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2017: The year of sequels!


Mumbai, Dec. 12 -- Come Christmas, and Salman Khan will hit the silver screens with his next biggie, Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH), which is a sequel to his 2012 hit, Ek Tha Tiger. 
The film also brings together Salman with Katrina Kaif. But what's most interesting to note is that not just TZH, but 2017 has seen a number of hits that have either been sequels or franchise films.
The year started with Akshay Kumar-Huma Qureshi starrer The State Vs. Jolly LL.B 2 (the original film had starred Arshad Warsi in 2013), and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (from the Dulhania series with the first instalment being Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania; 2014) starring Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, both making good money at the box office and also garnering appreciation from audiences and critics alike. Later, SS Rajamouli's Prabhas-starrer Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (the second part of Baahubali: The Beginning; 2015) broke a number of box-office records across the country. Varun tasted another success this year with Judwaa 2 that was directed by his father, director David Dhawan, who had also helmed the original film - starring Salman - in 1997.
Rohit Shetty-directed Golmaal Again - the fourth instalment in the Golmaal series - hit the bullseye during the Diwali weekend. And now, in the latest instance, Fukrey Returns (the sequel to the 2013 sleeper hit, Fukrey) has also opened to big numbers. Experts feel sequels and franchises "have always had a very strong recall value."
"If audiences love a particular film and its characters, they want to see the next instalment. But there's a catch too - such films have to be backed by a strong script to keep the audiences' love for the original film going. Otherwise, it can fall flat very badly," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Rohit, on his part, feels whether a sequel should be made or not "depends on the audience." You can't make a sequel just because the [original] film had done well. You should attempt a sequel only if you're getting the right story, and not just because you want to cash in on a [hit] title," says the film-maker, who is also associated with the Ajay Devgn-starrer Singham franchise.
But doesn't it worry filmmakers when they decide to make a sequel of a past hit? "Yes, a lot," concurs TZH director Ali Abbas Zafar. "That's why throughout the film, I have been mostly nervous. Firstly, I am dealing with a very popular film and plus, Salman and Katrina are very big stars, so we are already dealing with a baggage of expectations."
But at the same time, Ali insists that ultimately, everything boils down to the makers' "conviction". He says, "As a film-maker, if we believe in something, we go all out with it. Also, since all of us believed in the story [of TZH] that we wanted to tell, the process became a very homogeneous one."