Home > industry > media > What’s in store for Bollywood after ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’?

New Delhi: The Eid release on Friday of the Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan is only the first in a string of highly anticipated Bollywood movies set to hit the screens in the second half of the year, with a combined 400 crore riding on them, according to trade analyst and film critic Taran Adarsh.

At least some of the two dozen releases need to succeed big time if the Mumbai movie industry is to top, or even equal, the 2,960 crore in revenue—as per Bollywood website koimoi.com—that it earned at the box-office last year.

In the first half of 2015, Hindi films earned a collective 1,060 crore—a drop of 91 crore from the same period a year ago. The three big box-office hits so far have been Tanu Weds Manu Returns, ABCD 2 and Baby, which earned 150.77 crore, 105.74 crore and 95.50 crore, respectively, in all-India net collections, according to koimoi.com.

That doesn’t include the collections of the Hindi version of S.S. Rajamouli’s blockbuster Baahubali, a period action adventure that earned 255 crore at the box-office worldwide in its first week, after releasing on 10 July. The movie was made in Telugu and Tamil, and dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam.

Hindi movies lined up for release in the second half of 2015 look promising, said Mumbai-based film distributor Anil Thadani.

“The thrill begins with Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Then there’s so much to look forward to—from a big Salman Khan release for Diwali (Prem Ratan Dhan Payo) to a small but beautiful film called Masaan starring Richa Chadda next week. Plus there are some clashes happening—Bangistan and Drishyam release on the same day, for instance. It’s a great package," Thadani said.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan, produced by Salman Khan and Rockline Venkatesh and directed by Kabir Khan, released on Friday. It’s the story of a Pakistani child who is lost in India and is taken back to her home by a good-hearted do-gooder played by Salman Khan, each of whose last seven films earned more than 100 crore.

“I’m extremely confident about the revenues for the second half of 2015," said Adarsh. “Several biggies are lined up. More screens have come up too. Plus, the content looks promising," he added.

Releasing on 31 July is the Hindi remake of the acclaimed Malayalam family thriller film Drishyam (titled Papanasam in its Tamil version). Drishyam, made at a cost of 42 crore, has been produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures in association with Panorama Studios and features Ajay Devgn and Tabu.

“We have complete belief that Drishyam will make a mark," said Ajit Andhare, chief operating officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures. “What makes it special is that it combines a great story and star appeal. It’s also a rare thriller that the entire family can watch together."

In its Tamil and Malayalam versions, Drishyam collected 40 crore and 56 crore, respectively.

Karan Johar’s action drama Brothers, starring Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra and directed by Karan Malhotra, releases on 21 August.

In October, movie fans will be spoilt for choice. Films set for release in the month are Vikas Bahl’s wedding saga Shandaar (starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt), Aishwarya Rai’s comeback film Jazbaa and Akshay Kumar’s Singh Is Bling. Sooraj Barjatya’s family drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, featuring Sonam Kapoor alongside Salman Khan, will hit the screens in November.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic period romance Bajirao Mastani, made at a cost of 210 crore, and the much-delayed Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif starrer Jagga Jasoos will release in December. The industry is also banking on Rohit Shetty’s Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol Christmas release Dilwale.

Movies like Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Baahubali have proven a point by doing well not just within the country but overseas as well, said Thadani.

“Of course, star power counts in the foreign territories. But these examples show that content is king," he added.

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