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A new wave: Bollywood's box-office report card of first half of 2014

With non-formula films doing well, the first half of the year threw up some surprises. We tell you how the Hindi film industry has fared in the first six months

With the first half of the year now getting over, it’s perhaps time to look at how Bollywood has fared so far. And if the box office returns are anything to go by, a new trend seems to have emerged, as films with younger stars have done better than ever before. Prabhat Choudhary of Spice, a marketing communication agency, says, “The openings of Gunday, 2 States, and Heropanti show a definitive change in the way young names are now perceived. There has been considerable excitement around the new brigade for a while now but in the last six months, they have started showing their box office viability.’’

This trend seems to have started with Ram Leela in 2013 and it has continued into the first half of this year. Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax Media says, “Gunday and
2 States took the trend forward. Ek Villain could get a huge opening for a film with a relatively young and fresh star cast.’’

For the last 10 years, box office openings have been big for only those films that starred Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan. Last year, with Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Ranbir Kapoor proved that he can get a huge opening.

Apart from Priyanka Chopra (right), Gunday’s star cast was headlined by newcomers Ranveer Singh (left) and Arjun Kapoor. But this didn’t come in the way of the film’s performance at the box office
Apart from Priyanka Chopra (right), Gunday’s star cast was headlined by newcomers Ranveer Singh (left) and Arjun Kapoor. But this didn’t come in the way of the film’s performance at the box office

"This year, we have seen that a fresh star cast, along with a good concept and trailer, can fetch a R10 crore opening. If this continues, we will see many big budget films featuring young stars like Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Arjun Kapoor,’’ adds Shailesh Kapoor.

Despite Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor being relatively new in the industry, their film,  2 States, has crossed the R100 crore mark
Despite Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor being relatively new in the industry, their film, 2 States, has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark

Going against the grain
While Highway featured Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, 2 States had Alia and Arjun Kapoor and Heropanti was a launchpad for Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon. Divya Kumar’s Yaariyan too had just a bunch of newcomers but the film was a hit. Sidharth Malhotra did a ‘fun film’ like Hasee Toh Phasee, but his role in Ek Villain has negative shades to it. Taran Adarsh says, “The younger lot is heavily into experimentation.’’

From collecting just R2 crore on its first day, Queen went on to become a hit due to word-of-mouth
From collecting just Rs 2 crore on its first day, Queen went on to become a hit due to word-of-mouth

Mahesh Bhatt stresses on the importance of deconstructing one’s brand. “That’s what we did with CityLights. If you keep making the same kind of cinema that has worked at the BO, you will not find enduring success.”

Sunny Leone-starrer Ragini MMS2 did well at the box office
Sunny Leone-starrer Ragini MMS2 did well at the box office

Women-oriented films
Shailesh Kapoor says that Kangna Ranaut-starrer Queen’s first day collection at the box office was less than Rs 2 crore but it has now collected around Rs 60 crore. “Such a high conversion from first day to lifetime has not happened in the last five years.’’ Adarsh says that the success of Queen and Ragini MMS2 shut up those who believed that women-oriented films can’t get the numbers. “Both Kangna and Sunny Leone carried the film on their shoulders,” he says.

CityLights has won critical acclaim and has done decent business
CityLights has won critical acclaim and has done decent business 

Docus got their due
With Gulabi Gang getting a big theatrical release, thanks to Sohum Shah, the road for other documentaries is now riddled with fewer problems. A recent example is Nisha Pahuja’s film, The World Before Her that managed to release in several cinemas across the country.

Debutants Kirti Sanon and  Tiger Shroff in Heropanti that  fared well at the box office
Debutants Kirti Sanon and  Tiger Shroff in Heropanti that  fared well at the box office

Big films in second half
Trade analyst Komal Nahata points out that since the second half has many festivals plus national and public holidays, it is natural for producers and top stars to slot their releases accordingly. “We have Salman Khan’s Kick releasing on Eid, Ajay Devgan’s Singham Returns is out on August 15, whereas Shah Rukh Khan-’s Happy New Year will hit the big screen on Diwali and Aamir Khan’s P.K. will release on December 19, just a week before Christmas,’’ he says.

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