Battle for box office

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By TT Bureau
  • Published 4.04.11
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No one killed jessica

Release date: 07.01.2011

What: Based on the real-life and high-profile Jessica Lall murder case in which a model was shot in a Delhi nightclub more than a decade ago. This Rajkumar Gupta film married fact with fiction, bringing together Vidya Balan — as the long-suffering but determined sister of the victim — and Rani Mukerji as a feisty journalist. Their common goal: to secure justice for Jessica.

Thumbs up: Rani and Vidya, some firebrand moments, Amit Trivedi’s music.

Thumbs down: Leaning towards the dramatic.

t2 review: No One Killed Jessica is engaging throughout its running time but it’s just way too black-and-white for comfort. Verdict: AVERAGE

Life as we know it

Release date: 07.01.2011

What: Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel play a couple who can barely stand each other, but now have to live together as co-guardians of their dead friends’ baby. You know what happens next.

Thumbs up: Some fun moments.

Thumbs down: Stereotypical, too long.

t2 review: The movie’s attention to detail and to tying up loose ends adds to its too-long running time.

Verdict: FLOP

Yamla pagla deewana

Release date: 14.01.2011

What: An NRI travels continents to straighten out a crooked father-son duo, only to discover that they are family. Old and young flocked to get a taste of the Dharam-Deol tamasha.

Thumbs up: Some typically Deol over-the-top moments, an earnest Sunny Deol, the foot-tapping Tinku jiya.

Thumbs down: A boring first half, too many (unfunny) in-house jokes.

t2 review: It’s almost a two-and-a-half hour audio-visual tribute to the three Deols, with snatches of their famous dialogues, characters and songs peppering the film.

Verdict: semi-hit

The green hornet

Release date: 14.01.2011

What: Based on the 1930s radio show, a playboy heir teams up with his late father’s assistant to become a vigilante crime fighter by night. Cameron Diaz provides the oomph in this Michel Gondry film.

Thumbs up: The action sequences, an in-form Christoph Waltz.

Thumbs down: Too bland and generic, mediocre performances.

t2 review: Gondry has come up with a

surprisingly generic, bombastic action movie. Except for a few sequences that carry a bit of his flair, this could have been made by anyone.

Verdict: FLOP

Turning 30!!!

Release date: 14.01.2011

What: An advertising executive grapples with heartbreak, failure at work and mid-life crisis on the eve of her 30th birthday.

Thumbs up: Gul Panag, a script with potential.

Thumbs down: Too many stereotypes.

Verdict: FLOP

Little fockers

Release date: 21.01.2011

What: The third film of the superhit Fockers franchise has family patriarch Jack Byrnes looking to appoint his successor. But is son-in-law Greg worthy of the honour?

Thumbs up: Some genuinely funny Focker-like moments.

Thumbs down: Tends to drag, not consistently funny.

t2 review: A lack of wit and surplus of lazy scenes mark the third Fockers film.

Verdict: FLOP

Dhobi ghaat

Release date: 21.01.2011

What: The lives and loves, rage and regrets of four individuals criss-cross in vibrant and bustling Mumbai. Dhobi Ghaat was Kiran Rao’s debut film as director and starred hubby Aamir Khan as a loner artist.

Thumbs up: A fresh and non-commercial look at how a city influences its people, faultless performances led by Prateik and Monica Dogra, the running time (95 minutes).

Thumbs down: Cryptic and slow in parts.

t2 review: For all her world cinema sensibilities, Kiran never alienates her audience, keeping them hooked with images, sounds and emotions that are not restricted to one corner shelf at the DVD library.

Verdict: AVERAGE

Season of the witch

Release date: 21.01.2011

What: This Nicolas Cage supernatural thriller had knights from the 14th century transport a suspected witch to a monastery where monks feel her powers could be the source of the Black Plague. Who knew when this film came and went?

Thumbs up: Nothing.

Thumbs down: Everything.

t2 review: The scenery is drab, the battles are interchangeable, and no one seems particularly interested in being here.

Verdict: FLOP

Tangled

Release date: 21.01.2011

What: Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now has a chance to see the world, courtesy a runaway thief.

