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Bollywood Movies: Race to secure place in last quarter of 2016

Salman Khan

By HT

Mumbai, Feb. 3 -- The year has just about started, but the race to secure a place in the last quarter of 2016 has already begun in Bollywood.

While two much-awaited movies - Shah Rukh Khan's Raees and Salman Khan's Sultan - are slated for release around Eid, in July, most other big films are vying for a slot in the last four months of the year, which is usually considered a good period for movies.

"In the industry, the second half is considered a lucrative period. The first half has the Indian Premier League, school exams, and this year, there will also be the T20 World Cup," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

This year, August will only see a few releases, including Hrithik Roshan's Mohenjo Daro, John Abraham's Phir Hera Pheri 3 and Akshay Kumar's Rustom.

Starting September, the films that will hit the big screen will include Sushant Singh Rajput-starre biopic on Indian cricketer MS Dhoni, the Sidharth Malhotra- and Katrina Kaifstarrer, Baar Baar Dekho, film-maker Aanand L Rai's Manmarziyan, director Vishal Bhardwaj's Rangoon, director-actor Ajay Devgn's Shivaay, film-maker Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Farhan Akhtar's Rock On 2, film-maker Aditya Chopra's Befikre, and Aamir Khan's Dangal.

"The second half, especially, the last four months of the year, have a lot of national holidays and festivals, which give films an edge at the box office. Long weekends and holidays usually affect a film's box office earnings by 15-20%," says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.

While the makers are giving their all to their films, they are also working overtime to meet the deadline. "It (Rangoon) is my most ambitious film in terms of the budget, scale, storytelling and execution," says Vishal.

Ashutosh Gowariker adds, "I'm very excited about the challenge of telling this love story (Mohenjo Daro), set in the Indus Valley Civilization."

Ask Sushant about his film, and he says,"I have given everything to the movie, and I'm satisfied. I'm waiting desperately for the audience and for Dhoni to watch it."

However, experts feel that too many big releases in the last few months of the year can also prove to be counter-productive. "All the big films lining up around the same time may end up affecting the business significantly, because there are only those many Fridays and holidays in that period," says Taran.