Jism 2, a small budget film starring not even a single established star accumulates Rs. 21 crore on its first weekend, thanks to Sunny Leone, the American pornstar who portrayed her role of a seductress with aplomb. Unlike the other small budget successes, script was not the USP for the Pooja Bhatt's directorial venture, Leone was. Pretty face, daring attitude and a few thrills in between makes for the perfect box office recipe. Erotic thriller as a genre has arrived in a big way!
That's the reason why Jacqueline Fernandez, who again has a poor track record, could shine with Emraan Hashmi in Murder 2, despite average acting skills.
So what's it about erotic thrillers that clicks with the audiences?
'Erotica is the way forward'
Mahesh Bhatt who claims he's the pioneer of this genre in Bollywood says a perfect mix of all the elements that appeal to viewers is the way to survive in Bollywood. "This is the genre in which numerous books are written both in India and abroad. The only way to survive in Bollywood nowadays is to churn out the right mix of thrill, sex and crime in a movie."
"Raaz, Murder and Jism ushered in the new age of cinema where younger demographic in India were waking up to a bold and unafraid side of woman that was buried inside the laxman rekha so far," the filmmaker tells hindustantimes.com.
"Bipasha Basu, the protagonist in Jism says the body knows lust not love. She sleeps outside the marriage...dares to show a new side to Indian woman. We revisited the same thing in Murder 2 and mixed violence with erotica."
Coming up next is Raaz 3, where erotica is blended with horror. Says Mahesh Bhatt: "In Raaz 3, we have used Bollywood as a wallpaper in the eternal fight for fame."
While that again sounds interesting enough to book your first day first show tickets, we wonder if all erotic thrillers mint moolah at the BO.
Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline Fernandez in a still from Murder 2
'Erotic thrillers only work initially'
Taran Adarsh has a very interesting observation to make. "Erotic thrillers do attract intiallty. Jism 2 had a very good opening on Friday, but after that it crashed. Ultimately, it's the content that does the talking. No skin show works in the entirety. Hate Story started on a good note, but fizzled out after Vicky Donor hit the theatres," the trade expert tells hindustantimes.com
But Jism 2 has not only covered its cost, it has also made profits. "In some cases, the film gives losses to their distributors," adds Adarsh.
Director Pooja Bhatt, meanwhile, is already in celebration mode.
"A film which was made in 7 crores doing business of 21 crores, that too in Ramzan and without any major stars is outstanding to say the least," says the director.
"Jism 2 has broken sale records of even Murder 2 and Jannat 2 in Punjab, UP and Delhi with regards to first weekend sales. And Murder 2 and Jannat 2 were two of the biggest hits to have come out of the Bhatt stable! Champagne popping at my end!" she added.
"With regard to entering the 100 crore club, I don't make movies for 40-60 crores plus that give me a turnover of 100 crores. I make films for 7 crores plus that do a turnover of between 25-50 crores. They can keep their club. We Bhatts rule our own!" she said.
Top 5 erotic thrillers that impressed!
Hate Story: Paoli Dam's Hate Story, made under the banner of Vikram Bhatt, was made on a small budget. The strong buzz around the Bengali actress' sex scenes did the trick and the film became a success.
Paoli plays the role of a journalist who has to turn into a prostitute to take revenge from an industrialist.
Murder 2: The film directed by Mohit Suri and produced by Mahesh Bhatt starred Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline Fernandez . High on steam quotient, the film mixed crime with erotica.
Emraan Hashmi plays the role of an ex-police officer who is hungry for money and earns his bread by doing wrong things. He is an atheist but regularly visits church to donate money to orphans. Jacqueline Fernandez plays a model who is in a passionate but confused relationship with Emraan.
Raaz: The first installment of the Raaz series, directed by Vikram Bhatt and produced by Mukhes Bhatt had Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea in the lead role. Bipasha and Dino play a couple who have moved to Ooty to save their failing marriage. However, what they find in their new home is more than they expected when a ghost starts haunting the place.
Jism: Produced by Pooja Bhatt and directed by Amit Saxena, Jism tells the story of a married woman (Bipasha) who uses Kabir (John Abraham) as a pawn to get her husband's property. The film had some path breaking lovemaking scenes that re-defined this genre.
Race: Race, directed by Abbas Mustan starred Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Akshaye Khanna, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy in pivotal roles. It explored themes of sibling rivalry, betrayal and passion. Mixed with the right portion of erotica, the film did extremely well at the BO.
Upcoming erotic thrillers
Anubhav Sinha's next with Neil Nitin Mukesh: Anubhav Sinha, who last directed SRK's home-production Ra.One and is busy producing the adventure flick Warning, is currently contemplating his next venture. The film, which is said to be an erotic thriller, is on the lines of films made by the Bhatts who specialize in this genre. The film will be directed by Ravi Rai, a well-known name in the TV industry, and the buzz is that Neil Nitin Mukesh has been approached to play the main lead.
Jism 3: Pooja Bhatt has announced her next directorial venture Jism 3, which will have Nathalia Kaur in the lead role. The film will be made in 3D and would be bigger in scale than Jism 2.
Raaz 3: The story revolves around Maithli (Bipasha Basu), an actress at the height of her success. She gets offered the best roles and wins all the awards she's nominated for. In addition, she also has a passionate affair with a handsome director named Aditya (Emraan Hashmi). This all ends when a younger actress, Sanjana (Esha Gupta) makes her film debut. Suddenly, Maithli seems forgotten and everybody only wants to work with Sanjana. Soon enough, Aditya also leaves Maithli for Sanjana, and Maithli sees her career fading away and she slowly becomes crazy. She begins to turn to black magic and makes it her goal in life to destroy Sanjana and get back the man she loves, Aditya.