Thumbs up: The fantasy feel, a fun second half.

Thumbs down: Takes too long to find a footing.

Verdict: flop

Dil toh baccha hai ji

Release date: 28.01.2011

What: Three men in several stages of adulthood are on the lookout for love and lust in this Madhur Bhandarkar comedy.

Thumbs up: Ajay Devgn, Pritam’s music.

Thumbs down: Unfunny, way too long.

t2 review: Unlike most Bollywood comedies these days which lack the sense, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji lacks the humour!

Verdict: AVERAGE

127 hours

Release date: 28.01.2011

What: Trapped under a boulder, a mountain climber has to resort to desperate measures to save himself, in this Danny Boyle-directed film about survival against all odds.

Thumbs up: The unrelenting tension, James Franco’s energy and pathos.

Thumbs down: Nothing really.

t2 review: 127 Hours pins you down, shakes you up and leaves you glad to be alive.

Verdict: SEMI-HIT

Burlesque

Release date: 28.01.2011

What: A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer in this musical starring Cher and Christina Aguilera.

Thumbs up: The performances.

Thumbs down: Too old-school.

t2 review: Burlesque nods, though more rightly wags its derriere, in the direction of new

burlesque, but it’s strictly old-school.

Verdict: FLOP

Utt pataang

Release date: 04.02.2011

What: Five different people from different walks of life face the same situation one perilous night. With alternately hilarious and dangerous results.

Thumbs up: Some fun moments, Vinay Pathak.

Thumbs down: Boring in parts.

Verdict: FLOP

Yeh saali zindagi

Release date: 04.02.2011

What: A man has to save not only the woman he loves but the man who his woman loves in this trippy Sudhir Mishra experience.

Thumbs up: Irrfan, the unpredictable plot, Chitrangda’s oomph.

Thumbs down: Confusing and convoluted.

t2 review: This is a kind of cinematic trip that has the nonchalance to throw you off immediately and then the nasha to secretly grow on you. Verdict: AVERAGE

Sanctum

Release date: 04.02.2011

What: An underwater cave diving team battles a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the least accessible cave system in the world. That sums up this James Cameron-produced adventure.

Thumbs up: The thrill and tension, some genuine spine-chilling moments.

Thumbs down: Dreary and dull for the most part. Stereotypical.

t2 review: The story by the screenwriters John Garvin and Andrew Wight (one of Cameron’s longtime producers) has been around the block one too many times and is tired, crammed with stereotypes, non-stop expletives and the kind of risible dialogue that turns you into a sadist rooting for these cliché-spouting saps to go away now.

Verdict: FLOP

Patiala house

Release date: 11.02.2011

What: Puportedly based on the life of Monty Panesar, the Indian spinner who played for Team England, this Nikhil Advani film merged melodrama with message to give us an NRI tearjerker.

Thumbs up: Good ol’ Bollywood melodrama, an earnest Akshay Kumar, a strong supporting cast led by Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s foot-tapping music.

Thumbs down: Lacks logic in parts, a little too formulaic

t2 review: For Nikhil Advani to have gone back to the drawing board and come up with a Patiala House, he sure deserves a Patiala peg on the house. Because his fourth film may be formulaic but it sure is feel-good, full-on masala... and freshly fried.

Verdict: semi-hit

No strings attached

Release date: 11.02.2011

What: Essentially sex friends, a man and woman soon discover that they want more from each other.

Thumbs up: Funny in parts, the witty one-liners.

Thumbs down: Bawdy undertones.

t2 review: The pleasures of No Strings Attached are to be found in the brisk, easy humour of some of (scriptwriter Elizabeth) Meriwether’s dialogue and in the talented people scattered around.

Verdict: average

the rite

Release date: 11.02.2011

What: Anthony Hopkins stars in this

supernatural thriller about an American student who travels to Italy to take up an exorcism course.

Thumbs up: Nothing.

Thumbs down: Everything.

t2 review: Without head spinning and bilious regurgitation, The Rite is a workmanlike B-movie that embraces as many of the genre’s clichés as a PG-13 rating allows.

