October 14, 2008

oops, they did it again or how to ruin a pretty well-doing market

SRK´s Temptation 2008 concerts in Germany have been canceled today. Three days before their scheduled dates. Back in August the German stop of the Bachchans Unforgettable Tour met the same fate. They informed their audience 4 days in advance about the adjourment sine die.

The big honchos in Mumbai seem to have got something wrong. Ever since the Johars and YashRaj started to make their profitable deals with REM and RTL2 the German market seemed to look like fat firang tourist in Chor Bazar to the Filmi Industry-walas that could easily be skinned for money.
Except, if you trick somebody and want to keep on milking him, don´t become too greedy. You can only screw us so far. To steal a line from K3G: Tum sirf entertainer ho, parameshwar nahin. For us Non-Desi Europeans you just produce films we like (sometimes very very much) with stars we like (and sometimes honestly love) but you can´t do whatever you like and not pay a price for it.

Take the DVD market for example.
Primary rule: If you want to sell films in Germany you have to dub them. Cinema in Germany has been German-dialogues-only ever since the first talkie in the 1920ies. Same goes for the Video and DVD market. Thankfully there are companies like REM who cater to a niche audience with high quality releases. Due to their cooperation with the RTL2 TV station they were able to produce top standard Bollywood DVD´s that sold fantasticly.

Enter greedy Bollywoodproducers. And swamp the market with C-grade movies, flop-films and bad quality production. That in itself would not be such a problem had they not tried to go the tourist-gouging routine. Even the King Khan has made some really really bad movies over the years. Sell them to the unsuspecting K3G, DDLJ or KHNH fan and you get somebody who will think twice if he will ever again spend 18,- to 24,- Euro on a BW DVD.
Mistake born out of greed #2: Quite a few of those crappy DVD´s had SRK (the only BW actor that really sells in Germany) on their cover. Even without him being in it. Instead customers got such shiny moments of Indian movie history like Hottestm@ail.com or Husn Bewafa.
Is it any wonder that sales of Bollywood DVD dropped like the stock market during the last weeks? Two years ago you had entire sections in DVD stores dedicated to Indian films. Now you can be lucky if you get a tiny part on the "B" shelf.

Then the TV ratings started to drop as well. Films were edited beyond recognition. And the big selling K3G-style extravaganzas were a thing of the past too. You just can´t expect films like D:2 or Krrish to work for an audience that is used to watch Hollywood quality action or SciFi films. Sorry. But, no.

Thank god the Berlinale 08 happened. SRK and OSO came, saw and conquered. The hard-core fans, still loyal and actually pretty active in promoting the thing they love, stroke up a frenzy. SRK made the evening news. And the German fans were led to believe that the slump that hit the Bollywood Trend in Germany was finally over. Especially since some of the Multiplex chains started to screen current films and both the Unforgettable and the Temptation Tours were announcing shows in Germany.

Bollywood Concerts and Germany do have a rather shaky past.
The local promoters like SensAsian are, lets be frank, crooks. Plain and simple. They talk, they announce, they sell tickets and they mess up, go into hiding, take the money with them and piss of the fans. Just look at SA´s track record. Apart from the very first "Dinner with SRK" in Offenbach in 2005 everything else was either canceled or had to be cut short.

And now we have the latest of their disasters and this time it is not simply Shilpa Shetty´s Miss Bollywood or the Bachchans (which both probably got canceled due to bad pre-sales). This time it really hits hard. This time it is SRK. I know of more than a few cases of Fans who literally had to scrimp and save to be able to afford a once-in-a-lifetime journey to one of the concerts. So this time it is personal. And that is bad news.

First they demand outrageous sums for - lets be honest - a tacky playback show and the fans pay it. And now the fans already sitting on their packed suitcases have to hope and pray that they get their 50,- to 250,- Euros back. And I am not even talking about the hundreds of fans that will surely loose money because their plane tickets or hotel reservations can´t be canceled.

(You want numbers? Lets take this very dear friend of mine. She shelled out 150,- for the ticket, 100,- for the airfare, the hotel for two nights would have cost her another 100,- add to that food, public transport and maybe some merchandise and you have at least 400,- . A sum that she was willing to spend on "her" SRK. She earns about 900,- each month. After deducting her fixed costs she has about 300,- for food, petrol etc. Do the maths!)

So, Yo! Greedy Bollywoodproducers and greedy Bollywoodstars!
If you want to save what is left of your start rebuilding some credibility in Germany to maybe have some kind of a future here: Don´t do deals with promoters you know have let you down in the past or distributors that do more damage than good. That can´t be too hard, can it?

There is that (very crass but nonetheless true) saying "don´t crap where you eat". And eating you seemed to do just fine in Germany for the last few years. But by crapping on our heads once too often I feel that you finally crossed the limit of our hospitality.

EDIT 16/10/08: Thanx to the great feedback to my rambling. To answer a few questions I was asked a few times. Yes, please copy the text if you want to (just give me credits for it) and no, I don´t have a German version of it, sorry. And since I am at a business convention for the next 3 days I won´t have the time to translate it either.


