Neerja had another good day in theaters as it brought in around 2 crore more on Tuesday. With this, the film has now reached 54 crore. It is now a given that 60 crore mark would be touched by Saturday itself.
However, the scary part is that by and large the theaters screening Hindi films across the country are going empty. In fact, it has been a period of lull for cinemas as 2 crore – which have come in courtesy Neerja – are the only numbers which are being collected at the Box Office.
5500 odd screens across the country have a capacity to bring in collections worth 50-55 crore on a single day, if they run to 100% occupancy. However, just 2 crore on a single day means that all-India footfall is just 4%, which is simply horrendous. This is completely unacceptable for an industry which makes over 200 movies a year, and still there are weeks like the current times when only one film means business.
On one end, we talk about doubling the screen count and on other end, we have collections like these which do not justify the presence of even half the screens that we already have.
Yes, collections do see an escalation when an event film releases on a weekend. However what beyond that? It is apparent that beyond 8-10 major films (and that too for the opening weekend or at maximum the first week), the industry doesn’t deserve more screens.
We need to get our house in order fast, and now. Else, we would continue to have instances like these when only two films (like Airlift and Neerja) would keep the Box Office busy in two months and others would bite the dust sooner than when one would have expected.
Note: All collections as per production and distributor sources
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder