Big on Bollywood!

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By Hindustan Times

A quick look at what worked and what didn’t: THE Rs. 100 CRORE CLUB

EK THA TIGER (Net collections, all-India: Rs. 180 crore and going strong): Trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Once again, Salman (Khan) struck gold on Eid, benefiting from public holidays and the absence of any strong competition, both before and after the release. The lethal combo of Salman’s star power and the backing of a big banner, YRF, made this spy thriller the single highest grosser.” The film, he says, has now started to slow down, but will cross the Rs. 200 crore mark. However, he doesn’t see it surpassing 3 Idiots’s (2009) Rs. 300 crore gross because “it lacks a good story, an inspiring moral and repeat value”.
Release date: August 15

BOL BACHCHAN (Net collections, all-India: Rs. 101 crore): Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “Like Ek Tha Tiger, Bol Bachchan’s appeal too can be explained in three words: entertainment, entertainment and
entertainment! As far as the box-office goes, actor Ajay Devgn and director Rohit Shetty make an unbeatable combination, like Amitabh Bachchan and Manmohan Desai back in the 1970s.”
Release date: July 6

MONEY BACK… AND MORE

COCKTAIL (Net collections, all-India: Rs. 75-80 crore): Girish Wankhade, head marketing, Cinemax India, says, “Saif’s (Ali Khan) film struck a chord with the youth with a first promo cut that was upbeat and upmarket. The catchy title and songs upped its appeal. The film was well-promoted too, with media vehicles used to the optimum. The opening, as expected, was phenomenal, but a weak second half and the lack of repeat value ended its reign just short of the Rs. 100 crore mark.”
Release date: July 13

KYA SUPER KOOL HAIN HUM (Net collections, all-India: Rs. 45 crore approx): Says Vinay Choksey, distributor, VIP Enterprise, says: “The high sex content and double meaning dialogues pulled in the young crowd. Strong marketing helped. Sequels generally do well with part two doing better business even if the original was a better film — like Murder 2 (2011) and Housefull 2.
Release date: July 27

JISM 2 (Net collections, all-India: Rs 30 crore approx): Trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “The opening was great, thanks to Sunny Leone and the promise of sex, but then the collections fell. It was a hit for the producer, but not an earning project for the distributors.”
Release date: August 3

UNDERWHELMING

GANGS OF WASSEYPUR 2: Choksey says, “After the response to Part 1, everyone had hoped for an encore. But Ramzan is not the best time for a release as the Muslim audience stays away. It didn’t help that Ek Tha Tiger that followed drove it out of the theatres. I feel there should have been a little more gap between the two.”
Release date: August 8

SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI: Adarsh explains, “It was a decent film with an unconventional story and unusual casting, but the market didn’t react to Bela Bhansali Sehgal’s directorial debut. Perhaps people are waiting to catch it on TV or DVD.”
Release date: August 24

HOLLYWOOD HIGH

With a trio of big brand franchises —The Dark Knight Rises (July 20), Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (July 27) and The Bourne Legacy (August 10) and the multi-starrer The Expendables 2 (August 24), Hollywood came out in all its strength. Devang Sampat, head of strategy, Cinepolis, says, “As expected, action (The Dark Knight Rises) and animation (Ice Age 4) scored high. What is interesting is that the market share for Hollywood films has gone up from 5-7 per cent to 22 per cent, making India one of the biggest markets for Hollywood in Asia and entering the top charts worldwide too, with Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru leading the way.”

JUST RELEASED

Joker: Even though the film features the Rowdy Rathore (2012) hit pair of Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, the marketing has been low-key and the first reviews haven’t been encouraging. But if the aliens endear themselves to viewers, the film could pick up through word-of-mouth publicity.

COMING UP

Raaz 3D (September 7): Choksey says, “Sequels have a following, and this one has A-list stars like Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu. There’s the promise of sizzle and special effects, given that director Vikram Bhatt pioneered the 3D technology in India with Haunted 3D (2011), and planned the Raaz sequel in 3D. There’s a definite buzz about Raaz 3D, as was the case with other franchises from the Bhatt camp, including Murder, Jism and Jannat.”

Barfi! (September 14): Amod Mehra says, “For me, this small, different film with which director Anurag Basu returns to offbeat cinema, which is his forte, is a hit already. You can expect great performances from Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, and even the music is catching on.”

Heroine (September 21) Devang Sampat says, “After the National Award-winning Fashion (2008), Madhur Bhandarkar returns with a film set in Bollywood, starring Kareena Kapoor. But more than star power, I think it’s Madhur’s story and script that would be the film’s USP. Vidya Balan’s The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012) have already proved there is a market for heroine-oriented films. Salim-Sulaiman’s music has struck a chord, with ‘Halkat jawaani’ topping the charts.

OMG! Oh My God (September 28) Wankhade says, “OMG! has potential. The play on which it is based is a big hit in Gujarati (Kanji Viruddh Kanji) and Hindi ( Krishna vs Kanhaiya). Since Hera Pheri (2000), the chemistry between Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal has been great. The first promos point to a clean, family entertainer and the economics too could work in the film’s favour.”

Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal (September 28) Komal Nahta says, “Given that the original, Malamaal Weekly (2006), was a surprise hit, the Priyadarshan comic caper has a certain brand value even if the cast has changed.”

TREND SPOTTING
1. Sequels and remakes come with the advantage of brand recall.
2. Well-planned promotions not only give a small film visibility but also ensure an opening that can work to its advantage.
3. Star power can bring in the big bucks — Son Of Sardaar, Shah Rukh Khan’s next with Yash Chopra and Dabbang 2 are all poised for the Rs. 100 crore club.
4. No promise of a blockbuster till Diwali.
5. As far as genres are concerned, the trend is that there’s no trend — anything works!