It’s almost impossible to sum up a superstar, rather, a phenomenon, like Amitabh Bachchan, so we won’t try. We also don’t want to tell you what you already know. So, as the man himself gets ready to celebrate his 70th birthday on October 11, we walk down memory lane with distributors and exhibitors across territories, and asked them to share moments they cherish relating to Amitabh Bachchan’s films. Here are some priceless nuggets
Bahar Enterprises, Mysore
Considering the price of admission, occupancy and the fact that there were no multiplexes in those days, Laawaris was one of Amitabh Bachchan’s most memorable films in Mysore. This movie ran for 25 weeks and completed its silver jubilee. Other Bachchan films, like Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Namak Halaal, too completed a 25-week run in cinemas.
Mukta Arts, Mumbai
I became a distributor in 1978 and have seen so many films of Amitabh Bachchan that have done exceptionally well. But the one that springs to mind first is Muqaddar Ka Sikander, which saw a massive number of people flocking to cinema halls to watch the film.
Bobby Arts International, Delhi-UP
Shahenshah was one of Amitabh Bachchan’s films that set off a massive craze. There was a lot of opposi-tion to the film, and at that point of time the presence of television was less and people preferred watching films on the big screen. I remember, the queues for tickets extended half a mile from the counter. The film, naturally, did phenomenal business.
Paramount films, East Punjab
All of Prakash Mehra films featuring Amitabh Bachchan were hits with the audience but Coolie was especially big in East Punjab. Also, Bachchan had injured himself while shooting for the film and people visited temples to pray for him to return to good health. The response to this film was humongous.
Lakshya Movies, East Punjab
Sholay, Suhaag, Hera Pheri and many other films of that period were successful. But, I have to say, Sholay stood out from the others. It sold for `14 lakh to distributors, an exorbitant price at the time. In those days, bookings opened a week in advance and there was a time when tickets for all his films were sold out well before the films released. We had 28 shows a week and four shows every day, and the scramble for tickets meant they sold in black. When Sholay released, tickets cost ` 1.50 and ` 3, yet Sholay’s business amounted to Rs 1 crore, a huge sum back then. This speaks volumes of the fine actor Amitabh Bachchan is.
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