Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dabangg - Highest first friday collection at 14.5 crores

This is one case study that I would like to request the authors of Superfreakonomics - Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner to research. It would also perhaps interest the 'Tipping Point' maverick Malcolm Gladwell.

It was July 23rd when the promos of Dabangg got released and like the wind Dabangg just got into everybody's nose. I felt it was a viral campaign of the physical world. I didnt meet a single sole who was not waiting (or desperate) for the movie to release. Desperate, I say, because all of us wanted to catch it on the first show or on the first weekend. Nobody was waiting for others to give review.

I was not wrong. Dabangg released to a biggest response in 2010. Taran Adarsh tweets, "As per initial trends, 'Dabangg' will be competing with just one film – '3 Idiots'. It is expected to cross 13 crores that '3 Idiots' did on a opening friday. 'Raajneeti' - the biggest opener of 2010 did Rs. 10 crores.

Dabangg is about crazy bollywood masala and wholesome entertainment. It has comedy, action, typical hero-villain antagonism and item numbers. To dig a bit deeper, the movie has the hero having an idealist mother, a father-son relationship which is sour at best, police that are funny, pot-bellied and corrupt and a villain who has an akhara (village gym) and men with guns.

What clicked for me was the consistent characters, the dance moves and partly the dialogues. Salman Khan was the angry young man in every scene of the movie. Sonakshi Sinha (acted really well) was the shy but mature village girl, who dotes on her father and would not marry till he is alive. Even after her marriage and during the songs, she is shown to be shy. Arbaaz Khan played the idiot brother who is not serious about anything in life, but his girlfriend. Throughout the film, he takes wrong immature decisions.

Yes, the film is a must watch, but how did we know about it so much in advance? How can we explain the hysteria before the release of the film. All the multiplexes enjoyed 'never before' advance bookings for Dabangg. Even the share price of Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision, co-producers of Dabangg, have jumped 40 per cent in the last one month before the movie was even released.

What was the tipping point for the movie? Was it the promo? Was it Salman Khan? Was it the dialogues on the promo? Was it the dance moves on the promo? Was it Anurag Kashyap (brother of the first time Director - Abhinav Kashyap)? Was it the Zandu song (or the balm!)? 

I dont have the answer but it was indeed a great sociological phenomenon nevertheless. It seems to me that the 'connectors', 'mavens' and 'Salesmen' (of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point) came together to like the movie and promote the movie to make it an instant opening hit.

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