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‘Animal’ Box Office: Real Or Created?


‘Animal’ Box Office: Real Or Created?

By Vinod Mirani

Isn’t it strange that a film is facing criticism from all quarters, especially very strongly from women, and yet the production house keeps issuing collection figures of Rs 30-40 crore each day!

Is it so simple for a film to add so many crores every day? It is not possible for Hollywood films, nor a Hindi film. Is there even that kind of capacity in cinemas across India (of course, it is a fact that no film releases in all the cinemas of the country).

Also, are there so many film viewers filling up cinemas showing the same film every day? Especially when a section of moviegoers, those who do not like gore and misogyny, all of which this film has on display in abundance, is vehemently opposed to it!

Animal‘ is that film. Its fame has even reached Parliament, where one MP has questioned how and why such a film was even able to get a certificate for public exhibition.

In normal circumstances, the government would have immediately replaced the Chief of the Censor Board. Instead, the Board’s CEO has been replaced, probably because of so many controversies in the recent past. Even earlier, the government’s favorites have been replaced when complaints became a regular feature. But, here, it seems as if some people are more favorite than others.

On social media, I have observed that most opinions are against ‘Animal’. What is more, it goes totally against its lead actor Ranbir Kapoor’s image.

The public reaction notwithstanding, what is strange is that the PR department of the makers of ‘Animal’ issues box-office collections and we are bound to ask how these numbers are possible when theatres have no audience!

The trick is in giving worldwide collections, besides giving out gross figures.

There used to be a Rs 100-crore era, and the media would lap up the figures of the films that made it to the ‘100 crore club’. Now, the trend is 500 crore- plus!

You might as well stretch your imagination a bit more and make it Rs 1,000 crore. Why not?

These manipulations have gone so far as to even make the online booking platforms a party to the plan. Their charts online show ‘sold out’. Yet, if you press hard, you get not only tickets but also seats of your choice.

These fake ‘house full’ charts drive away prospective ticket buyers. The ones depending on online booking would be deterred.

So, who are these manipulations benefiting?

No one else but the stars. A star does one or at best two films a year and sometimes has no new release, and that is not much money. Despite this, stars must stay relevant to retain their celebrity value.

Being relevant and staying in the news is what earns you real money from endorsements and other ventures, such as promoting popular sports, that keep you in the limelight.

Endorsements mean multi-crore earnings. Now, some stars have also learned to use consumer product ads to promote their upcoming films.

The stars who get maximum endorsements and brand promotion assignments are Amitabh Bachchan and Pankaj Tripathi. Bachchan, because of his status, is infallible and does not depend on the success or failure of his films. Pankaj Tripathi, because not only is he popular, but he is natural and looks convincing in whatever product he promotes.

Even aspiring stars know the importance of being relevant. They do things to attract maximum likes and followers on social media. Strange as it may seem, nowadays, new talent is picked from social media according to their following and likes!

Talent is out of fashion. (IANS)

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