The first official event of worldwide band BTS was held in India yesterday when their documentary-style film ‘Burn The Stage’ was released across the country.
It was a big deal for Indian ARMY (the official fandom name for fans of BTS) since before this such an official event had never been held.
BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan or Beyond the Scene) is a South Korean band that has been on the rise since last year when they became the first K-pop group to win the Billboard Social Artist.
Since then they have performed on the stages of AMAs (American Music Awards), debuted their full album Love Yourself: Tear at the 2018 Billboard and broken record after record with each subsequent song or album released.
Currently, they are touring the world for their Love Yourself concert tour but in the midst of this, their YouTube Red Original series came out called Burn The Stage.
The series was released first on YouTube Red as an 8 episode documentary-style show that followed the group on their 2017 ‘Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour’ spanning almost 19 cities.
The show premiered on March 28th, 2018 and a film of the same name with unseen footage and other new stuff was announced in October when the trailer for it was released.
My Experience Watching It
The whole experience began from the minute booking for the tickets were opened on 19th November and it was a race against time on who could be faster.
From the INOX site (the theatre hosting the movie) glitching and crashing, to shows being sold out in mere seconds it was all a frantic rush.
Initially, there were only 2 shows for 36 cities, mainly a 7 pm and a 9 pm one, but when almost all the tickets were sold out in barely any time, the management of INOX started to release more timings and even increased the theatres it was releasing at.
As reported by Rolling Stone India, the Chief Marketing Officer of INOX Saurabh Varma said that, “We initially opened two odd shows in 36 locations all over India. In our planning this was extremely extensive and have never given so many shows to such an event. The bookings opened on Monday and everything was sold out by 3:00 pm. The fans were all over our social network, pages, and our website–all we could read was ‘we want tickets!’ Our cellphones since then have just not stopped ringing.”
First came a 5 pm show, then a 3 pm, then the film was added to their INSIGNIA part and then slowly by the next day a bunch of new timings that stretched from 11 am in the morning to 10 in the night came out.
But even those were sold out before we all came to know that the timings had been added, WhatsApp groups were filled with people telling which timing had been added, where else to book tickets from and more. Just wanting each and every Indian ARMY to actually get to experience this event.
Varma also stated that, “Fans just kept on pushing for tickets at all of our locations and I, for the first time, personally experienced the true meaning of the phrase ‘sold like hot cakes’.”
Apparently, around 25,000 tickets were sold just on the first day of advanced bookings opening and till the very day of the movie releasing, INOX kept introducing new timings and theatres.
So much so that it went from just the few main 36 cities to the final number of theatres showing the movie covering more than 45 cities.
For me, I was unable to get a ticket in time from the INOX site itself, but fortunately, my friends found some people online who had an extra ticket and wanted to give that away.
It was only because of that person I was finally able to experience this movie and it was truly everything everyone was raving about.
I feel that the movie would be wonderful for not just ARMYs but work as an incredible introduction for people confused about who BTS are and their global reach.
Burn The Stage very simply and slowly peeled away at the layers of being an idol or artist, keeping away from the stereotypes usually associated with K-pop but still showing their difficulties, that there are days when even they feel like giving up or just resting for some time.
That behind their perfectly in-sync choreography and perfect smiles, there is a lot of pain and hard-work that the audience don’t get even a glimpse of.
Furthermore, I really liked how it showed the relation between the members, away from scripted fan-service material and the equation they all share with each other.
One of my friends after watching the movie said that,
Burn the stage showed us the side that BTS hide from us just so we won’t be worried, it was truly a eye opener for us, we found out about the second side of the story, the struggle they keep hidden …
I watched the movie because I wanted to know what they go through so that I can support them even more..watching burn the stage also taught me to keep on going whenever I get stuck in between, it made me believe that even if you’re not sure about the future keep on continuing what we’re doing for our better future, success will greet us one day ..
I was feeling so low with everything I was doing with my life for the past few day but yesterday burn the stage inspired me to go on forward and keep on trying and trying until success knocks on my door….I will forever be thankful to them.
One ARMY’s dad also went to watch the movie and what he said truly surmised what us ARYMs all felt that,
“You’ll cry… You’ll laugh… You’ll shout… One of the best movies..”
