YOU ASKED IT | 12 April, 2024

While the start of both the big releases of this week were pathetic, why did Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan take a bigger initial than Ajay Devgan’s Maidaan on Thursday (April 11)? I ask this question because while Akshay Kumar’s recent films (with the exception of OMG 2) and Tiger Shroff’s recent films have fared poorly, Ajay Devgan’s most recent film, Shaitaan, did very well at the box-office.

– It is not just the performance of the last film or last few films of the stars that governs the opening of their next film but a host of other factors too. BADE MIYAN CHOTE MIYAN is a mass-oriented film whereas MAIDAAN is less of a mass film. As you know, mass films invariably open better than films which are not predominantly mass-appealing. Also, the release of MAIDAAN was first announced for April 2022. Its actual release in April 2024 implies a delay of two full years. The public got the impression that it must be a stale film. One has got to be very careful while announcing his film’s release because in the age of social media, nothing escapes the attention of the public. Another reason for both the films opening to dull houses is the absence of popular songs in them.

What about the owners of cinemas which had been taken over for running by Carnival? Most of the cinemas had complained of huge amount of accumulated dues not being cleared by Carnival. Now that Carnival is shut, have those cinemas been paid their dues?

– Carnival is under liquidation. You must be aware that when it’s a question of liquidation, things are not settled so seamlessly. Most of the cinemas have their properties back but their dues, running into lakhs and crores of rupees, are still outstanding. Perhaps, the liquidation order will bring them some relief. As for the original properties of Carnival, many of them were acquired by the Miraj group. Some prime properties were purchased by PVR. As for Shrikant Bhasi, the founder of Carnival Cinemas, he has started another chain of cinemas, which goes by the name of My Cinemas. The company has started from South India but is trying to woo cinemas in the rest of India too, for collaboration! Yes, it may sound weird but it’s true.

Whose is the more difficult job — the writer’s, director’s or the actor’s?

– No job is easy. For a film to succeed, the script has to be good, it has to be well narrated (by the director) and well enacted (by the actors). Yet, the writer’s job must be the most difficult because he has to start from scratch. The director and the actors have the script to go by, but the writer has nothing.