Verdict: flop

7 khoon maaf

Release date: 18.02.2011

What: Ruskin Bond’s short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands finds expression in this dark Vishal Bhardwaj film about a woman who bumps off her husbands.

Thumbs up: An earnest Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan, Vishal’s music led by Darrling.

Thumbs down: Too cryptic and dark, too long.

t2 review: You do not sympathise with Susanna and she doesn’t take any joy in her killings leaving you strangely dissatisfied about the whole exercise.

Verdict: AVERAGE

gnomeo & juliet

Release date: 18.02.2011

What: This animated and goofy take-off on Romeo and Juliet has the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet in love even as the neighbouring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war.

Thumbs up: Ample laughs, a superior second half.

Thumbs down: Inconsistently funny.

t2 review: If the movie, which starts out

shakily, improves in the second half, it is a discombobulated grab bag of jokes peopled with characters who have little emotional resonance.

Verdict: FLOP

true grit

Release date: 25.02.2011

What: A young girl enlists the help of a US

marshal to track down her missing father in this Coen Brothers’ gritty adaptation of the 1969 John Wayne classic. Oscar-nominated.

Thumbs up: Winning performances led by Hailee Steinfeld, gripping for the most part.

Thumbs down: Not too many shows in city theatres.

t2 review: In some ways, much like Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter, which the Coens quote both musically and visually, True Grit is a parable about good and evil. Only here, the lines between the two are so blurred as to be

indistinguishable, making this a true picture of how the West was won, or — depending on your view — lost.

Verdict: flop

tanu weds manu

Release date: 25.02.2011

What: An NRI travels to India and loses his heart to the first girl he sets his eyes on. But she is in love with someone else.

Thumbs up: Madhavan, a strong supporting cast, the music.

Thumbs down: Too predictable.

t2 review: And the problem is not just with the writing (Himanshu Sharma), which clumsily puts together clunky scenes — and unashamedly resorts to old Hindi film songs — to ramble towards a preconceived end.

Verdict: semi-hit

the fighter

Release date: 25.02.2011

What: Based on the real-life trials and tribulations of boxing great Micky Ward who is brought back from the brink by his determined brother. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo won Oscars for their sterling performances in this Mark Wahlberg-produced film.

Thumbs up: The performances, the restrained drama.

Thumbs down: Mark Wahlberg as Micky Ward.

t2 review: This is yet another tale of an underdog battling long odds and stubborn adversity in search of a shot at the big time. It is also a love story, a family melodrama and the chronicle of a close and complicated fraternal relationship.

Verdict: AVERAGE

the king’s speech

Release date: 04.03.2011

What: Directed by Tom Hooper, this British historical drama about how King George VI overcame his stutter to deliver a stirring speech at the beginning of World War II won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Thumbs up: An interesting narrative, credible performances led by Colin Firth, muted melodrama that struck a chord.

Thumbs down: Prosaic in parts.

t2 review: The King’s Speech wears history lightly no matter how heavy the crown.

Verdict: average

yeh faasley

Release date: 04.03.2011

What: A determined young girl sets out to unravel her mother’s mysterious death in this Yogesh Mittal film

starring Anupam Kher. Yeh Faasley came and went within a week.

Thumbs up: A story with potential.

Thumbs down: Too many to count.

Verdict: FLOP

black swan

Release date: 04.03.2011

What: A ballet dancer wins the lead in Swan Lake but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like her character, the Black Swan, in this Darren Aronofsky drama. Won Natalie Portman her first Best Actress Oscar.

Thumbs up: The trippy tension, Natalie Portman’s stellar act, the beautifully choreographed ballet sequences.

Thumbs down: Disturbing.

t2 review: Much like the new version of Swan Lake that Thomas creates, Black Swan is visceral and real even while it’s one delirious,phantasmagoric freakout.

world invasion

Release date: 11.03.2011

What: A mariner goes back to duty from retirement to reclaim the city of Los Angeles from alien invaders.

Thumbs up: Fun in parts.

Thumbs down: Too formulaic and cheesy.

