Monday, December 19, 2011

Where Are The Blockbusters?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The days when the movies ran for 100 days, 200 days and some as many as 365 days or more in the same theater to packed houses have been long gone. Just about every language films had a long run at the box office and drew crowd’s day in and day out, and people enjoyed the time at the theater despite and glitz or pomp associated with today’s marketing of the movies. There was no television, internet nor aggressive marketing of a movie, except huge cutouts, radio advertisements, wall posters and news paper advertisements.

People flocked to the theaters and had great fun watching the movies four or five shows a day and if the movie was good it continued the house full boards for a long time. Some of the Indian classics ran for a year or more to packed houses, and people saw the same movie again and again and never got tired of the repeat performances. The actors worked on multiple movies at a time, some as many as six or more a year and delivered entertainment movie after movie and year after year to please the senses of the public. When they delivered a dud, people simply avoided the movie, and when the movie was well made it did not need aggressive publicity to keep running to packed houses. The days where people were showering flowers and whistles all through the movie are long gone.

If a movie runs into the second week with same number of theaters or shows it is a definite hit in today’s market. You no longer the see the movie run in a lot of theaters as long as four weeks, let alone 100 days or more. Gone are the days where movies ran 100 days or more in 100 centers. Nothing is generating and keeping the interest of the public at large on any movie as they come and go so quickly, it is difficult to remember what is playing next week.

Given the huge promotional activities actors and movie makers undertake these days, it will be near impossible for them to promote any more than one movie at a time and perhaps a year. They have to plan it, script it, make it promote it and release it and then only work on the next project, unlike the olden days where actors worked on multiple projects at a time, and effortlessly engaged in multiple characters simultaneously, and with great ease and dedication.

These days so much hype and hoopla surround a movie prior to its release and the fate of most of them is disastrous. There is no guarantee that a particular actor in any language is truly capable of delivering a crowd pleasing and money making movie at the same time. Gone are the days where bankable stars had the ability to act in multiple movies at the same time, choose quality scripts, work with hard tasking directors and deliver multiple hits each year. All we have these days is a lot of pomp and circumstance leading to the frosty reception at the theater, and people not responding to any kind of low quality product irrespective of the money invested in the movie.

Granted that we have instant access to critics reviewing and programming our thought process on what to expect from any given movie, it is likely that the general public have been getting smarter and savvier in spending their money on quality of the movie rather than hype. With the influence of the internet and piracy adding to owes of the films, only high quality films will draw continued crowds. People are still looking for entertainment that not only pleases their senses but will draw them repeatedly to the theaters, and when such film arrives it draws the crowds.

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