'Viewers showed up in unison to watch Sushant Singh Rajput's last offering Dil Bechara'

Updated: Jul 27, 2020, 07:30 IST | Mohar Basu, Uma Ramasubramanian | Mumbai

With an estimated 95 million viewers logging in to watch Sushant Singh Rajput's last offering, viewership tracking firm says response to Dil Bechara unlike anything they've seen

Sushant Singh Rajput in Dil Bechara
Sushant Singh Rajput in Dil Bechara

Albeit playfully, Sushant Singh Rajput found himself appealing to fans to purchase tickets for a previous release, Sonchiriya, if they wished to see him 'survive in Bollywood'. Unfortunately, it took his demise to assemble cinephiles for a final outpouring of love, as they whole-heartedly celebrated his swansong, the Friday release, Dil Bechara.

A whopping 95 million viewers logged on to Disney+Hotstar within the first 24 hours of the film's release to bid adieu to the actor. The kind of traction that Mukesh Chhabra's directorial debut garnered outshone that of any other film, says Ormax Media, a viewership tracking and consulting firm.

Gautam Jain, partner at the organisation, tells mid-day that while the figures are an estimate, they could confirm that the opening was a massive one. That the makers decided to make the film available for viewing without a cost, also enabled them to achieve such a viewership. "If one wants to, comparisons could be drawn [between the viewership] of Dil Bechara, and that of [the much-acclaimed series] Game of Thrones, and this was possible even though the latter had a pre-existing viewer-base, while the film [did not]. Then again, Hotstar promoted Dil Bechara from the onset, marketing its release date and time well in advance. Viewers showed up in unison to watch it."

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh is certain that the film would have fared just as well as it did, had it released in theatres. "I would have preferred watching it on the big screen. It is beautiful, especially its ending. A good film will always find appreciation; [as it did with] films like Anand [1971], and Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se [1978], which also had similar emotional content."

Jain admits that a release of this order introduces more viewers to the streaming platform. "Not every Dil Bechara-viewer will become a [Hotstar] subscriber, but the number of people who are familiar with the platform has now increased," he adds.

mid-day reached out to Disney+Hotstar to procure the official viewership data on the film, but did not receive a response.

Also read: Dil Bechara: Sushant Singh Rajput's dialogue 'I want to attend my own funeral' goes viral; makes fans cry

Tracking a film

* Ormax Stream Track records how often a film is being discussed across various social media platforms. It tracks a film from four weeks before its release, and continues to do so for four week after.

* Tracking involves keeping a tab on the number of times the film is mentioned, how often its songs and trailers are viewed, and how many hashtags are used.

* The system uses these measures to assign a number to it. This is called unaided recall. Before Dil Bechara, Gulabo Sitabo garnered the maximum buzz. Its unaided recall, a week before its release, was 22. That of Dil Bechara was higher, at 23.

* This difference becomes more evident when they measure the next two parameters, reach (the number of people who eventually watch the film), and appeal (those who like it). In terms of appeal, Dil Bechara stood at 82, while Gulabo Sitabo was at 66. The company says no film has got a score above 80.

Also read: Dil Bechara Movie Review - This sadness will last forever

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