By Priyanka Khanna
New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) With the Hindi film industry's proverbial showman, Subhash Ghai, failing to whip up a winner with his latest foray into serious cinema, Bollywood is pinning its hopes on the upcoming string of releases to end the dull phase.
Ghai's "Black & White", based on communalism, could not set the cash registers ringing but the continued run of Ashutosh Gowarikar's "Jodhaa Akbar" brought solace to exhibitors and distributors even as it completed its fourth week at the turnstiles.
Traditionally, the month of March is a lean period as it coincides with school and college examinations across the country. As movie watching is largely a family outing in India, filmmakers are weary of releasing films in this period.
India's film industry is known to churn out the maximum number of films annually with even Hollywood studios failing to match productivity. On an average, 1,000 films are released each year under recognised banners.
A week without a release is a rarity and the week that went by was one of the rare few. Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai-starrer "Jodhaa Akbhar" benefited immensely from the lack of competition at the turnstiles.
But the lull cannot last long. Starting with "Race", which is filmmaker duo Abbas-Mustan's long-awaited return to the genre of suspense thrillers, a good number of small and big films are jostling in the wings.
"Race" by Tips Music Films and UTV Motion Pictures is slated for release Friday. The much-in-news Saif Ali Khan leads the star cast with Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy completing the high-on-glamour quotient list.
With the much-publicised romance between Saif and Kareena Kapoor hogging nearly all film magazines, the actor is hot. Tattooing Kareena's name on his wrist has nearly made him India's answer to Hollywood's A-list actors.
In addition, he has carefully branded himself a guitarist and a rock star making him a favourite with the young audience. In spite of the years showing on him, Saif's positioning and packaging in "Race" is bound to draw college-goers. As is well known, youth are the b