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Dabangg beats 3 Idiots in opening weekend box-office collections but does that makes it a better and more successful film? Moneylife dwells on parameters that should categorise a movie as a successful one
If Aamir Khan can do it, Salman Khan can do it better. Salman Khan's latest flick Dabangg surpassed Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots in terms of box-office collections in the opening weekend. The film continues to do well in the weekdays and register full house status in the night shows in most theatres across the country. With this stupendous performance rarely seen in recent times, does it gives Dabangg the status of the most successful film till date? Should box-office collections be taken as a yardstick to differentiate one film from the other? Moneylife dwells on parameters that should categorise a movie as successful.
If you check the most successful films this year in terms of box-office collections in the opening weekend - Dabangg and Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull - you'll find a common thread that runs through the heart of these two films. It's the wavering storyline or the lack of it. While Housefull attempts to tickle the funny bone through some slapstick comedy, Dabangg rides solely on Salman Khan's shoulders and his portrayal of a corrupt officer - Chulbul "Robinhood" Pandey.
Where these two films managed to score was in their smart promotions, some skin show, timing of their release, and lack of good entertaining movies in theatres. The smart Dabangg's teaser got everybody hooked and with Salman attending almost every reality show aired on the idiot box, he made sure his brother's debut production at least got a decent opening. While Dabangg cashed in on the twin festivity of Eid and Ganapati, Housefull managed to rake in the moolah by releasing the prints soon after IPL 3.
Let's go back about nine months. On 25th December last year, 3 Idiots not only rewrote box office records but changed the perception of every youth pursuing a career while making parents think of allowing their wards to choose their own destiny. But concentrating on collections and getting the maximum footage, one will recollect that 3 Idiots managed the highest television viewer ratings (TVRs) in recent times when it was premiered worldwide on television recently. Boosted by the TVRs from 3 Idiots, the channel zoomed to the third position of Hindi general entertainment channels in India. 3 Idiots did reasonably well when it was premiered again on another channel one month later.
But for a common moviegoer who wants his money's worth and two hours of complete entertainment, both Dabangg and 3 Idiots score on this count. But three or six months down the line, will the movie command the same audience and ratings, if it is premiered on the small screen? 3 Idiots has proved it but will Dabangg? Fingers are crossed. Again the success of a film is determined through its repeat audience. Many people can claim that they might have watched 3 idiots more than once and would watch it again if time permits. Can the same be said about the two top grossers this year?
Now, let's do a simple exercise. Close your eyes and try to recollect the first thing that comes to your mind when you say or think about 3 Idiots. "Aal Izz Well". Repeat this exercise with Dabangg. What do you see? Salman getting topless when his shirt gets ripped off due to his flexing of muscles in anger on hearing about his mother's murder. What's the difference between the two? While the story, plot and message in 3 Idiots rise above the impressive star cast, Dabangg revolves only around Salman, his bared torso in the climax, his thin moustache. So it's the soul in 3 Idiots that keeps the movie alive even about one year after its release.
Another aspect that keeps a movie alive for ages is its scenes and dialogues and gets repeat audiences even years after its release. "Kitne aadmee the," "mere pass ma hain," "tussi ja rahe hon, tussi na jao," need no introduction as the dialogues have become synonymous with the movies. These dialogues have constantly found usage in common parlance to add humour to a dull conversation.
But check this out. "Hum tumme etne ched karenge kee confuse ho jayoge, kee saas kaha se le aur p*** kaha se" is the best dialogue in Dabangg in terms of getting the most applause and seetis (whistles) from the audience. But the hero doesn't utter the "p***" word again in the same dialogue used in the last scene. It is anybody's guess whether one would dare uttering the dialogue in public or with company.
But for the time being, it's Dabangg all the way with its "dabangg" or fearless kind of cinema. A sequel to Dabangg is in the pipeline. It might score another "dabangg" record at the box office, but the debate on what can be called a better and successful film will keep raging on.