New Delhi: To Taran Adarsh, a movie trade analyst of some note, it is “one of the most critical films of 2010”. To Komal Nahta, editor of Film Information and koimoi.com, a print and online trade magazine, it is a “good-looking film with promise”.
And so, Tees Maar Khan, made at a cost of Rs50 crore, may end up being important for several reasons. For a start, the fate of director Farah Khan’s movie produced by UTV Motion Pictures will also determine the fortune of the Hindi film industry in 2010.
Bollywood is reeling under a loss of more than Rs300 crore for the year, said film trade analyst Komal Nahta, and Tees Maar Khan could either turn the tide, or add to that number.
The film will open on Friday in more than 2,000 screens all over India. Siddharth Roy Kapur, chief executive, UTV Motion Pictures, said: “We are excited about the film, and we hope it will end the year with a bang.”
“A film like Tees Maar Khan, if it works well at the box office, can contribute anywhere between Rs30 crore and Rs40 crore to the industry. The losses would also be in the same range,” explained Nahta. He added that the collective losses of three recent big budget movies, Action Replayy, Guzaarish and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se, are anywhere between Rs80 crore and Rs90 crore.
“The mood of the industry is dull especially because movies by directors such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Vipul Shah have failed at the box office,” said Adarsh. “Nothing has worked at the box office since October. That’s why everyone is watching Tees Maar Khan closely.”
The movie is important for film-maker Farah Khan’s career as well. If it works, Khan will deliver a hat-trick of hits with her previous releases, Om Shanti Om and Main Hoon Na, doing well at the box office. “Om Shanti Om, in particular, was a blockbuster, collecting Rs90 crore domestically,” said Vajir Singh, editor of Box Office India, a film trade magazine. It is also Farah Khan’s first film without Shah Rukh Khan.
Tees Maar Khan is a test case for UTV Motion Pictures and Farah Khan, who are partnering for the first time. “UTV is known to produce edgy, issue-based cinema. This will be the first truly ‘masala’ film for the company,” said Singh, resorting to the term most Indians use to describe out-and-out entertainers.
The film is also critical to lead actor Akshay Kumar, who hasn’t delivered a solo hit since Singh Is Kinng, which released in 2008.
Analysts are conservative with their estimates of how much business Tees Maar Khan will do.
Box Office India, in collaboration with 4Sight Analytics, a company which evaluates and tracks the audience and trade perception of forthcoming films, predicts that Tees Maar Khan will have a healthy opening and collect Rs30 crore in the first weekend. However, the analysis predicts that the film won’t do business of more than Rs80 crore in India.
“The film should get an occupancy level of 90% in the first weekend. I hope the crowds continue to watch the film in the later weeks too,” said Adarsh.
Farah Khan remains unfazed by the modest estimates. “I’ve been in the industry for a long time and I can sense what works and what doesn’t. Going by the initial response, the film is hot property, it’s sizzling. Sheila ki Jawani is no longer just a song; it’s a cultural phenomenon of sorts. It’s getting record hits on YouTube, it’s getting heard on radio. The song is a highlight but every reel of my film is full of interesting highlights,” she said.
The song, with a title sounding like a B-grade exploitation movie, is already a rage among listeners. Music Monitoring Service, a service of TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, has calculated that within the first month of its launch (18 November onwards), the song was already aired 2,001 times on different music channels on TV and radio. Munni Badnaam Hui, a similar song featuring Malaika Arora Khan and one of the biggest chartbusters from Salman Khan’s Dabangg, replete with cheesy lyrics, was aired just 1,203 times in the first month of its launch.
At the least, the song will “ensure that a majority of the audiences flock to the cinema halls”, said Singh.
In 2008 and 2009, Christmas weekends have delivered blockbusters such as Ghajini and 3 Idiots. That will be some record for Tees Maar Khan to break.
Anuja contributed to this story