Mass television Vs good cinema
The Hindu reports that “serious” cinema has no takers in television (Read here), while Indiantelevision.com reports (read here) that the race for eyeballs has led to hikes in film acquisition costs as channels vie for blockbusters.
Max kicked off the promotional activity for these films with ‘Saal ke Sabse Bade Blockbuster’ and will be screening Namastey London, Cheeni Kum, Gandhi My Father, Eklavya and many more.
The channel shelled out close to Rs 650 million for 16 films from the Eros stable alone. Rajani opines, “We have not even shown half of the Eros movies that we acquired, but I am confident that all of them will do well for the channel.”
As far as big titles are concerned, Max has only recently started showcasing this blockbuster library with Kaabul Express, Lagey Raho Mumnnabhai and Kabhi Alvida Ne Kehna.
Jha, who has also made a neat switchover to popular cinema with films like “Gangajal” and “Apaharan”, says, “There are no takers for serious cinema on television. The market is determining the choice. Nobody is interested in ‘Hip Hip…’ anymore. They want ‘Gangajal’. I am designing films that sell in the market. If I don’t texture a film according to the market, it won’t sell.”
As Filmy’s Ashutosh says, “We don’t have the luxury of waiting to know the film’s box office fate.” The channels are ready to shell out up to Rs.30 crore for a Yash Raj bouquet, but will not stake even a fraction of that for parallel cinema. Even box office duds like “Raja ki Aayegi Barat” (one of Rani Mukherji’s early films) or “Janani” (a Bhagyashri-starrer that was taken off some theatres on the third day of its release) are preferred to classics like “Ankur”, “Bhumika”, “Mrigaya”, “Manthan”, “Saaransh”, “Katha”, “Ek Pal” or “Nishant”.
Rajani counters, “When they talk of serious cinema, why only the past? We have shown Aparna Sen’s ‘15 Park Avenue’. I wish the audiences had supported us then.” (Hindu)
Salam, Zia Us (2007) Any takers for serious cinema? The Hindu Sunday, Jul 08, 2007 URL: http://www.hindu.com/mag/2007/07/08/stories/2007070850010100.htm
Dubey, Richa (2007) Max leads Hindi movie channels; Zee Cinema speeds Indian Television August 25, 2007 URL: http://www.indiantelevision.com/special/y2k7/specialreport_zee_cinema.php