To repeat a line, which has been written by yours truly about four times already 2017 has been a horror year for Bollywood producers. A year which...
To repeat a line, which has been written by yours truly about four times already 2017 has been a horror year for Bollywood producers. A year which shattered the famous Neha Dhupia saying about the only two S words that sell one of which was SRK. It is not that 2017 was cruel only to SRK; almost everything that was big as ‘Titanic’ this year for Bollywood sank like the Titanic too.
Then came August 11 and the man who can do nothing wrong in recent years – ‘Khiladi’ Akshay Kumar. It all started with the super smash success of ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, a movie which some purists dismissed as government propaganda. It smashed one box office record after the other once it was released. The earthy content, the sizzling chemistry between Bhumi Pednekar and Akshay Kumar with good humour ended up clocking more than 200 crore worldwide. Not a great number you might feel but this one was apparently made at a cost of Rs18 crore. Yes! The biggest success was it brought back audiences to the theatres again. The popcorn sellers were smiling.
When we all thought that this was just a flash in the pan and the next biggies ‘Baadshaho’ was a good three odd weeks away came a surprise winner called ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’. This one created more hype for the cat fight between some who passed not so dignified comments on the leading lady of the movie Kriti Sanon.
As poetic justice and destiny, this one grew each day, purely on audience love and word of mouth. Yes, word of mouth has given some of the biggest surprise hits of this year so those of you who ridicule SM might want to give it some serious respect. Last counted BKB was sitting on 60 odd crore for an investment of 20 crore. Suddenly in two weeks, Bollywood exhibitors were smiling.
Then came ‘Baadshaho’, one of the biggest examples this year of a simple fact – critics do not matter. ‘Baadshaho’ has everything so 70s that most of the highbrow critics ignored it saying it won’t work. Then the director added a very different climax to the movie. Yet, the solid dialogues and super screen effort from Ajay Dvgan, Sanjay Mishra and Emraan Hashmi got the mass audiences back. ‘Baadshaho’ has some very impressive mind boggling numbers from single screen theatres across north India.
‘Baadshaho’ as of now is still counting its cash at the box office and has crossed 100 crore mark worldwide already, in fact, 116 crore plus to be exact. This one proved that big drama and big dialogues will never go out of fashion from Bollywood. You need a director with conviction and a good dialogue writer. ‘Baadshaho’ had both. This was the third success though this one was expected.
But what would have really restored the faith in the Bollywood movie making style so far as producers investors are concerned is the solid unexpected success of a movie, which released alongside ‘Baadshaho’. A film that created a buzz with its trailer but given its clash no one gave it a high chance. Yet this one which was a sweet love story talking about a taboo issue won audience praise and box office money.
In fact, it is now leading the box office game this week despite being two weeks old. This one grew big time on audience love and word of mouth. I am talking about ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’, a movie which has cemented Ayushman Khurana’s new found box office hit machine status. This one also established Ayushman and Bhumi as a reliable box office couple.
‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ as on today sits at a total collection of 50 crore and is going very strong. If you want to know what is so great about a collection of 50 crore this one was made at a cost of 10 crore. I’m sure so many of us would want to produce it now.
Four weeks and four rocking hits for a year where the established Khans have delivered duds and bigger banners tried releasing movies on extended weekends and still could not save their movies from becoming colossal duds.
Was this a flash in the pan or is the tide turning for Bollywood in 2017 we will know soon! The year is not very far from getting over.