‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ SMASHES ALL RECORDS!
We all know how brilliantly AVENGERS ENDGAME has done, not just in India but worldwide. In India, the film’s opening day was over INR 50cr, the opening weekend was over INR 150cr and the over all first week total for the film was INR 260cr. It has become the highest grossing English film in India, that too in it’s first week itself. But the point I want to raise is, we are asking the industry people, what are their thoughts on where our industry is going, how do they see us competing on such a global level like this film has done.
My first point is; ENDGAME is once in a lifetime kind of a film. The kind of history this film has created won’t be repeated so easily either, and I’m not talking about the box office numbers it is doing in India, but something like this in the cinemas/at the movies is unparalleled and unmatched. They started this franchise over a decade ago and they approximately did around 20 films in its entirety and many still in the pipeline, and some stories to be taken ahead in form of series as well. But point is all these films came together to a culmination point of ENDGAME. I have been having a lot of conversations with the people in the industry where ever I am going nowadays; so many of them are always asking me ‘where do you think Bollywood is lacking nowadays?’ and to answer that; Patience. I think Bollywood is lacking patience and that is the most important thing. You need to have a vision that can execute such a long pay off. In the past films, starting from the first ever film in the MCU, a couple of them have not worked but that didn’t mean they packed up and gave up their vision or where they we leading us towards. They kept going and going and going at it. Their eventual endgame was AVENGERS ENDGAME only. They built the audiences up to that point and that kind of hype for a film which had 10, almost 11 years in the making, which had other parts spanning over other 17-18 films; it is of the utmost importance that you have a clear idea of how and where you want to take the story ahead. And as I said, this is a once in a lifetime kind of a scenario and I don’t think this will be repeated again so easily. I hope I’m proved wrong on this, I really do. Also, now coming to the other queston that everyone has been asking; will India be able to ever compete like this? I feel our biggest problem is that we don’t do multistarrers anymore. We don’t even get in the mindset of doing two hero films anymore. A simple question I asked a lot of my friends in the industry last week at least is that if they see the three Khans coming together to do a film anytime soon? Or if they see Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor and even Varun Dhawan for instance coming together for a film? That’s the reality here. People are not so easily willing to get there and do that. But I’m honestly very glad that a film like KALANK came; because it tried to do something which Bollywood is known for in it’s core. It has always made multistarrers. One of the biggest Bollywood film anyone will ever talk to you about is SHOLAY and it is a multistarrer and a big one. It had Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar, and I’m not even getting at the other cast in the film which was just phenomenal. Such films are what we need for the long term sustainability. These days the audiences just want more bank for their buck. Because of so much competition from so many different platforms and so many different avenues, people consume content in a million ways, and a million on top of that. That is why you need more bank for their buck. When I’m seeing AVENGERS I am seeing about 20 different heroes in a single frame. That’s the money shot and I don’t think it gets any bigger than that. At the end of the day, the story works, that is a different thing all together. But the idea is that it aspires to be such a massive film, and in my opinion, that is what we need to be doing as well. Today, we have asked some of the industry greats what is their reaction over this phenomena that is AVENGERS ENDGAME and where do they see and wee see the movie getting to. Read on for excerpts:
‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a different universe all together, so it’s doing great but I don’t think it will affect our films at all. You can’t compare apples and oranges and you can’t say if one is superior than the other. It’ll be unfair to demean ourselves to compare to that kind of cinema. Having said that, there’s definitely one thing I want to say which affects us in a major way – the unfortunate thing which is happening. I want to ask all the multiplex owners that why is there a different yardstick for foreigners and for Indian films. A 2000 crore budget film has no VPF charges at all but the poor Indian film producers have to pay? There’s a very simple question I’m asking that if the signal is red, my car can’t go but your car can go – then my eyebrows go up. And mind you, this is not happening to me in a foreign land, but in my own country! Am I supposed to be penalized for making a film in my own country for the Indian audience. Why are there different set of rules? You are being generous to the foreign companies and harsh to your very own fraternity. It’s nothing to do with commerce, but it’s about ethics. Why am I penalized for making films in my own country and foreigners are getting the benefits which I don’t get? And yes again, one should do what one is good at, and what caters to the palette of their own country. Apples are tasty, so are oranges, we shouldn’t compare them.
