Really, what's going wrong? Actually a lot! The usual excuses of IPL, student examination and poor release planning aside, the fact remains that audience is just not stepping into theaters. Period. It is one thing for a film to be rejected due to it being a bad product and an altogether different thing when no one even enters the theatre at all.
What else can explain the way Phoonk 2 opened in theaters on Friday? When Phoonk had released on limited prints a couple of years back, it had taken a heart warming opening and stayed on well to be an over-weekend hit. It wasn't great cinema by any means but then it was the novelty factor that worked in it's favour - Black magic and the scares attached to it. This is what proved to be the undoing for Phoonk 2 as the promos indicated that the film is an extension of the original, not the sequel.
Naturally, audience chose to stay away. Even though the film was promoted reasonably well, there was just around 20% occupancy on Friday. Yes, there was a jump over the weekend but the graph was just like last week's Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai. Since the opening itself was below par, even a jump like this didn't result in mega bucks.
The other reason for it's poor reception was an overdose of horror films during last couple of months. Click, Shaapit, Rokkk, Hide and Seek - Frankly, it was a case of a lot too much. It was an unfortunate situation for first time director Milind Gadagkar but unavoidable. Is all lost though for the film? Not really since the film has been made on shoe string budget and hence all theatrical and non-theatrical rights combined together could end up making it a plus venture. Still, a lot more was expected from this franchise affair than just being coverage.
As for Paathshaala one wonders why this film was being made at all. Frankly, a lesser known fare like Chal Chalein (you can be pardoned if you haven't heard of this Mithun Chakraborty starrer which arrived last year) came with far better conviction and meat in the story. That low budget film too challenged the education system, unlike Paathshaala which seemed to have a thing or two against marketing, advertising and PR world.
Expectedly, audience got a hint of what this Shahid Kapoor-Nana Patekar starrer was all about and gave it a complete cold shoulder. The film opened to a very poor response of just around 30% and though there was usual increase in collections over the weekend, the writing was clear on the wall. This film was a destined washout and second consecutive failure for Shahid Kapoor after Chance Pe Dance.
In fact, the collections are way below the Ken Ghosh directed film and it seems improbable that the film would survive beyond a couple of weeks in theaters. A pity because the first half of the film did promise that it was going on the right path until the makers suddenly entered into a zone where they attempted to make a mockery of everything related to the education system.