Bollywood box office staring at lull before big boomSeptember 7th, 2008 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Even as a cocktail of movie releases like “Singh Is Kinng” and “Rock On” is keeping film aficionados gleeful, a lull seems to be setting in at the Bollywood box-office that should up the craving for the big October offerings. There has been no big release after the Independence Day weekend when “Bachna Ae Haseeno” and “God Tussi Great Ho” hit the turnstiles on the heels of big-screen scorcher - “Singh is Kinng” - and unexpected blockbuster - “Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na”.
Since then a string of offbeat films have been giving good company to movie connoisseurs all of August and the likes of Ram Gopal Varma’s “Phoonk” and Arjun Rampal-Farhan Akhtar starrer “Rock On!” even made cash registers ring loud at multiplexes.
In fact, the month of August more than made up for the dull first half of the year when just a handful of films in form of “Jodhaa Akbar”, “Race” and “Jannat” were the big successes.
The three films that released this Friday - “A Wednesday”, “Tahaan” and “Hijack” - are a good indicator of offbeat films that are slated for release this September.
While “A Wednesday” brings together Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher after a gap of nearly a decade, “Hijack” is a film inspired from real-life and “Tahaan” is a typical festival-circuit movie.
Coming Friday, it will be “Hulla” time, which is Sunil Doshi’s next after his “Bheja Fry” that rewrote Bollywood’s business rules.
“Hulla” is a comedy based on day-to-day life in the overcrowded city of Mumbai.
The film is expected to release alongside “1920″, which is a historical, “Ru Ba Ru” a social drama by first-time director Arjun Bali, and “Saas Bahu Aur Sensex” that brings acclaimed actor Farooq Sheikh back in front of the camera after a long break.
Traditionally, the lean month of Ramadan does see a dip in business. Most small-budget films that have no backing of any stars are usually slated for release during this period.
It is heartening that low-budget productions featuring unknown actors are increasingly becoming multiplex box-office successes, but for the majority of single screen theatres it is still the big-budget productions with A-grade stars that keep the machinery of the entertainment industry well greased.
All eyes are now on many big releases lined up starting with “Drona” that is slated for release on Eid.
Directed by Goldie Behl, “Drona” stars Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kay Kay Menon, Jaya Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt. The film with its high content of mystic myths and legends holds a better chance after audiences gave a nod to black magic-based “Phoonk”.
After “Bachna Ae Haseeno” turned around Yash Raj Films’ luck, “Roadside Romeo” too is expected to bring positive change when it releases in October. The animated film brings together voices of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
Shah Rukh Khan, the ‘King of Bollywood’, will attempt to secure his title and safeguard it from closest contender Akshay Kumar with “Billo Barber”. Based on the Krishna-Sudama friendship, the Priyadarshan’s comic caper has Shah Rukh alongside Irrfan Khan and Lara Dutta.
“Billo Barber” will hope to spread more joy to mark the festival of Diwali.
November will witness a string of big-budget productions hitting the big screen like “Dostana”, “Golmaal Returns”, “Yuvraaj”, “Chandni Chowk To China”, “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” and “Ghajini”.
With so much star power yet to come our way coupled with more and more low-budget films hitting the jackpot, the year 2008 could well match the super-duper successful year of 2006.