Whenever any film does well, we should feel happy about it that the film is doing such a roaring business. And it’s a very good thing to witness this kind of business in India, it’s a positive sign. And the super hero films which are made in India will be very huge if they make it correctly. And about ‘Avengers’, it’s such a huge franchise and it’s an international film where you have a world audience -that’s why it’s doing such a good business but the good part is that, it’s doing extra ordinarily well and I think it will cross the business of all the films which has released in India so far. And a few Hindi films will be affected but with time it will settle down.
We are obsessed with 100 and 200 cores. If you want to do good globally than start making movies like that and aim for global numbers. If you are happy with 100 cores look at this film doing 3 billion dollar business. We have at least a dozen films every year which don’t do a billion dollar business. I’m not saying do billion dollar businesses but at least do a 100 dollar business so it will not happen if you produce 2000 films every year and you have only 9500 screens. People are not interested and it’s nothing to do with high ticket price, content or anything at all. It just depends upon the people who are willing to pay. If 8 films are releasing every week how will I watch all the movies? I will only see two films in a month and not all of them. The problem is something else and we are looking at something else. The movies that are produced from those half films are never released in any format and that is a dead loss. In 52 weeks you release 20 movies each week how will all the people watch all the movies even if they wish to? How will these movies do their business? Obviously only 4 will do the business and after 1 week it is getting removed because new movies are coming and this happens because of over production.
The collections and the success of ‘Avengers’ is truly incredible. I’m a big fan of the franchise and I feel the film delivered more than it promised. The success is well-deserved and gratifying for the film. This franchise is built over many years and the characters that have entertained us almost for a decade now – so it’s not a feat easily achievable because of the loyalty base it has. The good factor is to realise that these numbers are possible now, that’s an encouraging factor. It showed us what a good film can do if released at these various mediums. It shows that even we can bring in such great numbers if we put out such entertaining content. What’s even heartening is the content is achieved through dubbed versions and all language versions. It’s not just in Hindi, but it’s in different languages and performed well in all the languages. It just shows the power of great content and hopefully we will have our own ‘Avengers’ very soon.
I’m delighted and I’m a huge fan of entire marvel universe. I went for the 7’Clock morning show on the first day to see ‘Avengers: End Game’ and absolutely loved it and for me it is one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen. I laughed, clapped, cried during the movie because I felt every possible emotion. All over the world it is breaking record and the way ‘Infinity War’ had left everyone on a thrill because everyone wanted to know what would happen, how they would fight back and how would they literally avenge the universe. I think it’s done a great business and it is good for us as an industry because when Hollywood make this films they do give huge competition to India but one great thing is that we also have our ‘Bahubali- series’. It is great that the movie has done good business but I think what is important to take from the movie is their writing is so good other then the action, special effects and the big screen entertainment that their writing, emotional beat, the humor and at the end of the day ‘The technique and style can only take you so far.’ The story telling and writing is important and in a away if you look at it then it has got all the beats of a Hindi film as it has love, friendship, revenge, action comedy and the only thing left was a song because everything else was there other than a song. Talking about it affecting our industry- I don’t think it has affected our industry. The only thing end game does is it just inspires us to work harder if we are doing a similar genre of the film. We have some exciting movies coming up which is ‘Brahmastra’ which I’m excited for. We obviously don’t have the budget that Hollywood has but I’m sure Ayan who is such a talented film maker has written the best script. ‘Brahmastra’ is something I’m looking forward to after ‘Avengers: Endgame’.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a big blockbuster and after a long time we got such a nice movie that we have got collections in Lacs. Maratha Mandir has crossed 11 lacs, Gaiety G7 has crossed 10 lacs, so we are doing very well at the box-office. I can’t say about how it’s affecting but our films should come up to this level to expect this kind of collection that we have received from ‘Avengers; Endgame’. I think it will cross over 300cr in coming weeks. Now-a-days, no good music, no good dialogues and ultimately a film doesn’t sustain. With ‘Kalank’ they were expecting the rates to be high but it didn’t work.
