Prosenjit as Kakababu in a still from Mishawr Rawhoshyo
Calcutta, Oct. 10: Maddox Square, Mohammad Ali Park, Mishawr Rawhoshyo.
Is this what your Saptami pandal and plex-hop roster looks like?
Tollywood is set to rule the box-office this Durga Puja with Prosenjit’s adventures as Kakababu in Mishawr Rawhoshyo leading the Tolly charge at the multiplexes this weekend, followed by Dev and Koel in Rangbaaz, and Khiladi, featuring Ankush and Nusrat Jahan, bringing up the rear.
At INOX South City, as many as nine shows of Mishawr Rawhoshyo, directed by Srijit Mukherji and produced by Shree Venkatesh Films, have been lined up.
“The film has released at 40 plexes all over India. We know that the audience who like watching these kind of films will prefer the plexes over single screens. We earn at least 50 per cent of the revenue from plexes for these kind of films. People enjoy such films during the holidays,” said Shrikant Mohta of Shree Venkatesh Films.
Mukherji believes that it is his Prosenjit-starrer Autograph, that released three Pujas ago, that paved the way for big Tolly releases during Durga Puja.
“Autograph changed the rules. Bengali films now have a track record of doing well during the Pujas, even at the expense of Hindi films. Maybe, watching a film too, is now a Puja routine. The paradigm is shifting towards multiplexes and we’ll have to keep the good work going in terms of content,” said the Mishawr Rawhoshyo director.
Tolly films have traditionally done brisk business at the box office during Durga Puja. If Autograph ran to packed houses for over two months post-Puja 2010, Mukherji’s 22Shey Srabon also raked in footfalls when it released in Puja 2011.
“There was a time when Puja releases were very important. The highest I have seen is six releases during Durga Puja and three releases on Kali Puja. Then Id and Diwali became more popular and Bengali audiences stopped watching films during the Pujas,” Prosenjit told The Telegraph.
“There was a time when release dates were pushed to post-Kali Puja. But ever since we brought back Bangaliyana into films, the glory of a Puja release has returned. For Mishawr Rawhoshyo, it was a conscious decision to release the film now because of the success we’ve seen for Autograph and 22shey Srabon,” the actor said.
“I’ve heard that it’s already got a record opening and it’s turned out to be the biggest Tolly film release in theatres across India,” Prosenjit said.
Even Rangbaaz has found a number of shows at the multiplexes. “Paglu and Paglu 2 did very well in the plexes and we are hoping that Rangbaaz will do better than them. Although our target is the single-screen audience, good revenue comes from the plexes too because the ticket rates are higher,” said Nispal Singh of Surinder Films, the producers of the Dev-Koel film that has been shot in Thailand and Italy.
“This is a lovely time for Bengali films. Even non-Bengalis are watching Bengali films because our films are technically sound, the fights and songs are choreographed well,” said Koel.
Dev said: It’s a very positive sign for Bengali films that they are releasing in plexes and people want to spend their money on Bengali films at the plexes. There’s a very good buzz around Rangbaaz.”
With no significant Bolly releases this Friday — The Lunchbox already into its third week and Ranbir Kapoor’s Besharam tanking within the first few days of release — even the lesser hyped Khiladi is placing its bets big this Puja.
“Since Besharam isn’t doing well, there’s a fair chance for all the three Bengali releases to do well at the plexes,” said Himanshu Dhanuka of Eskay Movies, the producers of Khiladi.
The plexes, for sure, are not worried about the lack of a big Bolly release this Puja. “We expect good footfall for all three Tolly films,” said Subhasis Ganguli, regional director, INOX.
Swaraj Sadhukhan, regional general manager, PVR-Cinemax, said: “We are expecting great numbers from Mishawr Rawhoshyo as well as from Rangbaaz because the buzz around both has been good.”