Verdict: FLOP

red riding hood

Release date: 18.03.2011

What: In a medieval village haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter in this dark fairytale.

Thumbs up: A stunning Amanda Seyfried, the gorgeous cinematography.

Thumbs down: Fails to pack a punch.

t2 review: Seyfried is stunning but Red Riding Hood doesn’t have the sharp teeth.

Verdict: FLOP

sucker punch

Release date: 25.03.2011

What: Institutionalised by her abusive stepfather, a young girl retreats into alternative reality as she cooks up a plan to escape from the mental facility.

Thumbs up: Nothing.

Thumbs down: Everything.

t2 review: There is nothing here to enjoy, beyond the tiny satisfaction in noting that the movie lives up to its name.

Verdict: FLOP

life goes on

Release date: 25.03.2011

What: Loosely adapted from Lear, this Sangeeta Datta-directed drama is about the dynamics between a father and his three daughters in the days immediately after their mother’s death.

Thumbs up: Sharmila Tagore, some poignant moments.

Thumbs down: The sluggish pace.

t2 review: Despite the sluggishness, Datta’s lyrical treatment, working in tandem with cinematographer Robert Shacklady, music director Soumik Datta and editor Arghyakamal Mitra, ensures that you do not easily give up on Life Goes On.

Verdict: FLOP

...AND

FALTU

Release date: 01.04.2011

What: A group of slackers set up their own “college” to hit back against the education system.

Thumbs up: A fun first half, the music.

Thumbs down: Low-brow humour, lacks logic.

t2 review: Faltu would have done the audience a favour by sticking to being a mindless but fun campus caper.

Verdict: AVERAGE START

game

Release date: 01.04.2011

What: A group of strangers criss-cross continents to land up on a billionaire’s island only to find him dead the next day.

Thumbs up: The exotic locales.

Thumbs down: Too many to count.

t2 review: Debutant director Abhinay Deo sacrifices tension and thrill at the altar of flashy camera frames and adrenaline-pumping car chases and leaves us with a film that comes off superficial, staged and often brain-dead.

Verdict: poor START

FAST FORWARD TO QUARTER TWO

THANK YOU

Akshay Kumar plays love guru to three married philanderers in this No Entry rehash.

dum maaro dum

The hit Bluffmaster! pair of Abhishek Bachchan and director Rohan Sippy return with this tale of love and lust, drugs and deception set in Goa. Watch out for a smokin’ hot Deepika in the title track, Bips, Prateik and southern star Rana Daggubati.

kahaani

This Sujoy Ghosh film about a pregnant woman — played by Vidya Balan — in search of her missing husband was shot in Calcutta.

ragini mms

A supernatural thriller centred around the infamous MMS scandal, from the producers of Love Sex Aur Dhokha. Could turn out to be the surprise of the quarter.

ready

A couple in love must win over each other’s families in this comedy directed by Singh Is Kinng man Anees Bazmee. Ready reunites the London Dreams pair of Salman Khan and Asin.

zindagi Na milegi dobara

A road adventure shot extensively in Spain, this Zoya Akhtar film boasts big names — Hrithik to Abhay, Katrina to Farhan. The biggie of the quarter.

Dui prithibi

BO run: Six weeks

Starring: Dev, Jeet, Koel Mallick, Barkha Bisht Sengupta

Directed by: Raj Chakraborty Storyline: A rich boy (Jeet) sets out on a journey to find his lost love (Koel) and befriends a thief (Dev) on the road.

BO verdict: Has worked. “The film was mounted on a large scale. We had two big stars (Dev and Jeet) working together after a long time and the songs were shot in Venice. The first week opening was close to Rs 2 crore,” says producer Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films.

Shedin Dekha hoyechhilo

BO run: Seven weeks

Starring: Dev, Shrabanti

Directed by: Sujit Mondal

Storyline: Village girl Shrabanti and Calcutta boy Dev fall in love when they set forth on a mission to find Shrabanti’s sister who has run away with her boyfriend.

BO verdict: Has worked: “Dev played a lover boy after about a year and a romantic, family drama always works with the audience,” says producer Mahendra Soni.

