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Filmi small wonders

Starless, low budget films reigned supreme in Bollywood all through 2010.

bollywood Updated: Oct 23, 2010 01:33 IST
Neha Sharma

With a little over two months to go for the year to end, Bollywood is looking forward to a Rs 500 crore extravaganza, with big budget films such as Action Replayy, Golmaal 3 and Tees Maar Khan set to release. But, it’s not the big flicks, but the small-budget, starless underdogs that have emerged as the clear winners in 2010.

While Veer, Raavan, Kites, Lafangey Parindey, Knock Out, Karthik Calling Karthik, We Are Family — all expensive films with big stars — bombed at the box office, small films were the big winners.

Tere Bin Laden, made for Rs 5 crore; Love, Sex aur Dhokha (LSD), made for Rs 3 crore; and Udaan, made for Rs 3 crore, made huge profits. Peepli Live and Ishqiya even elbowed out Deepika Padukone’s Lafangey Parinde and Amitabh Bachchan’s Rann respectively.

“These films were a big surprise. They had good stories to tell, and covered their cost at the box office,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Film critic Anupama Chopra explains, “People spend a lot of money to go and watch films, so they must be content driven. A big star cannot drive a bad film anymore. Small films are being marketed better. Aamir putting his weight behind Peepli Live or Udaan going to Cannes provides the much-needed boost.”

People from the industry admit the audience’s sensibilities have changed for the better. Actor Pradyuman Singh, who debuted in Tere Bin Laden, elaborates, “There is a strong western influence — everyone is watching sitcoms and good Hollywood films. They want good films irrespective of whether they are ‘big’ or ‘small’,” he says.

Makers of small budget films say that interesting subjects and careful planning give them the edge. Amita Pathak, producer of Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge, says, “The moment big budget films are announced, there is a lot of hype around the money spent and the grandeur. By the time they release, the excitement dies down. When I was filming, I put a stop to all unnecessary expenditure because I knew our content was strong. Plus, while we completed the film on time, big films usually get delayed due to date issues with stars.”

Bollywood’s small wonders
LSD
Budget: Rs 2 crore
Collection: Rs 7 crore (in the first week)

Peepli Live
Budget: Rs 12 crore
Collection: Rs 29.9 crore (till the third week)

Tere Bin Laden
Budget: Rs 5 crore
Collection: Rs 15 crore

Udaan
Budget: Rs 3 crore
Collection: Rs 8 crore

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge
Budget: Rs 15 crores
Collection: Rs 30 crores

The big debacles
Veer

Budget: Rs 50 crore
Collection: Rs 48 crore

Aisha
Budget: Rs 20 crore
Collection: Rs 15 crore

Teen Patti
Budget: Rs 25 crore
Collection: Rs 10 crores (approx)

Raavan
Budget: Rs 35 crore
Collection: Rs 29 crore

Kites
Budget: Rs 60 crore
Collection: Rs 48 crore