Ra.One was a much awaited movie and high expectation were set to break all the Bollywood records. Before we get into learning’s from ‘Ra.One Effect’, lets look into some of the pro’s and con’s of it. We should applause Shahrukh Khan and his production unit to take the Bollywood to the next level. The movie had its own nice moment’s and something didn’t appeal to the audience. Often the movie was getting compared to Bodyguard or 3 Idiots before the release to make huge buck and blockbuster. According to the well-known trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the impact on the sub-distributors is high (loss) and Eros/Red Chilies (30-40 crore profit). We have seen this happened with movies like Kites and Guzzarish as well. Taking these as an indicators – there is a great deal to all the marketing people. I personally feel all of us are guru’s in any area we work at. I dedicated this article to marketing people –
1.Promotions : The whole Bollywood is trying to promote the movie just before the release through various shows, adds, newspapers, televisions, social media, radio and a certainly a big star cast. The ‘Weekend Formula’ seems to be working to recover the investment. This formula is successful at many cases because of they work with a certain budget and recover is done through satellite rights, music rights, brand tie-ups etc promises handful profit as well. Of course these are needed to overcome the issues of piracy. Even yesteryear great actor Dharmendra came forward his movie YPD. The answer we need to seek, does movie value worth for 3 days? What happen’s from day 4 onwards? Does that define the impact of promotion? Ra.One had challenges to recover because of huge budget.
2. Public Hai Bhai Public Hai : The people opinion’s or reviews can have high influence on the success of the movie. I recall the strong notions carried by people coming out of theaters after watching Khabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. Mungaru Male, one of the big blockbuster of Kannada film industry received lukewarm to average reviews by critics. The word of mouth spread like a fire and it succeeded, exceeding expectations. Similarly Hum Aapake Hai Kaun is another example of word of mouth. The bottom line is ‘an engaging story’ is pivotal to get repeat audience. The best example would be Munnabhai series.
3.Big Brands : Many couldn’t accept SRK has a superhero after watching Ra.One. Why was this? Big brands needs story attached to them and they don’t make bigger brands than stars or superstars. So Dharmendra was the romantic star and a he-man. Amitabh Bachchan was the angry young man. Amair Khan known as the perfectionist. Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan Bhai next door. And Shahrukh Khan is guy next door, who gets his girl at the end with few songs in between. This is something we have accepted, admired and cherished Raj/Rahul since 1995 blockbuster DDLJ. Be its his movies like Dil Tho Pagal Hai, Veer Zaara, Kuch Kuch Hota, Kal Ho Na Ho, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum, RNBDJ and others. His experimental (Paheli, Swades, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna or MNIK) movies had some tremendous challenges from critics and audience to accept him other than Raj/Rahul. An exception to the list was Chak De India, it worked because of the story line and limited budget.
4. Brand + Story: Let’s take the case of Parle, a brand that has come to be associated with ‘Parle G Biscuits’. Whenever they tried selling sweets (Mango bite) or Snacks (Parle’s wafer) it has not worked well. There are similar many such stories to quote. I look forward from reader’s to discussion about other similar examples. SRK need to stick his guy next door image, gets the girl at end by singing some songs in between. As Sanjay Dutt or Salman Khan does it and it works for them. SRK might have challenging in doing the stereotypical role with age catching up and a similar situation faced by Amitabh Bachchan in 1990’s. May be SRK has realised that as well.
I am sure reader’s agree with me, they would love to see him guy next door. Would reader’s accept SRK in different role? I leave it to them to discuss.