Bedeni

BO run: Three weeks

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Indraneil Sengupta, Rajesh Sharma, Rimjhim Gupta

Directed by: Anjan Das

Storyline: Rituparna, the feisty wife of a snakecharmer, falls for a handsome circus owner (Indraneil).

BO verdict: Didn’t work: “I think people are too used to watching a glamorous Rituparna on screen. Here she had a tanned, dirty look which didn’t go down well with the audience,” says producer Ranjan Dutta of Heartbeatz. “There should have been proper publicity,” adds Das.

Takhan teish

BO run: Five weeks

Starring: Jisshu Sengupta, Indrani Halder, Paoli Dam, Aparajita Ghosh Das, Tanusree Shankar

Directed by: Atanu Ghosh

Storyline: The life of a young doctor changes in a span of 48 hours as he meets four women, known and unknown.

BO verdict: Has worked with a niche audience. “Right after Takhan Teish, there was a slew of Bengali films every Friday, from Bye Bye Bangkok to Necklace, which ate into each other’s audiences. We should have timed the release better. But the film had a five-week run at the plexes and I was appreciated as a director,” says Atanu.

Jiyo Kaka

BO run: Six weeks

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Rahul, Abhiraj, Rudranil Ghosh Directed by: Parambrata Chattopadhyay

Storyline: Three cash-strapped youths with dreams of making a film kidnap a top heroine (Rituparna) and hold her back till she agrees to act in their project.

BO verdict: Didn’t really work. “I am happy with the critical response and also the great reviews, but bad distribution marred the film. The first week is vital for any Bengali film and there was not a single evening show. We only got noon shows, and so there was no word-of-mouth publicity,” says Parambrata.

Kagojer bou

BO run: Seven weeks

Starring: Paoli Dam, Rahul, Joy Sengupta

Directed by: Bappaditya Bandopadhyay

Storyline: A corporate bigwig (Joy) who lusts for a model (Paoli) hires a youth (Rahul) from the suburbs to get him the girl.

BO verdict: Has worked. “The storyline was appreciated and the film was seen by a cross-section of people. This is perhaps my first film that ran for so many weeks in the city,” says Bappaditya.

Janala

BO run: Five weeks

Starring: Indraneil Sengupta, Swastika Mukherjee, Shankar Chakraborty

Directed by: Buddhadeb Dasgupta

Storyline: A man (Indraneil) decides to gift a window to his old school and spends a huge amount on it, which triggers a rift between him and his live-in partner (Swastika).

BO verdict: Has worked with a niche audience. “We are very happy with the returns because we had made the film for a niche audience. But it would have certainly done better if we had promoted it better,” says Utpal Acharya, head of distribution, Reliance Entertainment. “There was absolutely no publicity and promotion for the film. But I got feedback from college students who have loved the film,” says Dasgupta.

Banshiwala

BO run: Three weeks

Directed by: Anjan Das

Starring: Shayan Munshi, Paoli Dam, Soumitra Chatterjee, Indrani Halder, Koushik Sen

Storyline: Back home to sell off his ancestral property, a young NRI (Shayan) reconnects with his childhood sweetheart (Paoli) and learns about some family secrets.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “Poor marketing ruined the film. Producers nowadays spend equal amount of money on production and publicity,” says Das.

Natobar not out

BO run: One week.

Directed by: Amit Sen

Starring: Raima Sen, Mustafa Prokash, Kharaj Mukherjee, Saswata Chatterjee

Storyline: A north Calcutta boy who wants to be a poet but has poor language skills is suddenly gifted with the power to write poetry.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “We could not bring in the kind of audience who would appreciate a script with such intense references to literature. We could not get suitable theatres too and show timings were changed at the last moment to accommodate other supposedly ‘hit’ films,” says Amit.

Gorosthanay sabdhaan

BO run: Ten weeks

Starring: Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Bibhu Bhattacharya, Shaheb Bhattacharya, Tinnu Anand

Directed by: Sandip Ray

Storyline: The trail of an antique watch owned by an Anglo-Indian leads Feluda to the Park Street cemetery and more.