Another one said that,
First of all I loved how good the documentary was? like from a cinematic point of view, the movie was really good and even though it was a documentary there were fun moments that made us laugh and also cry so it was a really good ride overall. loved how authentic it was; they didn’t make Bangtan seem like they’re some big superstars but made them seem like they’re just 7 humble guys doing what they love; and also the movie didn’t brag about BTS’ achievements but pointed out how their lives changed after they got their achievements; and of course how they showed Bangtan in their natural forms – just having fun, hanging out, living their lives, working their asses off and being the best idols in the industry. The documentary was made really seriously so I thought it was a really well-made and especially since it’s BTS’ first film. I think even people who aren’t fans would enjoy this film because of how authentic the movie is; and BTS’ personalities are enough to make people stan them.
Also, a special shoutout to all the audience who maintained their composure and showed a good and respectful side as fans of BTS. There were some who were rowdy or screamed and shouted unnecessarily, but for the most part I only heard good things.
It Was Not All Easy For Indian ARMYs Though
To be honest, this eventual release was not easy for Indian ARMYs and for some time there it was too much to even think that it will release at all.
While the whole world got to see the movie on the decided date of November 15th, Indian ARMYs were left in a terrified state of confusion of why there was a delay in the release.
INOX initially gave a vague statement of there being some problem with the censor certificate, after which rumours and unverified news was spread that the Censor board was asking for cuts, modifications and more.
Instead, it was finally revealed by Mumbai Mirror that it was just one modification, a blurring of an alcohol bottle in one scene that was requested and nothing more.
Even when INOX finally came out with 25th November as the official date of release there was still some trepidation.
ED Times reached out to Nidhi Jadhav from BangtanINDIA, a Twitter page that keeps Indian ARMYs updated with all the information and news about BTS, to comment on this period who said that,
Well initially we were trying to do it without making any official statements. We were talking to INOX Delhi manager and tried figuring out how many shows/cities were being released and other details.
But they themselves had no such information or details. For starters we did mention to them that we will definitely need more shows. But it was not heard/taken seriously in the beginning. Hence creating so much chaos. Now we know they themselves never expected so much response.
We did not push in the beginning and wanted to do things as calmly as possible. It’s when the show was not released on 15th even after been posted on the official site we started pushing things hard. As you know many ARMYs were traveling and ready to travel from other cities.
Mass requesting projects were carried on by everyone. But even when they finally started selling tickets we were informed that we will have limited shows. Creating a lot of chaos again. Nov 19th was our first hand experience on ticketing when it comes to BTS. It was sure scary and panicky.
But that day itself we also got an email from Trafalgar stating they are releasing the movie in more cities all over India. INOX started responding back telling us more shows and cities will be added soon. To be very honest it was all because all the mass requesting done by Indian army. We were being heard we knew but there was alot we had to go through. But in the end it was all more than worth it.
But finally the D-day came, the movie was released all over India without much issue and Indian ARMYs came together in a way they had never really been able to.
For myself, it was a surreal experience being in a space where so many people who shared the same interest as me were all collected together coming from different parts of the country.
Jadhav, very astutely captured the meaning of the day when she said that,
Well, as an Indian ARMY it was one of the proudest moment ever. It’s like first ever BTS official event ever to take place on this land. We felt one step closer to BTS. We have been doing private Screening and meets for years and always dreamt of watching them on Big screens if not a concert. And honestly, when Burn the Stage was finally announced in India it was kind of surreal itself. And it all happened because of collective efforts of all Indian ARMYs.
From requesting Trafalgar (official distributors) to release the movie in India as well to requesting Inox to increase the number of Cities and venues in India, it was a hell of a ride. And 25th Nov 2018 is the date Indian ARMY would never forget. Now we know what post concert depression feels like.
Looking at the boys working so hard for us, we get inspired to work harder to achieve our dreams and love ourselves too. Its difficult to write down how all of us felt. It was such a personal moment for all of us.
It was not just a movie, this event was more like a festival in India which brought all the armys together irrespective of their age , profession, language. Etc. We all celebrated it together.
Now, Burn The Stage: the Movie has broken the record of the highest grossing cinema event with a collection of almost $1.4 million on opening day which was earlier held by British boyband One Direction.
Releasing in about 79 countries, the movie has made a total of about $14 million, ranked at 10th place on the box office, and is also set to be re-released in select theatres around the world on 5th-6th December 2018.
Whether it comes to India for this encore is not yet known, but even still, this event was an out and out success.
Image Credits: Google Images and Author
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