The opening of Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year, has shocked the trade. But what went wrong, why did the film open to such poor number, given the fact that Ranbir Kapoor’s last film Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’s opened to huge numbers.
There are also reports that the distributors are quite disturbed about the opening and at the same time angry at the way Yashraj has promoted it.
Aditya Chopra was probably heavily banking on Ranbir’s star power to get him a decent opening and the word-of-mouth to do the rest. Unfortunately, neither was the opening upto the mark, nor was the audience reaction. While critics have lauded the film, calling it the best of the year, those that matter (read audience) have stayed away.
So what went wrong?
- Promotion – The movie was promoted poorly and wrongly. Rocket Singh was never meant to be a comedy, yet was promoted as one, which eventually resulted in the audience walking into theaters expecting an extension of Wake Up Sid, Ajab Prem Ki.. and walking out terribly disappointed – which also explains reports of many leaving mid-way.
- Music – What worked for Ranbir’s last two films, was great music. Rocket Singh, apart from the little popular Pocket Mein Rocket, suffered from a weak music album.
- Expecting a Chak De – The makers were probably over-confident of their product and planned a release similar to Chak De India. But the Shahrukh Khan film, apart from strong content also had mass-appeal, which Rocket Singh clearly lacked.
These days, its the overall packaging along with content that works. With better music, right kind of promotion.. Rocket Singh may well have been Ranbir’s third hit of the year.
Satellite rights et al, Yashraj will easily recover its investment.. but if initial business is anything to go by, its the distributors who will suffer losses.