BO verdict: Has worked. “Gorosthanay Sabdhaan has been as successful as Bombaiyer Bombete, if not a little more. We are happy. I think Feluda rediscovering Calcutta has definitely worked for it, though it is a very cerebral film,” says Sandip.

Egaro

BO run: Eight weeks

Starring: Ronodeep Bose, Chandan Bhattacharjee, Heerok Das, Baidyanath Das

Directed by: Arun Ray

Storyline: In a replay of the 1911 IFA Shield match, 11 Bengali youths beat a British regimental side in football and fuel nationalist aspirations in colonial India.

BO verdict: Has worked. “The film did reasonably well and recovered its investment. But I felt that a better marketing plan would have achieved a lot more,” says Arun.

Mon je kore uru uru

BO run: Five weeks

Starring: Koel Mallick, Hiran

Directed by: Sujit Guha

Storyline: NRI Koel returns to Calcutta and runs into Hiran. Despite being chalk and cheese in nature and behaviour, the two fall head over heels in love.

BO verdict: Has worked. “It was a reasonable-budget film and worked as per expectations,” says producer Nishpal Singh of Surinder Films.

Bangla bachao

BO run: Two weeks

Starring: Prosenjit, Paoli Dam

Directed by: Anup Sengupta

Storyline: An ordinary man, projected as a messiah by the media, promises to commit suicide to protest the corruption in Bengal.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “I have a feeling that the title went against the film’s success. People associated it with politics and maybe with the current wave of ‘change’ in the political scenario. That alienated a section of the audience. We also suffered from lack of publicity,” says Sengupta.

Fighter

BO run: Eight weeks

Starring: Jeet, Shrabanti, Ferdous, Locket Chatterjee

Directed by: Ravi Kinnagi

Storyline: When an honest cop (Ferdous) is murdered by the mafia and his reputation tainted, his younger brother (Jeet) takes up the task to avenge his death.

BO verdict: Has worked. “I am very satisfied with the film’s financial returns. While the action sequences were a major hit, the story had a strong emotional content which appealed to the family audience,” says Kinnagi.

Tara

BO run: Three weeks

Starring: Prosenjit, Paoli Dam, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Bratya Basu

Directed by: Bratya Basu

Storyline: A triangular love story set in the backdrop of political turbulence in Lalgarh. A sensitive Maoist leader (Prosenjit) falls in love with a professor’s daughter (Paoli) while a cop (Tota) is close on his heels.

BO verdict: Didn’t really work. “The film had an average return. We could not spend as much on publicity as the big banners do. But if we had, I don’t think we could have recovered the money. That is the case with most films these days,” says Bratya.

Necklace

BO run: Four weeks

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Locket Chatterjee, Rudranil Ghosh, Ritwick Bhattacharya

Directed by: Sekhar Das

Storyline: A thief and his wife break into an affluent couple’s home and send their orderly life into a tizzy.

BO verdict: Has worked with a niche audience. “It worked because I work on manageable budgets and that ensures that the producer gets back most of his investment. On the other hand, the film could have done better had it released when there were not so many releases. It is difficult for a film to enjoy a long run without major marketing build-ups,” says Das.

Paapi

BO run: One week

Starring: Prosenjit, Arya Babbar, Pooja Bharti

Directed by: Aziz Sajawal

Storyline: A girl (Pooja) is lured into marriage and then dumped by her lecherous husband (Arya). A disillusioned lawyer (Prosenjit) takes up her cause to bring the husband to book.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “We faced a serious lack of co-operation from the artistes, who did not get involved in the promotion of the film. And if the promotion suffers, it is difficult for any film to survive. With so many films releasing on the same day, we had to make our mark in the first week itself,” says executive producer Krishna Daga.

Abhisandhi

BO run: Two weeks

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Mukul Dev, Sanjay Swaraj, Kalyan Ray, Barun Chanda

Directed by: Tarun Chattopadhyay

Storyline: When an office peon stands accused of murdering his boss, a feisty lawyer (Rituparna) steps in to defend him.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “Marketing is the major factor that controls a film’s future these days. My film was sandwiched between Chalo Paltai and Bye Bye Bangkok and I did not have the financial strength to compete with them. Moreover, a few distributors enjoy a monopoly over most theatres and it is increasingly becoming difficult for any independent producer to survive,” says producer Shibnath Dey.

