HIGH AND HOPES

Three films hit the screen last Friday. Yash Chopra's Dil To Pagal Hai, Parto Ghosh's Ghulam-e- Mustafa  (Produced by PG Shrikant ) and Deepak Shivdasani's Bhai.

A lot was expected from Dil To Pagal Hai, especially since it followed the mega success of the same Yash Raj banner's Dilwale Dulhanya Le Jayenge, directed by Aditya Chopra. Dilwale... is rated among the biggest ever hindi hits. Sold at two crore per territory, Dil To Pagal Hai, was off to a flying start with huge crowds thronging about 300-odd cinema halls all over the country. According to informed sources the film had already made a substantial profit even before the first ticket was sold

In Mumbai the main theatres had long queues waiting from the wee hours of October 27, the day the advance-booking commenced, and the tickets disappeared in no time. With Dil To Pagal Hai Yash Chopra is back as director after a four-year gap. His last film Darr, a Shah Rukh-Juhi starrer, was a block buster. Dil To... is expected to give Shah Rukh his third consecutive hit after Yes Boss, and Pardes. The film is most crucial for Madhuri Dixit, who has a long lean trot, with most of her recent films crashing at the Box Office.

Dil To Pagal Hai is a test for Karishma as well. She had taken a giant leap to the top last year with the mega success of Raja Hindustani.

Dil To Pagal Hai is expected to underscore her credentials as an actress. A major factor in favour of Dil To... is its music which is already on a record-breaking spree. Nearly 40 lakh music cassettes of the film are said to have been already sold, and is rated Number One on almost all the countdowns.

While the trade has described Dil To.... as a soft, family entertainer with srtess on romance,the Nana Patekar starrer Ghulam-e- Mustafa is seen as a surefire winner among the masses---especially the huge section that swear by the never - failing Nana. A major highlight of the “emotion-based” film’s is Nana’s effortless performance. The trade has gone for the film on the strength of Dinesh Gandhi’s astute judgement sold at 1.5 crore per territory, the film is seen as a “safe bet” by Mumbai distributor Ramesh Sippy, even though it hasn`t taken as big an opening as Dil To Pagal Hai. Twenty-two prints of the films have been released in Mumbai.

Deepak Shivdasni’s Bhai Is caught between the two highly hyped films. And so has a distributor, Vinod Bhai of Mahalaxmi films, isn’t unduly perturbed. Sold at a maderate 80 lakh per major territory, he feels the films has enough for the masses to pull in crowds to the 19 theatres in Mumbai. Fifty-eight prints have been released in the Maharashtra circuit.

 
Deewana Mastana scores over Mr. & Mrs Khiladi
DEEWANA MASTANA
This Anil Kapoor - Govinda  - Juhi Chawla laugh-riot opened last week to an encouraging response. The Govinda David Dhawan magic seems to have worked yet again. Deewana Mastana, which is MKD banner's first release in fours year after mentor Manmohan Desai's tragic demise, has notched up 92 percent in the first week in Mumbai. In other centres the collections were a good percent. Unless something drastic happens, ketan Desai should be laughing his way to the bank.

MR & MRS. KHILADI
Another David Dhawan-directed comedy, once again starring Juhi Chawla, but this time opposite action-man Akshay Kumar. The trade had been sceptical about the fate of this film since it was released on the same day as Deewana Mastana. They were worried that it would divide Devid loyalists, many of whom would undoubtedly opt for a Govinda-David combination over an untried Aksahy-Devid one. But Mr & Mrs Khiladi has surprisingly held its own against the other devid film.In the first week, it has notched up a creditable 75 per cent, which is pretty good for a film which had been virtually written off before its release.

LOHA
Last week only release, Loha, starring old warhorse Dharmendra, with Mithun Chakraborty, Govinda and Manisha Koirala in a special appearance , has got a decent initial, probably because of the luck of competition. According to the trade pundits what attracted the audiences was the presence of Govida and Manisha who were splashed all over the posters. They predict that the film might not sustain audience interest for long.

*Pardes remains steady at 69 percent in the 10th week.

*Mohabbat has been relegated to the matinee show in the fourth in the one theatre it is still running in Mumbai.

*Udaan has quickly vanished from the horizon.

*Dharma Karma too didn't last long.

THE FIVE TOP FILMS IN THE LAST FOUR MONTHS

1. BORDER continues to the top-grosser of the year, setting new records every week, and proving that patriotism sells, specially in the 50th year of India's Independence.

2. PARDES, after slow start, is on a record breaking spree, after being granted tax exemption.

3. VIRASAT, sold most economically, continues to draw an audience. Plus it brought back Anil Kapoor in the reckoning, made Piyadarshan a 'national' director, reinforced the impression that Tabu is one of the finest actresses we have today and marked a brilliant debut for Pooja Batra.

4. YES BOSS proves that the audience are still open to a love story with a difference.

5. GUPT which open to a bumper initial, still holds its own after almost four months of its release, in spite of the popular belief that suspense thrillers don't have any repeat value.


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