Saving the best for last?
To explore the expectations of this last quarter, BOI spoke to filmmakers as well as prominent distributors and exhibitors who shared their excitement over the remaining releases of 2018
The film world is mercurial and whimsical, with ups and downs being par for the course. But the last three quarters of this year have been about success, success and more success. People who know about the business of cinema predict what the next three months will bring… People say that some years bring luck with them and 2018 is surely one of those. From the beginning of this year we have seen the film industry release one hit after another. Several different flavours of films have worked, regardless of the star cast and their scale.
The historical opus called Padmaavat was followed by big ticket films like Pad Man, Sanju, Dhadak, Baaghi 2, Veere Di Wedding, GOLD, Satyameva Jayate, Race 3 and many others. Then there were jewels that shone so brightly that they dimmed the light of others – like Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Raid, Hichki, 102 Not Out, Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran, Raazi, Soorma and Karwaan.
The now underway final quarter of this year shows even more potential with some of the biggest releases of recent times in Aamir Khan-Amitabh Bachchan's Thugs Of Hindostan, the fun ensemble of Total Dhamaal, South superstar Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar's larger-than-life 2.0, Shah Rukh Khan's much awaited Zero and finally Rohit Shetty's action-packed commercial entertainer Simmba. To explore the expectations of this last quarter, we spoke to filmmakers as well as prominent distributors and exhibitors.
Mukesh Bhatt, Producer
All the films that have come, they are fresh in content and have a new narrative that will appeal to the audience, because the audience has changed. If content creators do not change with the change in audience taste, they cannot survive. Always, the content that has a new narrative will succeed, because the cinema going audience has not completely changed. You have to bring in a change in your narrative. I am looking forward to my own film Jalebi, as it has content that is different and fresh. Fortunately, this film has a very strong and a different narrative. When you see Jalebi, you will know what I mean. This is a film that you have never seen before in the industry. It's a new narrative, a new kind of story. Apart from Jalebi, Badhaai Ho will also be an interesting concept. These kinds of films will work.
Bhushan Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, T-Series
New stories are working. People are taking chances. Fresh faces have worked. Mainstream has gone experimental, which is fantastic. We pushed those boundaries last year with Hindi Medium and Tumhari Sulu and this year with Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Raid. The next three months look exciting. To me, Thugs Of Hindostan looks very promising. It's a totally new take on the Indian freedom struggle and as a fan of Mr Bachchan and Aamir Khan, I am eagerly waiting to see this film.
With these two powerhouse performers, it is guaranteed to be a spectacular show. I am also looking forward to seeing Shah Rukh Khan in Zero. Total Dhamaal will be totally worth it for the laughs it promises.
There is also Rohit Shetty's Simmba, which will pack in dhamakedaar masala entertainment.
Where big budget films are concerned, those films that continue to push the envelope will work. From what I know, the Badhaai Ho trailer is rocking social media because it is an unusual, quirky subject. Sahi mainon mein it's a bold subject, hatke subject.
Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios
2018 has been the most eventful year for Bollywood in recent times with one blockbuster every month! More importantly, this year the industry witnessed successful diverse content – from action to romance, comedy to horror. And what made it special was that exciting content was backed with strong and effective marketing which was clutter breaking. This year at Fox Star Studios, we have had a very successful journey with two massive blockbuster hits – Baaghi 2 and Sanju. Baaghi 2 broke many records and emerged as the highest grosser for Tiger Shroff and Sanju became third highest All time grossing Bollywood film!
As we are entering the last quarter of the year, we, at Fox Star Studios, are gearing up for the release of one of the most loved comedy franchise – Total Dhamaal in early December. With a great ensemble cast of Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jafferi, this will be our first collaboration with the hit-makers Ashok Thakeria and Indra Kumar. Also, looking forward to Thugs Of Hindostan, Zero and Simmba and an overall gigantic year for Hindi films at the box office!
Raj Nidimoru, Writer-Producer-Director
There is still an exciting quarter left. I feel that this year will be remembered as the year of the underdog. Some unexpected films performed very well at the box office, which is a great thing. So we have a wider selection of movies to make in the next year. There are quite a few films that I am looking forward to. I would love to watch Zero; I am really looking forward to it. I also want to watch this small film that is coming up called Tumbbad. I have seen a few trailers, but I do not know if those films are coming out this year or next year. Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi looks really good. There are a few others that look quite exciting. The last quarter has a wide variety of films coming up. I think 2018 got lucky. Last year, filmmakers tried all kinds of cinema. Some did not work, some worked. It happens to be this year versus last year. I do not think there has been a big difference in the approach as such. It is the same set of filmmakers and the same set of films for both these years, but they got lucky this year.
Milap Zaveri, Writer-Director
I have very high expectations because I think already this quarter has begun with a bang with Sui Dhaaga – Made In India. The film is doing such great business. Also, we have some very exciting films coming up. There is Badhaai Ho, Namaste England and Baazaar this month, which are very interesting. Baazaar has Saif Ali Khan in a different avatar and we have not seen him like this in a long time. Namaste England has the hit pair of Ishaqzaade. Then there is 2.0, which is another humongous film; then Total Dhamaal, which is one of the biggest comedy franchises in India. Then there is Zero with Shah Rukh Khan and Aanand L Rai who is such a great director.
Year 2018 has been so great for the industry because content has clicked with the audience. Films that have worked were made for their target audiences. A Parmanu or a Raazi was made for a certain kind of audience. These films are more real, more intellectual and have that kind of sensibility. Big actors, filmmakers who have tasted failure in the past – they have bounced back this year very strongly because they have been honest to whatever they wanted to do. It is a great year for content, as every genre has worked well. Especially in a year when people said that digital will take over cinema, cinema has been an eye opener.
Nandu Ahuja, Sr VP India Theatrical, Eros International
The year 2018 has seen audiences giving a big thumbs up to movies with content. Films with good stories and great entertainment value have worked big time. The industry is excited for some big-ticket movies hitting the screens this year end; we should end this year with a blockbuster. We also have an interesting mix of cinema to offer the audience in this quarter, be it the horror fantasy Tumbbad or the Marathi sequel Boyz 2, which is one of the highly anticipated regional movies. We are giving movie goers something different to watch instead of the regular fare.