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Namastey London, Guru: 2007's only hits so far
March 28, 2007 17:12 IST
After Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar may save the day. After all, his Namastey London -- released a week ago -- is the only other film that has done well at the box office in the first quarter of 2007, apart from Abhishek's Guru, out in January.
"The year has begun on a disappointing note at the box office," says Vinod Mirani, trade analyst.
"Barring Guru, no other film has been a universal hit, so Namastey London has come as a breather," confirms Taran Adarsh, editor, Indiafm.com and film trade analyst.
Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd and Traffic Signal were the other two films that did well in certain pockets.
The biggest disappointments of the year so far have been Nikhil Advani's Salaam-E-Ishq, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya and Ram Gopal Varma's Nishabd. Among the smaller disappointments were 1971 and Just Married.
But analysts expect the summer releases -- beginning with Yash Raj Films' Tara Rum Pum -- to help change things for the better. Besides, cricket World Cup fever will be over by the end of April.
Unlike 2006, when more than two dozen films made money at the box office, this year has had a slow start. The biggest 2006 grosser was Dhoom: 2 -- which made Rs 165 crore -- followed by Lage Raho Munna Bhai at Rs 125 crore. Other big hits were Rang De Basanti, Fanaa, Phir Hera Pheri and Golmaal. Even small films like Pyaar Ke Side Effects and Khosla Ka Ghosla did decent business.
But Vipul Shah, director of Namastey London, is hopeful about this year. "Things will change in the summer of 2007 as many good films are lined up for release. The big hits of 2006 were in the last two quarters of the year. I hope that will happen this year too. Films like Jodha Akbar, Saawariya and Chak De India are up for release, so I am optimistic. In the first three days of its release, Namastey London made $ 6 lakh in the US, $ 5,20,000 in Dubai and 2,48,000 pounds in the UK. For the next five weeks, there are no major film releases and my film will have a dream run."
Namastey London released in the midst of the World Cup, a big risk in a country crazy about the game. "I had two options," Shah said. "I could release it after the World Cup with many other films, or during it. I took the risk. My gamble paid off, as Namastey London now has no competition."