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Reality check

india Updated: Dec 23, 2008 19:50 IST
Madhur Bhandarkar
Madhur Bhandarkar
Hindustan Times
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This year can be divided in two parts — pre- and post-October.

Bollywood is known to be superstitious about releasing films in the month of January. This year, the success of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar broke that myth. The following months had a mix bag of small- and big-budget films.

If people whistled at mega flicks like Singh is Kinng and Dostana, they also applauded smaller films like Aamir and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Such a trend indicates the growth of Indian audiences. At the same time, it shows a radical intensification of filmmakers and producers.

This was also the year of big deals. Every day, multicrore deals and huge pay packages made headlines. But then came October, and the world got hit by recession. While Bollywood tried its best to survive in this gloomy economic climate, ultimately we, too, came under its effect. As a result, 50 to 60 films that were due to release in 2009 had to be put on hold. In a way, one can say that the fake Bollywood bubble burst. While the A-list actors have upped their fees by at least Rs 10 crore, even the freshers had started asking for Rs 3-4 crore per film.

On an individual level, all the five big actors had a great year. Actors like Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan had successful releases and proved their power at the box office once again. Even the girls, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra, did fantastic films.

2008 would also be remembered as the year of global achievements. Anil Ambani’s Big Entertainment surprised everyone with its mega deals with Hollywood biggies like Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt and George Clooney. On one hand, Sylvester Stallone signed and shot with Sajid Nadiadwala, on the other hand, Aishwarya worked in Pink Panther.

As told to Princy Jain