Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathitells ETimes, “Christopher Nolan is a brand associated with cinematic experiences and obviously that’s a brand that has value and equity among moviegoers across the world.
That’s why fans all over the world, especially in India and Thailand have done unprecedented numbers. When there’s FOMO, ticket prices don’t matter.”
Trade analyst Atul Mohan feels the high ticket pricing has only added to the business of the film in India and the biggest USP of the film is the director himself. Says Mohan, “Christopher Nolan plays a pivotal role in propelling the global success of Oppenheimer, and India is no exception. As a filmmaker, Nolan has artfully positioned himself in a manner that demands intellectual engagement to comprehend his craft. Anyone expressing dissent or suggesting a lack of understanding regarding his films risks being excluded from the category of the discerning audience. Oppenheimer has garnered widespread acclaim for several reasons. Its breathtaking visuals, intricate portrayal of Oppenheimer’s character, and thought-provoking exploration of the ethics surrounding nuclear weapons have all contributed to its accolades. Additionally, the film’s exorbitant ticket prices have played a significant role in contributing to its substantial box office success and numbers.”
The early advance booking of Oppenheimer worked in the favour of the business of the film. Trade analyst Girish Wankhede says, “The biggest reason for Oppenheimer being successful in India is that it is released in 1900 screens which is huge and it is released in two languages, English and Hindi. Both are doing equally well. The second reason is that the advance booking of this film was opened ten days prior to its release. So, it gave a lot of time for moviegoers to dwell on. The third reason is that Christopher Nolan is a very respectable name in the country and all his films have been great films. So, there’s a huge number of moviegoers who understand Nolan’s films. Despite the controversy, the film has Nolan’s stamp and that is why it has made people go back to cinemas.”
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur had pulled up the Central Board of Film Certification for clearing the controversial scene of verse from Bhagwad Gita being played before sexual intercourse, but that doesn’t seem to affect the film’s business and even objections have not gathered any weight.
Mohan reasons, “The film’s appeal is specifically geared towards intellectuals rather than the masses, and despite being embroiled in a censor controversy, it has remained largely unaffected commercially. In fact, the controversy has only served to fuel audience curiosity, compelling them to watch the film and discern the cause of the fervour.”
But Rathi has shown reservations about the scene. He says, “The Bhagwad Gita controversy is extremely unfortunate. It’s truly something that looks in bad light and I hope that the diktats that have come from the I&B ministry are immediately followed and whatever action that needs to be taken for omitting it is done immediately. Because to us Indians, this is a matter of our faith. Something like this should not be done anywhere. I hope the makers show that sensitivity.”