David vs Goliath – A Bollywood Story

14 04 2008

Jab We Met (JWM) was a relatively low-budget film produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Productions. Besides the curiosity value of checking out the chemistry beween its lead pair and  erstwhile lovers – Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor ( their relationship had  turned sour just before the release of the movie), nothing much was expected of it. The film’s director Imtiaz Ali had shown some promise in his first movie Socha Na Tha, but as a director he was hardly hot property.

 
JWM was released in October 2007 in the midst of  high voltage promotion of two really big movies, Om Shanti Om and Saawariya. All the news channels and entertainment channels were so full of them that JWM hardly got any mention. The newspapers gave it a decent review and whoever saw it said, it was a nice candyfloss love story.
 
The movie was pulled out of many theatres to make way for the two big movies, reducing the exhibition of the movie to an odd show in the multiplexes.The trade magazines announced it as a hit, although it just made Rs. 13 crores as against Rs. 11 crore by Saawariya, which was declared a flop.(Source : www.indiafm.com)
 
The post-release promotion of JWM is really a  case worth studying, particularly for its exploitation of several channels of distribution innovatively.
 JWM video rights were given to Moser Baer and they launched the JWM videos within four months of the release of the movie. They did killer pricing at Rs 34 for the VCD and Rs 48 ( approx) for the DVD. JWM VCD and DVDs  flooded the market. JWM was the top selling video for weeks together in most stores. People who had watched the movie in the theatres bought it to see it again and those who missed the movie in the theatres also bought the videos.
 
Parallely, the producers kept the interest in the movie alive by playing the music videos in all TV music channels and FM stations. The music of JWM is a huge hit in itself. JWM is now being screened by many Hindi movie channels as the blockbuster movie of the week.
 
Through intelligent use of the various channels and revenue streams the producers of JWM laughed all the way to the bank. Shree AshtaVinayak can surely teach a lesson or two to the Sony Pictures of the world. 
 
The moral of the story is that if you have a  superior product, don’t lose heart at being outspent by your bigger rivals.  Focus on outwitting them.  Persistence and innovation usually make for happy ending.
– G. Mohan
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