I would say it’s frightening because our industry needs to wake up that we are going to have another competitor in future as it is ‘Bahubali’ has shaken us a little bit. But then the dub films of south didn’t work that much so the scale became less but Hollywood is here to stay. If you see the history of Hollywood it’s been growing, we use to have one theatre like Eros or a Regal and then it went into multiplexes, multiple shows and multiple screens. In entire India we use to have big films like ’10 Commandments’, various big films which use to release in only 8 or 10 prints. And today we are having 2850 screens; so it’s a huge progress as far as Hollywood is concern. But we too have to be little bit careful and pull up our socks not in terms of comparing with them. But when such films come we have to vacant those dates, as it is there are so many few dates left in a year when the big films come. So it’s become a competitor if for example if tomorrow some big franchise like Godzilla comes and it clashes with a Hindi film, the Hindi film will get affected. So that is the fear we are going to have and that’s is going to be the killing point, otherwise its good for the exhibitors, good progress for cinema but for Hindi cinema we are on a red alert.
As far as the success is concerned it is a number one Hollywood film in terms of number of screens and amount of money it has generated which goes without saying. It has become a super hit franchise for the world and as far as the effect of the industry is concerned it does affect our industry and any movie that is big and released it does affect the industry. Now probably somewhere down the line, industry was not expecting such a big number of 250 +cores in the first week. We were expecting it to be big but not so big in number. I have released blank and I don’t see it affecting much.
I don’t think it will be affecting Hindi films because I feel that water finds its level. And every film does a box-office number, that it deserves to do. So I believe every film which is running parallel to ‘Avengers: Endgame’ right now is doing what it can do, potentially and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is doing exactly what its basic value is for. About the success of the film, this is not the success that has come over night, I genuinely feel that the numbers of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ are the result of the investments that Disney has made in cultivating an audience in India for the Marvel world. And over the last 10 years, they have actually spent a lot of time and effort in building these characters up in India and turning them into cult characters that has huge fan followings. I feel not just for Hindi film-makers it’s a lesson for Hollywood studios in India, just expecting a film top do well because it’s a nice film, you need to invest in the Indian audience. You need to cultivate interest in Indian audiences and that’s when these kinds of numbers happen. It’s not that Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan are stars over night, they did so many films, they entertained the audiences so well over decades and that’s why they are the stars, they are today. That’s how the Marvel movie has become superstar franchise. It’s about nurturing the audience, giving the audience more than their money worth keep doing that consistently and nothing can stop from succeeding the market like India, which is crazy for good entertainment.
This is not the first time a Hollywood movie is affecting Bollywood. The ‘Avengers’ that came before and released with any Hindi film, it did affect the movie somewhere or the other. The show timings that they had were very weird but still did really good. When Rohit Shetty makes a film and in the back of my mind I know it is going to be a movie packed with entertainment. So I think everyone knew what kind of money ‘Avengers’ is going to make after seeing part 1, people are desperately waiting for the 2nd part just like people waiting for ‘Bahubali’ because it was genuinely a nice movie. ‘Avengers’ has 6-7 superstars in one film. It’s going to keep on happening because they are not insecure because they know we are going to give our best. I think they are not insecure and give their 100%. They had a flying start 54 cores day 1, 52 cores day 2 and 53 cores day 3, it’s like a festival. We can compare our films with them but of course not avengers type of a film. We are very proud of ‘Robot’ but they might have done that in 1990 which we did now. I have no words for ‘Avengers: End Game’ but I would say they don’t have any insecurities between them whether it is actors, film- making or anything but they don’t have insecurity for sure.