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The great depression

In the first six months of 2010 Bollywood faces losses worth Rs 500 crore, as big budget films bomb.

entertainment Updated: Jun 30, 2010 01:10 IST
Princy Jain
Princy Jain
Hindustan Times

RaajneetiBollywood’s report card is out. And, it has failed miserably. Of the 125 films that released in the first six months of 2010, only one film — Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti — has turned out to be hit. The rest were all flops. After incurring mammoth losses of Rs 700 crore in 2009, Bollywood seems unable to come out of the slump, with the industry already facing losses to the tune of Rs 500 crore in the first half of 2010, as analysed by trade pundits in their half-yearly report.

"Besides Raajneeti, everything else flopped. Kites and Raavan suffered losses of more than Rs 100 crore, the industry has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 450 to Rs 500 crore in the first half alone," said trade analyst Amod Mehra.

The big disasters
It was the year of big films and bigger disasters. The first was Salman Khan’s magnum opus Veer. Made on a budget of Rs 100 crore, the film recovered only Rs 42 crore. Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, bought by Reliance Big Pictures (RBP) for Rs 69 crore has made barely Rs 33 crore so far.

One of the biggest disasters was undoubtedly Rakesh Roshan’s Kites, which was bought by RBP for Rs 120 crore (approx), but only made about Rs 46 crore. “Veer, Kites and Raavan have been huge disappointment” explains trade analyst Taran Adarsh. According to Mehra, even the so-called hits — My Name Is Khan and Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge — lost money at the Box Office, in totality. Even though Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan and grossed about Rs 80 crore, it had cost Fox Star Studios Rs 100 crore to acquire it.

The saving grace
The success of Raajneeti was unexpected, given the experimental subject. The surprise hit of the year was Vivek Oberoi’s Prince, which ran houseful in the hinterland. Small budget films such as Ishqiya, Karthik Calling Karthik, Love Sex aur Dhokha and Badmaash Company also kept the coffers rolling. “Due to the short duration of these films, with multiple shows in a day, exhibitors managed nominal returns, if not housefull shows,” says Deepak Taluja of Fun Cinemas. “With the success of films like Raajneeti and Housefull, the audience have proved that content remains the king,” says Adarsh.

With inputs from PTI