Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘2012

Badly Burnt In Year Gone By, Industry Looks To Strong Content

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 3, 2010)


Pursue excellence and success will pursue you,’’ was what Aamir Khan’s character philosophised in 3 Idiots. But when the lights dimmed and audiences sat down after the National Anthem, what greeted them on screens for most part of the year was average, even poor fare, making 2009 the annus horribilis of the first decade of the 21st century. More than 200 films, with Rs 1500 crore at stake, released last year but almost Rs 1000 crore sank in the sea of mediocrity without a bubble, the sharks-andsexy bikini Blue leading the pack.
Added to it was the multiplex strike which cost around Rs 350 crore, upset release dates forcing films to share Fridays and dent each others’ collections. A multiplex source said, “Cannibalisation caused by big films’ release dates clashing could have been avoided.’’


The year began with Chandni Chowk To China that lost 50% of its Rs 65-crore budget. And marketing blitzkreigs couldn’t save a Blue and Kambakkht Ishq and the audience clearly showed content was king with surprise hits like DevD, New York, WaKe Up Sid and Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani. DevD made Rs 6 crore, collected Rs 25 crore at the box office while its ancillary rights made another Rs 5 crore and there are still more satellite runs to be sold. Trade experts also put films like Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani, Wanted among the certified hits, followed by profitable films like Paa, All The Best, De Dana Dan and Raaz 2.


But Bollywood’s loss was Hollywood’s gain, with films like 2012 and Avatar (that collected a whopping Rs 50 crore so far) filling the void for good entertainment.


It was left to And Aamir Khan to play Santa Claus third year in a row, with 3 Idiots the biggest hit of the year. It grossed a phenomenal Rs 100 crore in India in the first four days, and Rs 175 crore worldwide till December 31, even denting into collections of Avatar. Trade analyst Amod Mehra said, “What Ghajini collected in a week, this film has done in three days.


Corporates didn’t really have a great year in 2009 and after the bloodbath in the first half of the year, most of them avoided buying films outright, with even 3 Idiots being released on commission.


Thus 2010 dawns to vastly altered realities — purse strings have tightened by cautious corporates; big banners are no guarantee for success and may dish out big turkeys instead; marketing and stars don’t sell, a good story does; and the days of astronomical fees are over.


“Audiences are very smart, the content ultimately will guide their choices and approval. Marketing and hype will only work if content supports that hype. We may not have a Blue this year but projects like Veer and Prince are costly and prima facie look difficult in terms of recoveries,’’ says a trade expert.


So when Akshay Kumar, blamed for soaring star prices, announced towards the end of 2009 that he would not charge any fee for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khaan, it was a lifeline for the industry that had almost gone into the ICU.


Says Amod Mehra, “It is not that people did not come to watch Akshay Kumar films in 2009, it is just that the budgets of the films were so high and his remuneration was almost 40% of those budgets, so recoveries were not possible despite a good opening. But now that the actors are looking at sharing profit with the producer after the cost of the film has been recovered like in the case of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots then it will be fair enough. Cutting down of star prices will definitely reduce the budget of films and they will become viable and that is definitely going to be the trend in 2010.”


The year thankfully doesnt have a Rs 100-crore Blue in its line-up. Last year most production houses scrapped films as star prices were not viable. In fact, it is learnt Saif Ali Khan is reworking the budget of his next film Agent Vinod starring Kareena and himself. In fact, 2010 is short on mega projects as budget constraints ensured very few got on the floors in 2009.


The first biggie of 2010 will be Veer,
followed by Rann, My Name is Khan, Action Replay, Kites and House Full in the first half of the year. The second half of the year would have Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzarish and Patiala House.


The action in 2010 seems definitely more in mid-size and multiplex projects that would have strong and clutterbreaking content. “There are a lot of films this year that may not topline the Khans or Hrithik Roshan but still have a decent line-up of names and would be thematically different. Tight budgets and good content seem to be the mantra in the decision making corridors of Bollywood. Each company is carefully evaluating its options and are not getting carried away,’’ says Priti Shahni of Indian Films. Corporates, for instance, have decided to take films only on commission, and not buy them outright.


Shahid Kapoor’s Chance Pe Dance, Striker starring Rang De Basanti’s Siddharth, Aamir Khan Productions’ Peepli Live, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya would release in the first half of 2010.


