Fenil and Bollywood

Paa raised the bar in Bollywood’s black year

Posted on: December 23, 2009

Stills from movies (from top) Love Aaj Kal, Paa, New York, Wanted, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and All The Best

…only 4 hits in 2009’s 240-plus films!

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 23, 2009)

Christmas is round the corner. And Bollywood is sincerely hoping Santa Claus will come to its rescue. Around 240 odd films (including the dubbed titles) have released so far in 2009. But barely four are certified hits. For the No. 1 slot, it is a photofinish between Saif Ali Khan’s Love Aaj Kal and Ramesh Taurani’s Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. A trade source said, “Love Aaj Kal collected around Rs 60 crore but it was also sold at a higher price. While APKGK was sold at Rs 44 crore with print and publicity and will make a neat profit of at least Rs 10 crore for its producers. So, in a way, it is hard to tell which is the clear No.1.’’ Aditya Chopra’s New York is the second biggest hit, followed closely by Boney Kapoor’s Wanted. There is a mixed view on Amitabh Bachchan’s Paa and Ajay Devgn’s All the Best being in the fourth place. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels because AB Corp has curtailed the film’s budget to Rs. 16 crore and Paa is still running in multiplexes, it is a profitable film.
According to reliable market sources, lead actors Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, and director R Balki, didn’t charge their market price. “It is reported that the Bachchans will get to keep the satellite rights of the film (valued at around Rs 10 crore) against their remuneration,’’ said a trade source. While film editor Komal Nahta feels All the Best has also romped home.
Taran said, “This has been the most unfortunate year for Bollywood. The box-office was crippled by the multiplex strike, swine flu and three four big movies clashing each week after that.’’ Distributor Amod Mehra added, “Many films were liked by the audience… but their price failed them. Raaz, Wake Up Sid and De Dana Dan got a fair share of audience — but the price at which they sold was astronomical, ensuring these films were a loss-making proposition for the main buyer.’’
As far as the critics are concerned, they have had to carry the carcass of the films they praised. Whether it was Kurbaan or Rocket Singh. Filmmaker N R Pachisia said, “Ranbir Kapoor is the future of this industry, Saif Ali Khan did himself a good turn with LAK, but the only man who deserves true praise this year is Amitabh Bachchan who with Paa raised the bar of our cinema to an international level.’’
P.S. The one film that everyone is unanimous about is the dubbed version of 2012 that has done as good business as the biggest Bollywood hit this year.

Box Office hits this year!
Love Aaj Kal
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
New York
Wanted
All the Best
Paa

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