Earlier this month, HT had reported that the first half of the year has been “reasonably good” for Bollywood, with Hollywood films ruling the roost. But experts suggest the second half of the year could be great for B-Town. It’s rare, but the coming few months will see the releases of top stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan (he is already having a record-breaking run at the box office with Sultan), Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Hrithik Roshan.
The top six stars’ films have a collective budget of almost Rs 500 crore (as per trade estimates) riding on them. While Akshay and Hrithik will have a box-office clash with Rustom and Mohenjo Daro, Aamir’s Dangal will see a Christmas release. Ajay’s directorial venture (he is also acting in the film), Shivaay, will hit the screens on Diwali and Shah Rukh Khan will be seen in Gauri Shinde’s next.
“It might just turn into being a blockbuster year. If a big film like Sultan does such great business, it only raises the benchmark for other top-rated stars’ films, which is great for audiences and the trade,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Apart from the big stars’ films, trade experts point out that the coming few months will see an interesting line-up of movies every second week, such as MS Dhoni – The Untold Story, Baar Baar Dekho, Dishoom, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Befikre. “If big stars’ films do record-breaking business, it will be great for me, because it augurs well for the industry. It will only enable makers to back more good films. It’s a great, positive sign,” says director Anees Bazmee.
Experts also feel that since Sultan has done exceedingly well (it has done a business of over Rs 200 crore till now), the bar has been raised even further. “Since it has set the standards high, it’ll be interesting to see how other stars and their films up their game. Plus, we still have many other festive weekends left in the year, which might be good for the box office,” says trade expert Amod Mehra.
It’s not surprising then that exhibitors, too, are keeping their fingers crossed, especially after Sultan’s good run. “The next six months will be exciting, as big stars’ films are always loaded with expectations. Be it the posters, songs or trailers of these films, people are finding them promising,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.