The war of trailers!
In the last few days, we have had a deluge of trailers from Bollywood Some big movies like Zero, Thugs of Hindostan, and 20 and then some smaller ones...
In the last few days, we have had a deluge of trailers from Bollywood. Some big movies like ‘Zero’, ‘Thugs of Hindostan’, and ‘2.0’ and then some smaller ones like a ‘Mohalla Assi’ or ‘Bhaiyaji Superhit’. Obviously, the smaller ones did not make a buzz through the loyal fans were always there to lap them up and you never really can predict if the trailer release guarantees box office success.
The obsession of fans, filmmakers, and the electronic media is now reaching laughable heights. The moment a trailer releases you have the whole hyper noise pollution on the internet, which is about how many views a certain trailer has had and how those views are faster and more than a rival star’s movie. Common sense and logic are of course buried under the carpet of hype in any case. For example, both ‘Zero’ and ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ have had almost 8 crore views on YouTube.
Now, if these are actual fans and unique people watching the movie’s trailer then at the cost of Rs 100 per ticket each of these movies should clock a revenue of Rs 800 crore at box office. How many would be willing to bet on this number? Let us stretch the logic even further assuming the numbers of one of these movies do go across and bigger then the number we quote here then does that mean that there is a section which watched the movie without even looking at the trailer? If your answer is a yes to the question, then such a hyped and intensely pushed trailer did not really reach all those who planned to watch the movie? Then does that qualify as a marketing failure?
There are more questions about the trailer-hype brigade. What is the guarantee that I was not watching a trailer only to laugh at it? Or for all the technological sophistication how do you factor the same person watching the trailer from multiple sources like a personal computer, office computer or a mobile, etc? Which means if we start cutting off such numbers then the actual audience numbers might not look so impressive.
The idea behind asking all such questions is neither to laugh at a superstar or a big director’s movie-making capability. The idea is to simply point at the pitfalls of hype and the dangers of raised expectations. In the olden days while we would anticipate a big movie, like Subhash Ghai getting Raj Kumar and Dilip Kumar together in a ‘Saudagar’ there was not much to read on a daily basis. When a maker tries to feed in too many stories about the making of a movie it really kills the joy. In fact, it makes us obsessed with the unnecessary elements really.
For example, how does it matter to the audiences that media, which turned up to watch ‘Zero’ trailer was fed with “Meerut ki authentic chaat” or how does it matter if Akshay Kumar sat for four hours daily with his makeup or eight hours? Or for that matter how does it matter that the crew of ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ flew all the way to Malta for the ship sequences? Yes, we should respect the hard work that goes into making anything but then all the hard work is also done with the motive to make profits.
More important remains the question that should a movie be judged on its ability to entertain, awe and inspire us or should we judge it on how many people saw its trailer in the first four hours of YouTube release? When a star starts flaunting the trailer numbers on his Twitter page is, he actually being humble or is he just showing his big fat ego to us?
My favourite movie till I die will remain ‘Sholay’. For me, it does not matter that the sound of Gabbar’s boots in that legendary introduction scene was dubbed in London in those days. For me, the menace of “Kitne aadmi the” is legendary and worship-worthy. So, please don’t tell me how many “kachchas” (underwear) SRK wore in your movie or how many trailer views ‘2.0’ of all languages combined had. Just give me entertainment please dear Bollywood and spare me your trailer hype and trailer war obsession.