Anonymous said...

ich war so frei und hab den text inkl. link übernommen. lg maini

babasko said...

sehr gern :)

Anonymous said...

ein super text. perfekter könnte man das gar nicht ausdrücken.

Anonymous said...

Wuuuh, very well said, Babasko!

Der sprichwörtliche Krug...i-wann ist Schluß!
Speak to us, Mr. Khan! ;)

Diwali said...

Applaus, Applaus, Applaus, babasko! Ich ziehe meinen Hut vor dir. Genial auf den Punkt gebracht!

Anonymous said...

This is so true!
I guess what is expressed here is what most of the fans feel an think.

Actually if it happens once that a show is canceled due to incompetent promoters, everyone would excuse this.

But sorry in my opinion, this has actually been the deathblow for Bollywood in Germany. How can anyone take any Bollywood project seriousely anymore? Impossible.

We all know that everyone just wants to make money. That's not a big deal, but everyone who wants to make money should also be able to performe services then.

It is just a pitty and for me just unbelievable how the great oportunaties, that the bollywood market has had in Germany after the Belinale, has been destructed.

It really seems to be kind of a self-destruction.

Anonymous said...

Dazu kann ich nur sagen: Du sprichst mir sowas von aus der Seele!!!!!
dem ist echt nichts mehr hinzuzufügen!!!!

Shahnel said...

Very good written.
Thank you for expressing all our thoughts at the moment.

That's all so disappointing...

Thanks again for your very good text.

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY ! You've said everything that is on my mind.

It's terrible what they have done to us.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone in India cares about a fistful of german fans. It is all about money. Sorry to say so. And sorry for all the fans.

There still seems to be the impression that everybody in Europe is rich and willing to pay huge amounts. But the truth is most of the fans had to work hard for their tickets, meaning that they had to work hard for their dreams come true.

Whoever is to blame for this.... Bollywood (and with thus SRK) in Germany has taken a huge step back and the good reputation it/he maybe had, is damaged severely...

Anonymous said...

Ich habe deinen treffenden Artikel bei mir verlinkt.

Anonymous said...

Babasko, thank you for your words, which come from my heart, but I have to agree also Anonymous.

Bollyood and SRK has lost today fans and faith, but as Anonymous said, they do not care, because we here in Germany are rich and we can affort this.

There is a slogan here: you milk a cow as long as you can and when you get no more milk you go to the next one.

I am so dissapointed. It is like being cheated by a family member.
I am not earning a lot of money, I havent seen my sister for month and this night should have been a gift for my sister who brought to me the love of Bollyood. She adored him. Her love made me interested and I saw a lot of films and documentations and I was suddenly a fan.

Not one american star would do such a thing. I had to laugh when I read some comments of fans:

"Don't blame him, he is not guilty."

Sorry, he is THE star, he is an icon and he he has money and power. When he says jump, the person would ask how high.

Well Bollywood it seems you have earned enough money!

My Bollywood dream ended today. Thank you Mr.Khan.

Anonymous said...

wow, bombing babaskos blog with comments. nice *gg

for all who say that their bollywood dream ends with such episodes: bollywood or indian cinema is more than just one or two little khanbachchan guys.

Anonymous said...

Sehr gut geschrieben, das bringt es genau auf den Punkt!

To Mr. Shahrukh Khan: You lost a lot of fans in Germany today! I think, you don't even have the smallest idea how damaging it was for your reputation. One can only hope, somenone will have the guts to tell you!!!

Anonymous said...

Simran 2915
vielen Dank für diese wirklich treffende Beschreibung, was es heißt ein Bollywoodfan in Deutschland zu sein.
Für dieses Hobby wird man hier eher bestraft!
Liebe Grüße

Anonymous said...

Well done Babasko as eloquent as ever. I put your link on other pages too...see what comes out now

Have a great BERLIN trip

Anonymous said...

huhu, kann den hochgepriesenen Text bitte mal jemand übersetzen?


Anonymous said...

you are right… these Bollywood producer and actors all are greedy…they lament about piracy but dont miss a change to fleece poor fans. I am sorry to say but this is the tendency in most of the successful Indians.
Having said that....cancellation of such shows might be very big issue for you guys but for Bollywood producers and actors, its not an issue and they dont give a damn...such shows are extra income for them that too very less in comparison with the ticket sell,DVD sell, channel rights, endorcement etc. in India. This 50-60 million Indian viewership is their main target for which they make films....Unlike Hollywood, Bollywood films are made for local Indian and to some extent for overseas Indian.
Same goes for fan following...SRK will not bother if he loses some fans in this part of world as he knows that in numbers he would have bigger fan following than any Hollywood actor.... thats whys he does not venture into Hollywood like most of the stablished Indian actors.

So dont take it too hard...

Anonymous said...

