Delhi NCR has a very diverse type of choice some like English movies, some like Hindi and some Punjabi, while Bollywood and Hollywood movies are the most expected choice of Delhites there is another category which is increasingly very popular amongst people of Delhi and nearby places and that is ‘Punjabi movies ‘. Movies like ‘Avengers’ and ‘Antman’ or ‘Veere di Wedding ‘and ‘Sanju’ have rocked onscreen but movies like ‘Daana Paani’ and ‘Laung Laachi’ also has a considerable number of shows across cinemas in NCR.
In fact, previously in past few weeks, movies like ‘ Golak Bugni Bank Te Batua’, ‘ Daana Paani’, ‘ Bhai Taru Singh’ and ‘ Laung Laachi’ have occupied 85% viewers in the cinemas across Delhi, and Gurgaon. Exhibitors tell us that they’ve also become increasingly dependent on Punjabi movies to pack up cinema halls. Punjabi movies which are infused with good content and cast do really well across the NCR they say.
‘Shows have increased from 30 to 100 in a day’
Owners of the cinema speak that many Bollywood and Hollywood films are lined up in a week and there are still 50-60 shows which are allotted to a Punjabi movie. Yogesh Raizada adds, “The success of Udta Punjab also has had a major contribution in triggering more interest in Punjabi cinema. Now, Punjabi films have more viewership than before.” the actor Sargun Agrees, whose film ‘Lahoriye’ got a huge response in Delhi. She says, “What has changed is that Punjabi films have traveled from west Delhi to south Delhi. For me, Delhi is Punjab. Another visible shift is that earlier, Punjabi films used to have only 30-40 shows per day in Delhi, and now, my films have around 100 shows a day.” Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, says, “Screens are allotted to Punjabi films majorly on the basis of the pre-release buzz and the popularity of the actors. Music also plays a key role in the success of Punjabi films. In NCR, stars like Diljit Dosanjh, Gippy Grewal, Amrinder Gill are capable of drawing more audiences into cinemas. However, films which have good content, like ‘Laung Laachi’ or ‘Golak Bugni Bank Te Batua’, also do well.” Another Chandigarh-based distributor tells us, “Rather than going for an average Bollywood film, moviegoers prefer watching a good Punjabi film, and here’s where they score. Also, Punjabi is more widely understood among Delhiites as compared to any other regional language.”
‘Star power, good content attracts viewers’
Diljit Dosanjh and Gippy Grewal like actors have a huge fan following even outside Punjab which ultimately creates a buzz around the area whenever they tend to promote their new project on social media. Here reality shows also play an important role. Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based film distributor, says, “A number of Punjabi film actors are part of TV reality shows, and that’s why they have a good fan following. We receive a lot of feedback from the audience in Delhi saying that they went for a Punjabi film only after they spotted a known face on the hoarding.” Yogesh Raizada, Corporate Head, Wave Cinemas, tells us, “The producers of Punjabi films bank on this familiarity formula, and going by the packed cinema halls, it seems that casting recognizable faces has indeed proved to be fruitful.” A Chandigarh-based distributor says, “Star power definitely works. When a moviegoer – who otherwise is not interested in a Punjabi film – sees a familiar face like Jimmy Shergill or Diljit Dosanjh on a poster, he wants to watch it. But star power alone doesn’t run regional films. Another reason why Punjabi films are doing well in Delhi now is that till a few years back, most Punjabi films were only comedies, but now, the industry is working on other kinds of content as well.”