There’s no business like show business!


By Hindustan Times

This year, the benchmark rose to Rs. 100 crore, but smaller, interesting films also did well; we look at the top production houses behind those movies.

Dharma Productions
Biggest hits: Agneepath: Rs. 193cr; Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (co-produced with UTV Motion Pictures): Rs. 45
cr; Student Of The Year (SOTY; co-produced with Red Chillies Entertainment): Rs. 63 crore

They produced 2012’s first Rs. 100 cr film. They also heavily backed debutants. Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions, says, “The year began with debutant director Karan Malhotra’s Agneepath. Another debutant director Shakun Batra’s film Ek Mein Aur Ekk Tu won over the critics and audiences alike. And Student Of The Year starred three debutant actors.”

Trade analysis: “It’s been a super year for Dharma. Their film with newcomers is probably the highest grosser for a film with only new faces.”

Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Biggest hits: Gangs Of Wasseypur I and II (GOW; co-produced with Anurag Kashyap): Rs. 55 cr; OMG: Oh My God! (co-produced with Grazing Goat Productions): Rs. 81.44 cr; Son Of Sardaar (co-production with Ajay Devgn Films and YRV Inframedia Pvt. Ltd): Rs. 105.51 cr; Kahaani: Rs. 104 cr

This year, Viacom 18 seemed to have chosen content over star power. While some of their films worked, some bombed.

Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, says, “Optimal marketing is important. We have strived to connect with fans in the most effective way.” The teaser posters of GOW II resembling political party posters exemplifies this.

Trade analysis: “They received acclaim for GOW, and surpassed expectations with OMG.”

Excel Entertainment
Biggest hits: Talaash (co-produced with Aamir Khan Productions): R95 cr Excel has always had a penchant for making different movies. This year, they just had one release, but it proved its mettle at the box-office. Ritesh Sidhwani, co-owner, Excel Entertainment, says, “Talaash was uniquely promoted. We subconsciously prepared the audience through our marketing.

For example, we did all the promotions at night.”

Trade analysis: “Talaash has a good script and good actors, so it’s not surprising that it’s doing well.”

Vishesh Films
Biggest hits: Jannat 2: Rs. 65 cr; Raaz 3D: Rs. 87 cr

This production house has figured out what sells, and it promotes its films keeping exactly that in mind. Mahesh Bhatt, co-founder, Vishesh Films, says, “In what was our 25th year, we astounded even ourselves. And we achieved the success without leaning on any stars.”

Trade analysis: “It’s been a great year for them, especially due to Raaz 3D.”

Eros International
Biggest hits: English Vinglish (co-produced with Hope Productions): R42 cr; Khiladi 786 (co-produced with HR Musik Limited and Hari Om Entertainment): R70 cr (still running); Vicky Donor (co-produced with JA Entertainment): R41cr; Cocktail (co-produced with Illuminati): R75 cr

Eros marketed their films cleverly. They held meet-and-greets, and the actors made their presence felt.

Sunil Lulla, managing director, Eros International, says, “We had marketing strategies tailormade for each project, and we endeavored to give the widest platform to all our releases, including smaller budget films like Vicky Donor and English Vinglish.”

Trade analysis: “They had a great run with content-oriented films. Vicky Donor and English Vinglish are examples.”

Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd
Biggest hit: Housefull 2: R111 cr

With just one film which turned out to be one of this year’s highest grossers, Sajid Nadiwadwala played it safe by not going overboard with promotions. The actors of the films were present at every event, they gave just enough interviews, and the production stayed away from giving any controversial stories — all of which worked in their favour.

Sajid Nadiadwala says, “Our strategy was sincerity, hard work and labour. But if you want an answer in technical terms, then I have to think about a strategy to come up with a strategical answer for this.”

Trade analysis: “Though they produced only one film, they made sure it hit the mark at the box-office.”

Balaji Motion Pictures
Biggest hit: Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum: R12cr

Balaji has figured out that out-and-out crass entertainment sells. Tanuj Garg, CEO, Balaji Motion Pictures, says, “We went all to promote it. We knew our audience.”

Trade analysis: “They made good profits from this one.”

Ajay Devgn Films
Biggest hits: Son Of Sardaar: R105.51 cr; Bol Bachchan (co-produced with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision): R100 cr.The actor went all out to promote his films during the festive season.

Ajay Devgn says, “Keeping the family audience in mind, we decided to release during Diwali. Bol Bachchan was also promoted keeping its audience in mind.”

Trade analysis: “Both films did exceptionally well at the box-office.”

UTV Motion Pictures
Biggest hits: Rowdy Rathore (co-produced with Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions): R146 cr; Paan Singh Tomar: R20 cr; Barfi!: R126 cr; Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (co-
produced with Dharma Productions): R45 cr; Heroine (co-produced with Bhandarkar Productions): R50 cr

They produced some of the most profitable projects this year. Their USP has always been targeted promotion, which begins months before their films release.

Shikha Kapur, executive director, marketing, Studios-Disney UTV, says, “We’ve broken the mould and reinvented the marketing wheel in many ways this year. From Paan Singh Tomar and Rowdy Rathore to Barfi! and Heroine — our thrust on innovation has been key to all our plans.”

Trade analysis: “It’s been a fantastic year for UTV. Paan Singh Tomar did very well, and Barfi! was a huge surprise. They’ve marketed their films very well.”

Yash Raj Films
Biggest hits: Ishaqzaade: R47.5 cr; Ek Tha Tiger: R184 cr; Jab Tak Hai Jaan: R119.63 cr

YRF produced three back-to-back hits this year. From a film starring newcomers to two big-budget Khan releases, they’ve shown variety in their content. Rafiq Gangjee, vice president, marketing and communications, YRF, says, “2012 has been a bittersweet year.

The highs were some of the highest-grossing films. The low was the loss of Yash Chopra. Ishaqzaade crossed the R50 cr mark, and established the lead actors as household names. Ek Tha Tiger was screened in 3,300 screens. Jab Tak Hai Jaan had the highest first day collection for a Lakshmi Puja release.”

Trade analysis: “They’ve had two R100cr films with two Khans, so naturally they’ve played their game well.”

Trade analysis courtesy: Taran Adarsh