Generation-next too would be making its presence felt with Ranbir Kapoor in Anjana Anjani and Rajneeti, Imran Khan in I Hate Love Stories, Sonam Kapoor in Ayesha, and Deepika Padukone in House Full.


As the record breaking run of 3 Idiots that has spilled over to 2010 has shown, great content along with great pre-release buzz make the perfect mix.


2010: Coming Soon
RAJNEETI (Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor) BUDGET: 50 cr


DHOBI GHAT (Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar) BUDGET: 15 cr


RAAVANA (Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


TEEN PATTI (Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley) BUDGET: 35 cr


VEER (Salman Khan, Zarine Khan) BUDGET: 50 cr


RANN (Amitabh Bachchan) BUDGET: 25 cr


ISHQIYA (Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi) BUDGET: 20 cr


MY NAME IS KHAN (Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol) BUDGET: 50 cr


KITES (Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori) BUDGET: 50 cr


ACTION REPLAY (Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai) | BUDGET: 35 cr


GUZAARISH (Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


ANJAANA ANJAANI (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra) BUDGET: 40 cr


AGENT VINOD (Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor) BUDGET: 40 cr

Figures are an approximate estimation

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IT’S TIME TO REJOICE!

Although 2009 is considered as a black year for Bollywood, the last 3 ½ months have proved to be profitable not only for producers, distributors and exhibitors but also for viewers. There were at least half a dozen commercially successful films like Wanted, Wake Up Sid, All The Best, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, De Dana Dan and Paa. Also, flops like Dil Bole Hadippa, What’s Your Raashee?, Do Knot Disturb, Blue, London Dreams, Tum Mile, Kurbaan etc did manage to bring audiences to theatres in its first 3 days of release. Also, we got two Hollywood blockbusters, 2012 and Avatar. And tomorrow’s release 3 Idiots is expected to be the biggest hit of 2009. This Aamir Khan flick is been given one of the widest releases. If all turns out to be well, 3 Idiots may become the biggest blockbuster ever, breaking even Ghajini’s record (which at present is the biggest Bollywood hit).

People are coming to theatres. So many movies are running successfully. Unfortunately, no is celebrating it and no trade analyst is coming forward to discuss about it. Ironically, during bad times, every producers, distributor and trade pundits will come forward and state as to ‘how our industry is going through a crisis’. Somehow, we have become more negative in our approach. We love to live in bad times! Come on guys, pop the champagne and enjoy the good time!

TICKET RATES INCREASED FOR 3 IDIOTS


Watching 3 Idiots shall turn out to be an expensive affair. Knowing that people are going to come for sure to watch this Aamir Khan flick, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and the distributors of the film have urged multiplexes and single screens across the country to increase the ticket rates for 3 Idiots. Even morning shows which had a meager price of Rs 60 or 80 is now sold for 160 or 180 and even 200 bucks. A prominent multiplex in South Mumbai (Inox, Nariman Point) takes away the cake by charging Rs 290 for the 11:30 am show! And for the evening and night shows, the least said, the better!

Surprisingly, hardly any Bollywood intellectuals have spoken against this unfair practice. All of them are concerned only with the problem of piracy. Why? Because it concerns them-they face huge losses because of pirated DVDs. And they don’t need to care for the inflated ticket prices since they can either afford it or they get to see films free of cost in preview screenings!

But all of them have failed to see the point that one of the biggest reasons for piracy is the expensive ticket rates. Reducing the ticket prices will automatically reduce piracy to a certain extent. But instead of applying this idea, ticket rates are increasing, thus giving a boost to piracy. Producers and distributors are only concerned with extracting maximum profits. And when viewers shun theatres due to high prices, they will again come up with ‘industry going through crisis’ stuff when the fact is that they only created the situation in the first place! Very very sad!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/chfdltslp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk80

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

It was always felt that Hollywood films’ release in India won’t harm the prospects of Bollywood films. But the success of Titanic, King Kong, Spiderman series and more recently the blockbuster collections of 2012 has finally made everyone realize that Hollywood is a force to reckon with in India too. And that’s why all Hindi films scheduled to release on 18 Dec ‘ran away’ to avoid colliding with the release of the biggest film on earth, Avatar. With so much euphoria and curiosity surrounding the film, Avatar was expected to give a fascinating experience. Thankfully, it does! The film is not only a visual treat but is stunningly well made. A must watch for all those who love cinema!

