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Bollywood Masala flicks: Too much masala to digest?

Mumbai, Nov. 1 -- Looks like the otherwise masala-loving filmi Indian taste buds want a change.    

Three big-ticket films with the classic action-romance comedy formula have recently failed to make a mark at the box office, and experts say this shows that the once tried-and-tested entertainment recipe is no longer a favourite with movie-goers.    

The three new masala flicks that have suffered an unlikely blow are the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Besharam, Akshay Kumar's much-hyped Boss and Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (PPNH), starring Shahid Kapoor. While Besharam's director Abhinav Singh Kashyap and Ranbir have together shared the blame for the film's failure, the others have suffered an equally dismal fate.    

"PPNH grossed around '19.50 crore nett in the first weekend. The opening figures were too low and therefore overall weekend collections remained poor," read a statement on Boxoffice.com.    Industry experts say that Boss also met with an anti-climatic end, although it managed to collect more than the amount that was spent on making it. "It is a flop and that's a fact," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.    

However, the director of the film, Anthony D'Souza feels that there are many factors influencing the film's reception and not just its 'masala' element.    

"The timing of the release can also be a factor, with the cricket series and festivals on, maybe not many people went out to the theatres to see it.    But to say masala films will fizzle out is not right. You may like lemon tea and black tea, but at the end of the day, the best tea available is masala tea." Industry expert Atul Mohan, too, says it's not fair to blame the genre alone: "The film-making was not that good in these movies."
Formula-film God Salman Khan is also worried. "This space will die totally. I think this was a beautiful format. Now, everybody has overdone it so much that it might die...    the creativity is diminishing.    It seems the same stuff is happening (in these films).    I don't know which genre will click now," he said in a recent interview.

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