Handcuff

BO run: One week

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Samir Aftab, Samrat Mukherjee

Directed by: Sanat Dutta

Storyline: Two lovers meet many years after they split. The boy is now a mafia don and the girl is a lawyer married to an idealist cop.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “The first-week collections were decent, yet it could not run because most of the theatres had already been booked for Chalo Paltai. Also, the theatres we got were Indira and Aleya, almost next to each other. So we failed to reach out to a wider audience,” says Dutta.

Punorutthan

BO run: Three weeks

Starring: Rituparna Sengupta, Victor Banerjee, Priyanshu, Raza Murad, Reema Lagoo

Directed by: Rishi Mukherjee

Storyline: A family business is on the verge of crumbling in the face of cut-throat competition. An illegitimate grandson returns from abroad to put it back on track.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “There were some problems with the film. The narrative was not tight enough,” admits Mukherjee.

Chalo paltai

BO run: Fourth week running

Starring: Prosenjit, Mouli Ganguly, Tathoi, Piku

Directed by: Haranath Chakraborty

Storyline: A middle-class father’s obsession to see his son shine in studies comes in the way of the teenager’s passion for cricket.

BO verdict: Has worked. “Chalo Paltai does not tread the beaten path like other commercial films. People have liked the treatment and appreciated the message we tried to convey. I am satisfied with the response,” says Chakraborty.

Streetlight

BO run: Fourth week running

Starring: Locket Chatterjee, Abhishek Chatterjee, Arjun Chakraborty, Nibedita

Directed by: Animesh Roy

Storyline: A middle-aged corporate executive meets a high-society escort after his wife walks out on him.

BO verdict: Has worked. “It could have been a much better film with a slightly higher budget. I had to finish shooting in about a fortnight. Such a rushed schedule always affects the end product,” says Roy.

Jor jar muluk tar

BO run: Three weeks

Starring: Prosenjit, Raj, Shan, Megha, Sanchaita

Directed by: Haranath Chakraborty

Storyline: Prosenjit, a professor, unites two rival student teams in a college to fight goondas who create trouble on the campus.

BO verdict: Didn’t work. “The film was released abruptly. The team almost disowned the film. I think the film would have done much better had it been released with proper publicity and promotion,” says Prosenjit.

laboratory

BO run: Three weeks

Starring: Raveena Tandon, Arpita, Shaheb Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty

Directed by: Raja Sen

Storyline: A feisty mother (Raveena) is at loggerheads with her rebellious daughter (Arpita). The bone of contention is her late husband’s laboratory.

BO verdict: Average. “We knew that the film would not do business like a popular commercial film. It worked as per expectations,” says Sen.

Bye bye bangkok

BO run: Ninth week running

Starring: Rudranil, Shijalit, Swastika, Locket, Kharaj, Anjana, Sonalee, Kanchan, Kanchana, Neel

Directed by: Aniket Chattopadhyay

Storyline: Four couples hit the Bangkok beach for a holiday — with each other’s spouses.

BO verdict: Has worked. “There wasn’t any out-and-out Bengali comedy in a long time, so it was novel. Being shot almost entirely outside India added to the flavour. We also had a good marketing campaign,” says Aniket.

Aami Adu

BO run: Four weeks

Starring: Debalina Chatterjee, Samadarshi Dutta, Bidipta Chakraborty, Rudranil Ghosh

Directed by: Somnath Gupta

Storyline: A Muslim boy goes to Iraq for a better job, leaving his Hindu wife behind. As America invades Iraq, all communications are cut off between the couple.

BO verdict: Has worked with a niche crowd. “Whoever watched Aami Adu has appreciated it. Coming back to film production after a long time, I realised how difficult it is to get suitable theatres for release. Most of the theatres seem dedicated to specific production houses and they would not give us an extended run,” says executive producer Pinaki Chakraborty.