies like Wanted, Dabangg, Bodyguard, 3 idiots and the most recent one Chennai express. Notably, majority of the movies are a product of Salman Khan, who enjoys an obsessive fan following.
To end with here’s a list of some movies that are slated to treat you on your upcoming holidays this year:-
1. Singh Sahab the Great on Dussehra (Director: Anil Sharma, Starring: Sunny Deol and Urvashi Rautela).
2. Ragini MMS 2 on Dussehra (Director: Bhushan Patel, Starring: Sunny Leone, Sandhya Mridul and Anita Hassanandani)
3. Krrish 3 on Diwali (Director: Rakesh and Hrithik Roshan, Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi and Kangana Ranaut)
4. Dhoom 3 on Christmas (Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya, Starring: Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Katrina Kaif and Jackie Shroff)