In 2012, about 103 movies hit the marquee with seven of them being sequels. 2013 is slated to witness 80 releases under the Hindi-speaking bracket. Of which, 35 have already released. Interestingly enough, this year sees around 13 sequels happening. Three of them — Race 2, Murder 3, Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns — have already learned their fate with the Saif Ali Khan-starrer entering the fabled R 100-crore club.
Sequels are here to stay. And it isn’t just big-budget movies likes Krrish 3, Once Upon Time in Mumbaai 2 and Dhoom 3 that are joining the sequel bandwagon. Relatively smaller-budget ventures like Pyaar Ka Punchnama and Ragini MMS, too, are coming up with sequels to ensure their presence in the public consciousness.
Interestingly, there was no such thing as a sequel in the Hindi film industry a decade ago. Taran Adarsh, film analyst, feels this ongoing change has a lot to do with what’s happening in the West. “Hollywood does it, so why shouldn’t Bollywood? That’s the whole idea. It’s good news. Sequel means that the first film did well. Otherwise, nobody would think of going back for inspiration.”
On the contrary, a spokesperson from YRF, points out that the inspiration theory doesn’t always hold ground: “Not every film deserves or can sustain a sequel and become a monumental franchise. For example, Skyfall was the 23rd Bond movie and if it hadn’t lived up to the audience expectations like the ones before it, would we the next one in line? Most probably, yes.”
Milan Luthria, who directed Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai and is now helming its sequel, feels marketing and online presence are key today. “We’ve woken up to the power of merchandising. Every film wants to be at the top of the chain, have that big bite of the apple. And with a long-running franchise, you get to showcase your confidence.”
From a relatively younger director’s point of view, a sequel is a credible assurance. Pyaar Ka Punchnama marked Luv Ranjan’s directorial debut and the filmmaker is thrilled about the sequel. “Making a sequence is the ideal platform to engage and bond with the audiences all over again. The actual meaning of sequel is to take forward the characters — in my case, the funny trio of Rajjo, Liquid and Choudhary. My first film gave me the required mileage and stardom that encouraged me to go for a sequel.”
Hit or flop, the onus falls squarely on the writers commissioned. They have the design but the plot has to be engaging and offer something new. “It’s a double-edge sword. On one hand, you have a successful film structure while on the other hand, you have to make sure you don’t repeat yourself. The scriptwriter is usually the one who takes up the challenge firsthand,” adds Mahesh Bhatt, who co-produced the Murder, Raaz and Jannat franchise. And the filmmaker is now looking forward to the release of the sequel to his 1990 hit Aashiqui.
2013: The year of sequels
Yamla Pagla Deewana 2(June 7)
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai 2 (August 8)
Ragini MMS 2 (October 11)
Krrish 3 (Nov 1)
Shaadi Ke Side Effects (Dec 6)
Dhoom 3 (Dec 25)
Rock On!! 2
Hera Pheri 3
Agent Vinod 2
No Smoking 2
Munna Bhai Chale Amerika Haunted 2