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Bollywood's dream run comes to a halt

All three releases this week -- Rascals, Love Breakups Zindagi and Soundtrack -- take a beating. On a positive note, John Abraham's Force picks up steam

If the opening figures of Rs 7.25 crore across India were any consolation, the following days didn't do much to boost the morale of Sanjay Dutt who ventured into production with Rascals.

The comedy, also featuring Ajay Devgn, under the aegis of David Dhawan failed to retain audience interest.



According to trade analysts, the movie, which cost R 50 crore (including prints and advertising), is not likely to break even, forget making money for the actor-producer and his investors.

 Considering numbers like R 5.75 crore (Friday), R 5 crore (Saturday) and R 5.5 crore (Sunday), trade analyst Amod Mehra says, "The writing on the wall was there to be seen on Friday itself.

And it was reiterated on Saturday, which registered numbers over 30 per cent less than Thursday." He added that the crash Monday onwards was imminent due to poor content and lack of positive word of mouth.

 Mehra dubs the other releases Soundtrack and Love Breakups Zindagi as washouts.

"A few shows of Soundtrack were cancelled. Love Break-ups Zindagi too barely saw much occupancy, averaging under 10 per cent," he adds.

The head honcho of a national multiplex chain on condition of anonymity attributes the average occupancy for Rascals to a negative response from the audience.
 
"People were finding it difficult to sit through two-hour long film that lacked a decent script," he says.

Though his G7 Cineplex in Bandra and Maratha Mandir in Mumbai Central witnessed 95 per cent occupancy for Rascals, Manoj Desai attributes Monday's drop to poor public response.

"Hearing about people walking out in the interval is funnier than the film itself.

The audience feels there's more skin show on television than by Kangna Ranaut in the movie, and even that wasn't a script requirement as there was no story to begin with," he says.

Prakhar Joshi of PVR Cinemas feels that Soundtrack deserved a better release time. "Despite being a remake, it's a fairly well made film. Had it released at a more suitable time, it would have done better business," he sums up.

As for Zayed Khan and Dia Mirza's production debut, Love Breakups Zindagi, our multiplex man maintains, "It's not even in the discussion."

Which is surprising, given the actor-producers and their director partner Sahil Sangha celebrated the movie's success over the weekend.
 
"Such events are to celebrate the film's successful release, and not success at the box-office," explains Mehra.

John Abraham's Force, which released a week earlier, continued its run, making comparatively more money from the single screens.

By Sunday, it had netted over R00 27 crore, thanks to more than 40 per cent occupancy in the solo theaters in the country.

Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster, which released along with Force, did decent business over the weekend. "Good content is working for the ticket-buying audience," observes Joshi.

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