Although some trade pundits are not too impressed with TV superstar Karan Kundra’s first major solo film, 1921, Karan is keeping a brave face. “This horror flick, co-starring Zarine, has done well, grossing over 6.4 crores domestically, in the first weekend. Overseas figures need to be added to this. The distributors, Reliance Entertainment, have managed to get around 70 Pakistan screens, which is a big thing,” says Karan to IndianWikiMedia.
Karan first earned name and fame on TV, courtesy Kitani Mohabbat Hai, Gumrah End Of Innocence, etc.
He says, “We could have gone much higher, but for the release debacle (multiplexes refused to give us Friday morning and a few noon shows, following dispute over digital release window). It might have pushed us back by around 1.25 cr. So our real first day was Saturday, when we grossed over 2 cr. The Sunday figures are good too.”
“Today, digital forms an important revenue aggregator for films, apart from theatrical and satellite. Biggies like Netflix and Amazon sometimes pay even more than satellite channels. The game is changing. We all know that 2017 was a bad year for theatrical footfalls.”
“People need to understand the new dynamics and not stick to the old 8-weeks rule before a film can be streamed online or viewed on broadcast. Nowadays, most films don’t last more than a week in theaters. Very good films may run up to 4 weeks. So, a new equation must be worked out, which addresses the issues of all stake-holders.”
“Digital has one plus- in the sense that, unlike broadcast, it is not bound by censor rules .So, bold content can stream. This is even more important for a horror film like ours, which is badly chopped by TV censors, due to the scare factor. Having said that, producer-director Vikram Bhatt was very clear that he would not go down the horrex road (sex and horror), as today, you can’t use sex to sell, as it is available everywhere.”
Looking ahead, Karan is open to work on all mediums. “Gone are the days when a TV actor could not be seen on the tube for fear of it affecting his/her big-screen value. I am open to short, limited formats, like Splitsvilla 8, Roadies and Love School Season 2. Daily soaps, (Karan was last seen in Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum), are not in my bucket list, as they don’t add value to my career. Reality show names, like Rannvijay Singh, have more traction online than most daily actors, except for the A-list crowd. As for films, having learnt from my earlier mistakes, (Horror Story and Mere Yaar Kaminey), I am very careful about choosing my projects. A film needs to be seen. I am realistic enough to understand that it is difficult to go solo. I’d much rather ride on a bigger name (Mubarakann).”
Wish you more success Karan.