Babasko, you met it exactly the point. It is really a dishonor that Bollywood will at the basis be directed here in Germany toward this way
Greetings and thanks for this great Text

Anonymous said...

You wrote absolutely what I think! Great article.
We all are waiting for a statement of Shahrukh to bring clearness in all the speculations going on in several forums.

And Bollywood on TV:
It's the first time, that I can imagine, that no Bollywood movie is announced on TV.

Anonymous said...

I just want to underline the words of anonymous 7:45 pm. I really liked the sentence with jump and how high. You know the business and understand the senseless discussions the "theater" at the moment.
Good comment, good view. Business is so much rougher than most of the people can imagine and also SRK, as nice as he always seems to be, is a business man and at the moment he seems to favorise the UAE, there's so much money than here.

Will get of the frustration.


PS: Babasko, your text is just great. Thanks a lot for expressing this for us.

Anonymous said...

Hallo Bibasco,
Du hast den Nagel auf den Kopf getroffen!
Ich würde den Text gerne übernehmen, natürlich mit Link.
Darf ich das?
Gruß Susanna

Anonymous said...

Intelligent geschrieben, jede Karte wurde "auf den Tisch gelegt". Du sprichst mir aus der Seele!


Anonymous said...

Hi, great text thanks for expressing it for us. But one i can't to understand you. Why u r fan from Shah Rukh? Only because u can see him at a Event or show? Or u get an Autograph, a smile or a kiss or a hugs of him? And now where he disappointed us someday u r not fan of him anymore? I know no matter what has happned he had to be able to do this show. But no one from us know how he feel sore of all this things who happnes. We r disappointed ok but no one can understand him. Why. I also have lost my money, i also want to see him nevertheless i can't hate him. I still love him whatever happens.

Is it so important that u must to see him now, to get an autograph...? I think we get a new chance. Please, understand him a little bit.

And a last question to all - Did anyone to felt sore about anybody? I think a lot of u were to felt sore about anybody or was to disappointed of anyone. And then a lot of u has to felt people who loves u. At the moment it make no difference to us. The same feel Shah. What i can say, wait what will happen as next. He will come again, he still loves us. Please fogive him, he deserve a new chance. Otherwise i can to say u never were a true fan of him.

Is there noone who understand him? U r all so selfishly?

Anonymous said...

Mal ganz ehrlich und ich hoffe Du verstehst deutsch:
Der Fan macht den Star!
Der Fan vergiebt auch einige Fehler!
Nur merkt der Fan, dass er nur!!!ausgenutzt wird, dann lieber Star, zieh Dich warm an!
Wir Fans können einen Star ganz nach oben loben, aber auch gut an seinem Ast sägen!
Deutschland und Spanien wurde abgesagt, sehr seltsam, dass Dubai stattfindet!
Achso, nein, dass hab ich noch vergessen:
in Dubai muss man einigen viel Honig ums Maul schmieren, da hat man ja reichlich geschenkt bekommen.
In D und E sitzt halt nicht soviel Geld!

Anonymous said...

i want an update after sensasias pm ;)

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

That's so crappy. And it leaves all of you in such a bad spot: do you stop watching/buying the movies that are available, thus cutting yourself off from a hobby/interest/passion that you love, in order to take away the "cow," as it were...OR do you still participate in whatever you can because you love it even though the people selling it to you are behaving very badly? Booooo.

Anonymous said...

Dann schaut mal zu dem Statement von Shah, mal sehen was er nun überIhn denkt. Erst abwarten und dann beschweren. Bitteschön. Was seit Ihr nur für Fans? http://www.ishq-magazin.de/index.php/20081016242/Konzert/Red-Chillies-Presseerklarung.html

Anonymous said...

Die Presseerklärung von Red Chillies war doch garnicht anders zu erwarten!
Abwarten, sicher kommt noch was.
Und überhaupt, der einzige, der in einem schlechten Licht steht, ist im Moment so ein kleiner BW Star, dem seine Fans sonstwo vorbei gehen!

Anonymous said...

Idiotic post.

So you think Germany is that huge a market that a 100 of you stop watching it will make a difference.

If this is all that makes you a non fan of Bollywood and SRK, you never had that passion, that Indianess in the first place to adore something like Bollywood.

Well goodby then. Bollywood Goes on Thank God

Anonymous said...

I think there has been something wrong. sensasian could not organize the bachan tour as well. the srk should have taken someone else to do the events.srks statement seems very reasonable to me.i have seen indian news on youtube and they were mentioning his german tour. i love to hear srk about all this and some words to his fans.
i still love srk and bollywood.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Germany isn´t huge enough for an indian Star and it´s shurely true, if we don´t buy his DVD´s, it will not make any difference for him! But there must be something,
see the little wonder, he has given up a Statement for german fans, he has never done this before!

Aditya From Dubai said...

This happens in DUBAI ,

Very well said. But this happens all over the world with bollywood shows.

sultan said...

looking very nice.
Send Rakhi to India

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