Gangubai Kathiawadi has done it. In just a little over 12 days, the film has scored a century and entered the 100 Crore Club. For a film that opened at 10.50 crores on its first Friday, the film had done remarkable business to stay consistent ever since and maintain excellent footfalls on the weekdays as well, hence turning out to be amongst a very few female centric films to do such tremendous business.
No wonder, Jayantilal Gada of Pen Movies, who has produced this film along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is quite elated that the gamble to put big money on a female oriented film has paid off in a big way.
“Well, we had to be courageous to green-lit the film. When it comes to women oriented films, no one has made something as expensive as this. What we have around us is a male oriented market. When we go to watch a film, we ask for the hero; we don’t enquire the name of the heroin first. Now with Gangubai Kathiawadi doing so well, I am sure that we have managed to bring in a change. Now people will queue up for heroine oriented films too.”
He is quite happy to have been associated with the director-actress jodi of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Alia Bhatt.
“Sanjayji’s detailing, be it the set design, costumes, scripting is something that is quite visible in every frame,” says Jayantibhai, as he is fondly called, “The kind of films that he makes, the sheer track record that he has, no one else does that. His films are made for theatres. Yes, you love to watch them on TV as well but that is as a repeat watch. To begin with though, people go to theatres. We have seen that right from the day the film opened at the box office. Sanjayji’s brand name worked and rest was taken care of by Alia Bhatt who has has done so well.”
While the film is going great guns in theatres today and is set to bring in a lot more moolah before the close of its run, there was a time last year when temptations came in the form of straight-to-OTT release. How did he resist that?
“See, I am a businessman; I knew that the kind of price that the film warrants for a digital premiere would be out of bounds for most OTT channels,” he says, “Even otherwise, as a creative person you want a theatrical release for your film. It’s good for the business, it’s good for the star value too. The kind of box office numbers that come for a film are then spoken about in the industry and that has a lot deeper meaning. Otherwise, in the digital market, we are not as knowledgeable that so and so movie did these many million views and so on. We are still at a nascent stage to understand all of that. So we decided to wait instead and arrive in theatres. Same was the case with Attack as well. We got so many offers but instead chose theatrical-first route. Now it’s promo is out as well and with the kind of reactions that are coming, I am glad that we took the right call,” says Jayantibhai before signing off.
Next up from Pen Movies is RRR on 25th March and rest assured, the SS Rajamouli film will take a record start across all languages.