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Bollywood banks on raft of releases this month

August 02, 2003 10:42 IST

Cinema lovers will have a good time in August with over 20 Bollywood films lined up for release during the month.

Riding on an investment of nearly Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion), the stakes are high for Bollywood, especially after the recent successes at the box-office.

The movies that are due to release in the month include big-budget movies such as Rakesh Roshan's Koi Mil Gaya and the Salman Khan-starrer Tera Naam, and mid-budget ones such as the Abhishek Bachchan-Lara Dutta starrer Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost, Ramesh Sippy's Kuch Naa Kaho, Tinnu Anand's Ek Hindustani, Ajay Jadeja's debut film Khel, Kaizad Gustad's Boom.

The list of small budget films includes Nagesh Kukunoor's Teen Deewarein, Deepak Tijori's Oops!, Mukta Art's Jogger's Park, N Chandra's Excuse Me and Prakash Jha's Gangajaal.

Shyam Shroff, director, Shringar Cinemas, a distributor in the west and north India and a company into the exhibition business, said, "August has many religious festivals and holidays and collections during this period are generally good.

Producers and distributors want to release their films before the onset of the Ganesh Chaturthi, Pitra Paksh, Navratri and the mid-term examinations, which result in a general drop in business in September and October.

With so many flicks hitting the screen in the course of a month, industry players do not rule out cannibalisation of business.

Four films were released on Friday -- Hungama, Chori Chori, Teen Dewarein and Oops! Similarly, the holiday weekend starting August 15 will see at least another four films -- Tera Naam, Kuch Na Kaho, Jogger's Park and Vikram Bhatt's Footpath -- vying for audience attention.

"Audience do not have the appetite for taking in more than two movies in a week given the high ticket rates, especially in the metros," a trade analyst said. All eyes are set on the big-budget film of the month, the Rs 25-crore (Rs 250 million) Hrithik Roshan starrer Koi Mil Gaya, scheduled to hit the screen on August 8.

Industry sources are not sure if this film would also be as successful as Chalte Chalte, Andaaz, Bhoot, Ishq Vishq and Qyamat at the box-office.

Industry experts said that they are yet to get a big hit in 2003 that would help to wipe out the Rs 125 crore (Rs 1.25 billion) losses the industry witnessed in the first six months of the year.

As per data from Ibosnetwork, business prospects have looked up only in the summer of 2003 with revenues from January till date from the top 25 films touching Rs 205 crore (Rs 2.05 billion).

Most in the trade feel that the losses this year would be substantially less than that in 2002 when the industry had witnessed losses worth Rs 300 crore or Rs 3 billion.
Anusha S in Mumbai
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