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Bollywood bets big on 2017 second half

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-07-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: Salman Khan-starrer Tubelight, which got a tepid response from audiences, will soon give way to a string of anticipated Bollywood releases all set to hit the screens in the second half of the year.

The movies expected to be released in the second half of 2017 have a combined Rs1,500 crore riding on them, according to Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema.

Apart from Jagga Jasoos, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, that opens on Friday and which experts say may set the trend for a new genre of children’s films in India, there is Tiger Shroff’s dance and action film Munna Michael scheduled for 21 July. “Munna Michael encompasses flavours of both the multiplex and single-screen worlds. I’m sure it’ll woo audiences worldwide with its grand scale, stunning visuals and superb performances,” said Nandu Ahuja, senior vice-president, India Theatrical, Eros International, co-producers of the film.

Munna Michael shares its release date with director Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, which finally makes it to the theatres after a long battle with the censor board. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had refused to certify the film because of explicit sexual content after which the makers approached the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) that issued them an adult certificate.

Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma-starrer Jab Harry Met Sejal, directed by Imtiaz Ali, is scheduled for release on 4 August, while Akshay Kumar will take over the Independence Day weekend with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

In September, fans will be spoilt for choice. Milan Luthria’s heist thriller Baadshaho, set during the Emergency, is slated for release on 1 September, followed by Kangana Ranaut-starrer Simran on 15 September and Varun Dhawan’s double take in Judwaa 2, a sequel to Salman Khan’s 1997 hit Judwaa, on 29 September.

Rohit Shetty’s next instalment of the Golmaal franchise, Golmaal Again, is expected in October as is Saif Ali Khan’s Chef, an official remake of the American film with the same name.

November will see Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha reprise the 1969 thriller Ittefaq in a new film with the same name and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period romance Padmavati, starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor, a film that is reportedly the most expensive in the country with a budget of Rs180 crore.

The year ends with Salman Khan’s Tiger Zinda Hai, a sequel to his 2012 hit Ek Tha Tiger, that releases on 22 December.

“May onwards the year is generally good for movie business,” said film distributor Brijesh Tandon. “With major festivals like Rakshabandhan, Independence Day, Diwali and Christmas, the second half should be better (than the first half).”

At least some of these two dozen films need to set the cash registers ringing if Tandon’s statement has to come true and the Mumbai movie industry manages to top, or even equal, the Rs2,934.13 crore in revenue that it earned at the box-office in 2016. In the first half of 2017, Hindi films made Rs1,587.82 crore in box office collections, an increase of nearly Rs490 crore over the first half of 2016 during which Hindi films earned a total of Rs1,098.36 crore. The massive figure may mainly be attributed to the collections of director S.S Rajamouli’s dubbed Telugu blockbuster war epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which crossed the Rs500 crore mark in net domestic collections, emerging as the most successful film in the country by a wide margin. Other big hits of the period include Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees (Rs139 crore), Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil (Rs126.85 crore), Akshay Kumar’s satirical comedy Jolly LLB 2 (Rs117 crore), Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt-starrer Badrinath Ki Dulhania (Rs116.60 crore) and Irrfan Khan’s Hindi Medium (Rs69 crore).

The list of major disappointments does not end with Tubelight that had managed Rs121 crore at last count. There is Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon at Rs23 crore, Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer Ok Jaanu at Rs23.05 crore, Yash Raj Films’ romantic comedy Meri Pyaari Bindu at Rs9.50 crore and romantic drama Raabta at Rs24.50 crore.

The success of most of the money-spinners has to do with their local connect and appeal, industry experts said. Be it Baahubali’s emotional fantasy-meets-mythology feel or Raees and Kaabil, which were both mass entertainers, these are all Indian films at heart.

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“The success (of Baahubali 2) can be attributed to many factors including huge canvas and scale, pan-India appeal of the story and backdrop, strong emotions and characters, solid partners and distributors like Karan Johar and Anil Thadani for the Hindi belt and strategized marketing,” said Shobu Yarlagadda, co-founder and chief executive officer at Arka Mediaworks, the production house behind Baahubali. “I don’t know if we can call these lessons but the one thing we understand is that if the movie has a broader appeal and can go beyond the main cities, then we should look towards attracting that market.”

All figures in the story have been sourced from movie website koimoi.com

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