Ever since the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off in 2008, the first half of the year has seen fewer releases. This year, film-makers had another obstacle — the Lok Sabha elections.
However, despite these hindrances, Bollywood seems to have collected a fair amount at the box office. According to trade analysts, the credit for the industry’s performance goes to several small-to-medium budget films that have released over the last five months.
“The young actors’ connect with the youth has played a big role. Their willingness to experiment is another reason,” says trade expert Taran Adarsh, adding that the new names that have been introduced to Bollywood with these films “are also a welcome addition to the industry”. He adds, “After all, it is the rule of the game — the old will pave way for the new.”
Films like Highway, Ragini MMS 2, Queen, Main Tera Hero, 2 States and Heropanti have all done well at the box office. Did the absence of any big releases during this period prove to be an advantage for them? “The industry, in general, is undergoing a transition. Every few decades, there is a power shift. And now, the time has come for the next generation to emerge as the new bunch of box-office movers and shakers,” says Akshaye Rathi, film exhibitor and distributor.
But this doesn’t mean the big budget projects have been sidelined; the second half of this year is going to be abuzz with such releases.
Ask trade analyst Amod Mehra how conducive the box-office environment for these films is, and he says the content will decide their fate. Citing the lacklustre performance of Salman Khan’s Jai Ho earlier this year, he adds, “If the story manages to engage the audience, it will bring in the money, irrespective of who the stars of the films are.”