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6 Hindi, 2 Marathi, 2 Hollywood films releasing this week: How much can the audience take?

A Death In The Gunj, Dear Maya, Dobaara – See Your Evil, Sweetiee Weds NRI, Hanuman Da Damdaar and Mirror Game are being released simultaneously along with Baywatch and Wonder Woman.

Keyur Seta

The year has been mostly dull for mainstream Hindi cinema as far as the box office goes. We have entered the sixth month and so far there are just three hits — Jolly LLB 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Hindi Medium. (Baahubali: The Conclusion was a Telugu film dubbed in Hindi).

While highly marketed films with superstars have failed to get much recognition, films with smaller stars and little visibility have had a forgetful run at the ticket window. Some have even had their shows cancelled.

In such a situation, the last thing the industry needs is a Friday when not one, two or three but half a dozen films are being released. But this is exactly what is happening this weekend as A Death In The Gunj, Dear Maya, Dobaara – See Your Evil, Sweetiee Weds NRI, Hanuman Da Damdaar and Mirror Game are being released.

Describing the situation as “mass suicide”, senior trade analyst Atul Mohan said it makes no sense to release so many films, that too in the month of Ramadan. "A section of the audience will not even go to watch films," he said. "There is no festival or anything you can cash on. Plus, two big Hollywood movies are being released, Baywatch and Wonder Woman. As we know, Hollywood movies are doing better than Hindi these days. Baywatch has a better chance as it has Priyanka Chopra."

Obviously, the Hindi films mentioned above will get limited number of shows. "When so many films are releasing simultaneously, they won’t get proper shows. They will somehow manage 1-2 shows per multiplex. Their target is 400-500 screens. But let’s see how many they end up getting. Some might get only 100 or 150. This will create distraction among the audience. If you go to a magic show and 4-5 people perform different magic tricks in front of you, whom will you see? Plus, there is no face value, so why would anybody pay Rs300, 400 or 500? All the films will suffer,” he predicted.

He said the combined collection of all the Hindi films being released would be miles away from the collections of the two Hollywood movies. "The Hollywood films would earn double what the six Hindi films would earn combined," he said. "This is because they will be showcased in a better way. Multiplexes will give first preference to Baywatch and Wonder Woman. Their total shows would also be more than double those of the Hindi films."

The week will also see the release of a keenly awaited Marathi film, Muramba, and Friendship Unlimited (FU), also in Marathi. “Muramba's marketing has been good," Atul Mohan said. "Plus, Aamir Khan has promoted the film. He has shared the trailer on his Twitter handle. And in Maharashtra, multiplexes have to give some shows compulsorily to Marathi films. They might give more too. Then they will give other shows to the two Hollywood films. So, what will be left for the Hindi films?"

However, he added that the producers of these films may have had no choice. "What can they do? We have only 52 weeks in a year. And around 150 films are released each year. Plus, some films had to hold their release since Baahubali: The Conclusion became a juggernaut," he explained.