The story of the movie: The year is 2154. A human corporation is assembled in a distant moon, Pandora, in order to colonize it and extract a precious mineral called unobtainium. Pandora is inhabited by strange looking people called Na’vi. The Na’vi are 9 feet in height, their skin is blue and they have tails too. Their way of life is primarily primitive but they reside in perfect harmony with the environment around them. The human researchers on Pandora, under Dr Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) manage to get the Na’vi DNA which enables any human to control and engineer Na’vi bodies of themselves which they called Avatars. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic ex-Marine is dispatched to Pandora and given opportunity to take over his dead twin brother’s place who was an integral part of the Avatar program. He also gets a chance to go through the program and live in the form of Na’vi Avatar. Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) promises Jake that his legs will be fixed if he manages to get information on Na’vi culture and win their trust which in turn will help the military unit. Soon, Jake’s avatar manages to become a member of the Na’vi clan and also falls for a female Na’vi Neyitri (Zoe Saldana), the daughter of the Na’vi chief. Gradually, Jake begins to love Na’vi lifestyle and starts considering as its own. But when the humans start attacking Na’vi to eliminate them, Jake gets in a dilemma as to whether he should be a part of his fellow humans and support their extreme colonization policies or help the Na’vi fight the humans.

Avatar is a masterpiece-no doubt in that! The film not only boasts of some mind-blowing special and visual effects, it has a nice story and execution too which is what makes the film immensely likeable. Moreover, the film is 160 mins long but the best part is that you won’t get bored even for a single moment. There are so many exciting things happening throughout the film that it’ll be difficult even to blink!

James Cameron uses a perfect way of storytelling. He first wonderfully acquainted us with the Na’vis, their way of life, their culture, lifestyle etc and made us fall in love with all these aspects so that our blood boils when the humans barbarously begin harming them later in the film. You rejoice when Na’vi counterattack and you get lump in your throat whenever Na’vi moan and cry helplessly. Thus, Avatar is more of an emotional flick at several points but it is this that will work big time across the world.

Another plus-point is the wonderful depiction of Pandora. It is just like Earth but in several ways, poles apart from our planet. The giant trees, the legendary floating mountains and the animals-the flying banshee and toruk, the strong direhorse, the ferocious thenator and hammerhead, the ugly viperwolf and the blue apes are an interesting watch.

Sam Worthington puts in a worthy performance. He was most impressive as the Na’vi. Zoe Saldana impresses the most with her exciting expressions throughout the film. Of course, it was the CGI that finally made them look wonderful and Na’vi-like. Other Na-vi characters which leave a mark are C C H Pounder (as the queen) and Laz Alonso (Tsu’Tey).

Sigouney Weaver pulled off the ‘I-care-a-damn’ attitude very well. Michelle Rodriguez looked amazing and comes with a brilliant performance. She looks cool navigating the airplane wearing aviator glasses! Stephen Lang perfectly essays the antagonist. The other antagonist Giovanni Ribisi (as Parker Selfridge) also leaves a mark. Others also do a great job.

James Horner’s music was haunting. Mauro Fiore’s cinematography was top-notch and it was nice to see new techniques adopted by the lensman for capturing scenes. Also, the modified 3D Fusion Camera system developed by Cameron and Vince Pace succeeded in providing a visual treat.

The film is nothing without the special effects, CGI and all other kinds of technological advances used in the film. It was undoubtedly a technological feat and also a paisa vasool experience for the viewers! Kudos to each and everyone who contributed in this department!

Finally, James Cameron, the writer and director of the film needs to be lauded for his outstanding work which was no easy task at all. Firstly, it requires vision to think of such a set-up. And it requires patience and meticulous task in executing the film. Cameron succeeds in each and every aspect of making Avatar. Also, he shrewdly and indirectly reminded us of US’ policies towards Iraq. The dialogue “If people are sitting on the $hit we want, you make them your enemies!” sums it up! And finally, what makes Avatar stand out from the rest of SFX films is that in the battle of alien v/s humans, here it is the aliens who finally triumph over the humans!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       Jake’s Avatar running from the beasts
2.       Jake and Neyitri meet for the first time
3.       Neyitri teaches Jake the Na’vi culture
4.       Jake gets his own banshee
5.       The human’s first round of attack on Na’vis
6.       Jake, Doc and other escape from detention
7.       The final 35 minutes

On the whole, Avatar is without a shred of doubt an outstanding flick in all respects. It boasts of some of the best special effects but at the same time, it has soul too. It has universal appeal and that’s why will succeed everywhere in the world. All movie freaks and even those who are not should not be missing Avatar at any cost. The 3D version will of course give you never before sensed experience but this film will be enjoyed in 2D too. JUST GO FOR IT!!

