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Dussehra kicks off Bollywood’s final festival quarter, Rs 400 crore riding over the next two and a half months – top stars, bug budgets, major banners… At the theatre, the heat is on.

bollywood Updated: Oct 21, 2010 17:48 IST
Hiren Kotwani

After Dussehra releases like Aakrosh, Jhootha Hi Sahi and the animated Ramayana, a line-up of big ticket films are scheduled to release in cinemas over the next two and a half months. Audiences and trade alike are looking forward to the Rs 75 crore crackers, Golmaal 3 and Action Replayy. The string of biggies continues until the end of the year, with Tees Maar Khan hitting screens this Christmas.



So how much money is riding on these movies? Delhi-based distributor Sanjay Mehta pegs the figure to Rs 400-500 crore and expects the returns to be at least 20 per cent over the costs, including publicity and prints. "The films can only justify the budgets if they return 20-25 per cent," he says.



Action Replayy"In India, the best times for films is between June and August, and then again from Diwali to February. But some producers have been suicidal by releasing movies during Ganpati and Navratri," observes veteran trade analyst Vinod Mirani. About forthcoming films, he says, "Universally, people would prefer a fun flick like Golmaal 3 or a Tees Maar Khan over something serious."



Rs 75 crore is riding on Diwali releases Golmaal 3 and Action Replayy. "Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal has become a brand. As for Action Replayy, the Akshay Kumar-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan pairing has novelty value," enthuses an optimistic Mehta.



Trade analyst Taran Adarsh adds that this festival has space for only two films. "These two films can make the most of the two clear weeks until Guzaarish releases on November 19. Last Diwali, Main Aur Mrs Khanna was sidelined by All The Best and Blue," he asserts.



Another film the industry is optimistic about is Tees Maar Khan. "Farah Khan’s previous films, Main Hoon Naa and Om Shanti Om have been big hits. And she’s continuing with the Manmohan Desai brand of cinema, which suits the year-end festive mood perfectly," Mehta says.



Where does that leave biggies like Rakht Charitra, Hisss, Jhootha Hi Sahi, Guzaarish, Break Ke Baad, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, No Problem and Toonpur Ka Superhero?



Mehta wants to watch the response the promotional campaigns generate. "Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films target the multiplex and overseas audiences. So the core audience response to Guzaarish is yet to be gauged. The Imran Khan-Deepika Padukone pairing is novel and the promos of Break Ke Baad look fresh, both will generate buzz in metros. Khelein Hum… is a period film, but the first promo looks good. And Toonpur Ka Superhero is India’s first live animation film, making prediction difficult," elaborates Mehta.



Besides the big films, smaller films like Allah Ke Banday, Phas Gaye Re Obama and Yashraj’s Band Baaja Baarat are also releasing in the last quarter. So there could be a surprise hit, enthuses Adarsh, saying "There could be another Bheja Fry. Let’s hope these films meet expectations."

Big Money, Big Movies
Rakht Charitra: ` 40 Crore Parts 1 and 2, in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu

Jhootha Hi Sahi: ` 22 Crore

Hisss:
` 25 Crore

Golmaal 3:
` 40 Crore

Action Replayy:
` 35 Crore

Guzaarish:
` 50 Crore

Break Ke Baad:
` 20 Crore

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey:
` 40 Crore

No Problem: ` 35 Crore

Toonpur Ka Super Hero:
` 40 Crore

Tees Maar Khan:
` 50 Crore