Variety

‘Earlier, availability of screens was an issue, but it's a different story now'

| | Updated on: Apr 19, 2012

While a commercial movie will have more takers in the districts or semi-urban regions, city-folks prefer the urban genre of movie-making. — Mr Arijit Dutta, MD, Priya Entertainments

After a hiatus of over three decades, Priya Entertainments, the producers of cult Bangla classics like Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne are contemplating getting back into the movie making business.

Mr Arijit Dutta, Managing Director, Priya Entertainments Pvt Ltd (PEPL) says his company is in talks with Sandip Ray (Satyajit Ray's son) for producing a film.

That may be a fitting way to re-enter movie production – apart from Goopi Gyne… , the Dutta family had produced Satyajit Ray's Aranyer Din Ratri (1970, Days and Nights in the Forest ) and Pratidwandi ( Competitor , 1971).

PEPL today is a distribution heavyweight in the eastern region, exhibiting for Sony Pictures, Disney and Paramount Pictures. It owns a chain of multiplex under the “Bioscope” brand and also manages a number of standalone halls in West Bengal. Excerpts: How have cinema-going habits evolved in a place like West Bengal?

Today, there is a distinct shift towards the multiplex and halls, but the category of films preferred across regions is different from one another. While a commercial movie will have more takers in the districts or semi-urban regions, the city-folks prefer the urban genre of movie-making. This is why you see an Aparna Sen film having more takers in the city than in districts.

What are the spending habits of people like in a multiplex?

In districts, it's perhaps one movie a month or at the most two a month. But in cities, there's a change in pattern. People will catch one movie a week or sometimes even two a week and in extreme cases even three a week.

Are Bengali movies fading out of screens and making way for Bollywood or Hollywood movies?

The perception is not exactly correct. The region has trends similar to markets in South India where regional consumption drives the movie-goers. Here too, it's the same trend. Last year, a commercial movie like Paglu (a Bangla rom-com) was extremely successful and this year its Bhooter Bhabisayat (a satiric comedy) as of now. Earlier, availability of screens was an issue for Bangla films, but it's a different story now. Today, 80 per cent of the top grossers in the region (West Bengal) are Bangla movies followed by Bollywood releases. Only three per cent is Hollywood movies.

How did Kahaani which had Kolkata as its backdrop, fare in the region?

Kahaani did relatively better here. It did around Rs 3 crore more than what a Bollywood movie usually makes in the region.

Any plans to re-enter the film business?

Yes, we do. Talks are on and we will revive the film production business. We are in talks with Sandip Ray (Satyajit Ray's son) for producing a film of his. But things have yet to materialise in this regard. However, I will not personally look into the venture (production). My mother, Ms Purnima Dutta, is most likely to take it up.

>abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 15, 2017

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

COMMENTS
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like

Recommended for you