RBN Web Desk: Come 27 April, and three major Bengali films are all set for a clash at the box office. Kaushik Ganguly’s Drishtikone, and Dhrubo Banerjee’s Guptodhoner Sondhane, are slated to release on the same day. That aside, Sayantan Ghosal’s Alinagarer Golokdhadha which releases on 20 April, will be in its second week when the two new films release.
While it’s understandable that production houses want to cash in on increased footfalls in theatres because of the summer holidays, releasing multiple films with big star casts on or around the same date, is often counter-productive in terms of revenue.
Filmmakers and production houses in West Bengal have long alleged that multiplexes don’t allot them enough number of screens to reach their films to a wider audience. Prime time shows in plexes are mostly taken over by Hindi films, courtesy a more robust and assertive distributor network, Kolkata filmmakers rue.
And now, with several films vying for audience attention simultaneously, the number of screens is likely to reduce further.
Kaushik Ganguly who had earlier planned to open Drishtikone on 13 April, deferred the release date by two weeks, to avoid a box office clash with Aniket Chattopadhyay’s Kabir and Anjan Dutt’s Aami Ashbo Phirey. But he may not be able to avoid the clash entirely as is evident now.
Kabir and Aami Ashbo Phirey will be in their third week run, and Alinagarer Golokdhadha in its second, when the two new films hit the theatres. If either or all these films rake in good revenues, then it could be a loss-loss situation for all the production houses from 27 April. Either the number of shows of the films releasing on 13 and 20 April have to be reduced to accommodate the new releases, or the latter gets a lesser number of screens from the beginning.
The problem already became apparent this weekend when at least eight Bengali films released on 30 March. These include Ghare And Baire, Dharasnan, Pornomochi, Alifa, Gobhir Gopon Brishti, Poka—The Vermin, Jibon Theke Neoya, and Hariye Jawa. Except Ghare And Baire, directed by Mainak Bhaumik, most of the other films were faced with the classic problem of promotion.
As a result, Alifa, which won director Deep Choudhury a national award for the best debut film in 2017, may have to bow out of the theatres before audiences get to see it. Not to mention that the film suffers from a limited release. Alifa, which tells the story of illegal immigration in Assam, has earned widespread critical acclaim at home and abroad.
It may not be a winner-takes-all in the impending box office clash this month end.