The Hindi box office will soon be laden with sequels like Race 2, Don 2 and the third instalments of Dhoom, Golmaal and Phoonk as Bollywood walks in Hollywood's footsteps to make filmmakers feel secure and keep a captive audience in good cheer.
"It is a commercial decision. If something works and you can continue the same story, why not bring it back again with the same theme and energy?" Karan Johar told IANS.
"As long as you make it exciting for people, the idea works," said the filmmaker, who is producing the sequel of his Abhishek Bachchan-John Abraham-starrer hit Dostana.
Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma said: "It is not about following Hollywood. These days in Bollywood, everyone thinks in terms of only sequels. One spends so much money and effort in creating a brand; so it makes logical sense to carry it forward.
"Eventually, a film is a unit and if it excites or interests you then why not take it further? It is eventually a market demand," added Varma, who is responsible for sequels like Sarkar Raj and Phoonk 2. A third instalment in the horror series is already in the making.
There are two classes of sequels - character-driven and theme-driven. These can further be divided into two sub-categories - story-driven movies that are chronological and independent stories with one central character. Bollywood has adopted both.
Bollywood perhaps witnessed its first sequel with the Sri Devi-starrer Nigahein in 1989 that was a follow-up of Nagina (1986). In 1999, Mahesh Manjrekar then set the box office ablaze with Sanjay Dutt-starrer Vaastav, which was followed up by a dud, Hathyar, three years later.
In the new millennium, the Hindi film industry has had a fair share of part two of movies - Phir Hera Pheri (2006) after Hera Pheri (2000), Golmaal Returns after Golmaal, Hyderabad Blues 2 (2004) after Hyderabad Blues (1998), Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) after Munnabhai M.B.B.S (2003), and Dhoom 2 (2006) after Dhoom (2004).
Now the Hindi film industry is looking forward to Hera Pheri 4, Dhoom 3, Krrish 2 - part three in the Koi...Mil Gaya franchise, and the third outing in the Golmaal series that releases this Diwali.
Industry rivals Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan will also take their character legacies forward in Most Wanted (sequel of Wanted) and Don 2 respectively.
Trade analysts estimate over Rs.200 crore to be riding only on Race 2, Wanted 2, Partner 2, Don 2 and Dhoom 3.
Actor-producer Anil Kapoor, who has outings like Race 2 and Be Positive (sequel of No Entry) in hand, thinks sequels are a risk-mitigation strategy.
"This (sequel) is a safer path because the numbers have become big, so they (producers) want to go the safe way. The sequels and prequels have an in-built audience; so these at least assure that a set audience will come and watch the movie in the first weekend as it has become a weekend business now.
"The effort is as much but the only thing is it makes everybody feel more secure. The stakes have become so high. It is less risky. At least the studios and producers feel like that," he added.
Versatile actor Boman Irani, who has starred in the Munnabhai series and will now revive his roles in the sequels of Don and Dostana respectively, is of a different opinion.
"Every movie is a different movie. You don't say I am watching a sequel as I have watched the first one. If the movie is not good, no one is going to watch it. The sequel has to be very good and so it should be treated as an independent product," said Boman.
While the sequels of comedies like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Andaaz Apna Apna, All The Best, Partner 2 and Singh Is Kinng, and sci-fi hit Mr. India are in talks, part three in the Munnabhai franchise is reportedly in the offing.
Sequels to the Vivek Oberoi-starring action-thriller Prince, Emraan Hashmi-starrer Murder and a 3D sequel of steamy hit Jism may also be floated soon.
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )