Ra.One is a hit; but you already knew that.
But what remains to be seen if it can block the other busters and overtake Salman’s triplets- Bodyguard, Dabangg, Ready, or as a long shot, would it able to outperform the Robot and the Idiots?
And Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) the businessman, is leaving no stone unturned to make the pre release of the movie as interesting as possible. Starting with the well publicized tie up with international singer Akon to sing his first Hindi song, then the unexpected(?) leak of the same song ‘Chammak Challo’, to one of the most business savvy movie decisions of all times – having a cameo of the original Robo, Rajnikant (thereby expanding the appeal of the movie to a whole new demographic), Ra.One is definitely hitting all the right notes.
Also, what SRK’s been doing on the marketing side is simply amazing – besides the regular TV promos and ads, the Ra.One - You Tube collaboration is truly an Indian first and will soon become something like an industry standard.
So what’s working for the movie, you ask? Well :
- A good Diwali movie - The movie, a visual effects extravaganza, is releasing in the long Diwali weekend, one of the prime movie going seasons of the year. Also it’s coming across as one that’s got everything that a Diwali movie would need – one of our hugest stars SRK, a sexy heroine in Bebo, bebo… the jhatkas n the matkas of Bebo, bebo… some very cool songs and an overall good vibe about the movie. So this Diwali, if ur buddies n family say, “Guys, Lets go catch some movie”, which movie do u think they’d watch? J
- An SRK Diwali - The most encouraging news about the movie is that the only thing standing against SRK this Diwali is just the villain in the movie. Its SRK all the way this Diwali, with literally no other movie worth speaking pitted against the Ra.One machine. Sure there are the Rascals, there’s Himesh with a haircut, then a Zayed starrer (with SRK doin a cameo btw) and a bunch of other such small fries. It’s an SRK Diwali this year folks and it’s almost sure to improve Ra.One’s prospects.
- The well oiled SRK marketing mix – Unlike other Indian movies where the promotions start rolling about six-eight weeks before the release, R.O’s first TV ad was played ten months back during the World Cup semi finals in Jan this year. Adding an extra few levels of punch onto the regular forms of promotions on tv, print etc, what sets the R.O marketing on fire is the huge emphasis on the digital space. Twitter, Google Plus, You Tube, gaming are all been exploited by SRK to sell the film. Also brands that he does not endorse like Western Union, McDonalds, Ducati, VW etc are also associating themselves with SRK on this one, in addition to the ones he's already endorsing. And a killer move on the part of the SRK is bringing the demi god Rajni to play a cameo in the pic, thereby improving his chances of abnormal cash flows from down south, Mind it!
- And get this – R.O is already on track to recover 80% of its costs (160 Crs) even before it gets released from cable, home theatre etc, so that weird sound you hear near Bandra is actually SRK laughing all the way to the bank. Also, the superhero property that SRK is sitting on is extremely lucrative as there are always other means to monetize it – so don’t be surprised if you’ll soon hear about sequels, toys, cartoons, games, merchandise ….
So besides a natural calamity, what could prevent R.O from outsmarting the Idiots?
- Well, even though SRK’s dil hai Hindustani, he is still an NRI darling. While that did help some of his movies like ‘My name is Khan’, which bombed in the rustic hinterlands of India but was a bonafide bonanza internationally, SRK’s appeal in Bharat is shades lower than the other two Khans. Sure, people here will also see R.O in droves but SRK’s NRI tag may not exactly take it to the territory of the Salman. And that is a big issue as Bharat, as proved by Sallu bhai, Singam and Force, is today the bigger box office. Also SRK’s urban focused marketing may not help this cause. It’s the single screens that can take R.O to another level of the stratosphere.
- The movie word.of.mouth - While the movie would do amazing business in the Diwali weekend, it’s gonna be the movie’s strength that can sustain its collections in the weeks to come. If the movie falters here, sure it’ll still make many a moolah but would still remain under the shadow of Phunsukh Wangdu.
And as for my movie review for which you came here, well, with the recent phenomenal successes of movies like Bodyguard, Ready etc.., does it even matter what a review tells u…. J
Go for it – it’s definitely an Indian first and sign of the bigger things to come from Bollywood.
And let’s see if it can turn out into India’s biggest hit ever.