My rating-***** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Avatar-182387-1.html

Saturday 19th December 2008 09.00 IST

Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network

Avatar opened very well all over India and in all versions. It remains to be seen if it can match or surpass the business of 2012 which was released last month and emerged the biggest Hollywood hit ever in India.

Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year grossed a below expectations 14 crore nett approx over the first week. The film will earn for makers due to low costs but theatrical business is well below expectations. Eight day had low collections in most of the country.

Paa remained steady in week two with 7.75 crore nett approx in week two to take its total to around 24 crore nett after two weeks. The film should emerge a Semi Hit/Above Average fair but if it can bring in good collections after the release of Three Idiots it has chances to become a hit.

By Taran Adarsh, December 8, 2009 – 08:48 IST

Paa, 2012, DDD, Ajab Is the tide changing for better? Looks like! The last quarter of every year is most crucial, what with Diwali and Christmas being celebrated towards the final quarter of the year. This year was no different, with several biggies getting released in October and November.

WAKE UP SID and ALL THE BEST [in October], AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI, 2012 and DE DANA DAN [in November] and PAA [in the first week of December] have infused oxygen in the lungs of an ailing industry. While APKGK and 2012 are supreme hits, DE DANA DAN is scoring well at single screens. In fact, the second weekend of DDD has been equally strong in several circuits – Rajasthan Rs. 40.30 lacs, Bengal Rs. 18.73 lacs, Nizam Rs. 21 lacs, C.P. Berar Rs. 37.6 lacs, Mysore Rs. 18.61 lacs and C.I. Rs. 29.65 lacs.

As for PAA, the Monday business has been strong too. In fact, better than Friday at several screens. Here’s hoping ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR, AVATAR and 3 IDIOTS end the year on a prosperous note.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

BEYOND CRICKET: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh on future plans that just might include films

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 2, 2009)

This was a side of six-six-six king Yuvraj Singh that not many have seen. It was a picture perfect moment to see him, down on his knees to be the same height as the group of children around him, lost in a world that was just theirs and his for that short time. The ace cricketer, who is currently in the city for a match, took time out from his hectic practice schedule to spend an evening with kids with life-threatening illnesses from the NGO Make A Wish Foundation at an event hosted by the Yuvraj Singh Foundation. “Say cheese,” Yuvraj urges the kids to smile at the cameras. “This is the least I can do to fulfill the wishes of these children. I don’t have the power to give them a new life, but I can at least make their existing one a little bit better,” says Yuvraj, adding, “Besides, it’s always nice to be around children.”

Over to his other love – cricket. He’s ‘in form’ right now, scoring half-centuries and centuries in match after match. “These comments about being ‘in form’ and ‘out of form’ don’t bother me anymore. Of course, we go through our bad spells, we can’t be at our best at all times when we’re playing three different formats of the game!” Yuvraj states, matter-of-factly. Speaking of the three formats, which one suits him best? “Test cricket is the basic format of the game, unfortunately, I’ve not played much of it.” But he intends to do just that even as he aims to better himself and his game. “The goals I set are against myself, not against others. I constantly strive to beat myself. It’s hard work, but if you have focus, I believe you can reach for the stars,” Yuvraj says it like it is. And with a mentor like Sachin Tendulkar, it doesn’t look like it will be long before Yuvraj is one among the many cricketing stars in the Milky Cricket Way galaxy. “I always discuss my batting with Sachin and take his advice. Ponting’s a great batsman too, I love watching him bat,” says the humble Prince of Punjab. Where does he see himself 10 years from now? Still associated with cricket, getting into the business of restaurants like most of his teammates or attempting Bollywood? “I’ve never really given it a real thought. Business, nah, I don’t see myself doing that; Bollywood, hmm, well, you never know,” he chuckles, as though hiding something up his sleeve,” and then continues, “But after seeing 2012, I don’t think I’ll be here in 10 years!” (Contributed by Meena Iyer and Sharin Wader Butani)

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