NEW DELHI: Salman Khan’s Ready is the biggest box-office hit in the first six months of 2011. Now having delivered three super duper hits in the past three years — Wanted (2008) and Dabangg (2010), being the other two — he continues to be Bollywood’s hottest star.
“Salman rules. Ready is the biggest hit of 2011 so far. But overall, it has been a mixed year for the Hindi film industry,” says Komal Nahta, editor, Film Information.
“Other films that made profits this year include Yamla Pagla Deewana, Tanu Weds Manu, Haunted (3D) and Raagini MMS. No
One Killed Jessica too has done well. Two major box-office turkeys are Dum Maaro Dum and 7 Khoon Maaf,” says Nahta.
Delhi Belly was released on July 1, the second half of the year. Early box-office trends indicate that the movie will end up making sizeable profits. Nahta says that the Aamir Khan production could become ‘a cult film among the youth’.
He adds, “Delhi Belly’s all-India weekend collections grossed Rs 23 crore while Big B’s Buddhah Hoga Tera Baap has collected Rs 7 crore in the same period.”
Kamal Gianchandani, president, PVR Pictures, maintains that the year did not begin on a happy note for Bollywood. “Jan-Feb 2011 was lean and predictable. But No One Killed Jessica and Tanu Weds Manu did well in those months,” he says.
Nahta points out that Bollywood collections were also lean between March to May 2011. Reason: ODI cricket World Cup, followed by IPL 4. “There were no major releases during that period because of cricket,” he says.
Interestingly, small filmmakers saw the period as a window of opportunity. In the six IPL weeks between April 8-May 28, at least 20 films were released. Quality low budget films such as Shor in the City, I Am and Stanley Ka Dabba were released. And thanks to the absence of big budget Bollywood, these films got plenty of attention, if not box-office rewards.
Gianchandani also cites the example of Hollywood films such as The Hole (released March 18) and Fox Star Studio’s 3D extravaganza Rio (released April 8) doing well during the cricket months. “They turned out to be big films for us. Their box office collections were beyond expectations,” he says.
The industry is now keenly awaiting the release of Rohit Shetty’s Singham, Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan and Shah Rukh Khan starrers, Ra One and Don 2.