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Govinda’s ‘Aa Gaya Hero’ struggles for release

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-03-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: Actor Govinda’s comeback film Aa Gaya Hero has more than just box office clashes to contend with as it readies for release this weekend. The film that will arrive in theatres this Friday along with several Hindi, Hollywood and regional films, has not had the best luck in the run-up to theatrical release.

For some time last week, the actor couldn’t find takers for his action film after distributor Ramesh Vyas backed out citing fund issues and Sunny Khanna of White Lion Entertainment came on board. Trade experts who declined to be named said the film, which cost Rs7-8 crore, would be spending at least another Rs5 crore on prints and advertising and the lead actor, who also happens to be the sole producer, is looking at 1,200-1,500 screens to recover the investment.

“I don’t think he is looking too keenly at support from the multiplexes, he should definitely capitalize more on the single screens which anyway were his domain once upon a time,” said a trade analyst, who declined to be named.

That, the person added, leaves the actor with just 300 screens, which will also be a challenge to get. Plus, the film, earlier titled “Abhinay Chakra”, has been in the making for the last few years and has failed to generate much interest in the trade circuit yet.

The action film marks the return of the actor known for juggling everything from song, dance, action and drama and delivering back-to-back money-spinning comedies in the 1990s.

His career witnessed a slump in the 2000s after a spate of flops and a tryst with politics that even occasional hits like Bhagam Bhaag (2006) and Partner (2007) couldn’t salvage. He was last seen in the 2014 romantic comedy Happy Ending, starring Saif Ali Khan.

Then, there is the usual box office competition to deal with. While director Vikramaditya Motwane’s survival thriller Trapped, Abbas-Mustan’s romantic thriller Machine and American dark fantasy musical Beauty and the Beast arrive in theatres this week, Anushka Sharma-starrer Phillauri is scheduled to release next Friday.

“The target audience for cinema today undoubtedly is the youth, the average regular movie-goer who spends maximum on the movies is 15-25 years of age,” said Utpal Acharya, founder of film production, distribution and marketing company Indian Film Studios. “Any film that doesn’t cater to them will not get a strong first weekend audience and will have to play for at least three weeks.”

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