Festive rethink to Bolly benchmarks
It is always the winter of content as far as Bollywood is concerned. With big releases slated to coincide with the festive season, our film industry in Mumbai has always played it safe, banking on the cheerful and celebratory mood to ferry its multi-starrer cinematic extravaganzas to beyond the river of odds, to become unimaginable blockbusters, each dethroning the previous superhit as the highest grosser. Now that the latest filmic kid in the block Dhoom-3 has managed to garner record opening day collection, surpassing its antecedents in Chennai Express and Krrish 3, one does wonder if the Bollywood benchmark, that of breaking the Rs 100 crore threshold, is the only yardstick left to this gargantuan centre of cinema production and consumption. Dhoom-3, the Aamir Khan starrer in the same franchise, has reportedly gone ahead of its starrier brethren and amassed Rs 36 crores on its opening day, collecting another Rs 37.75 crores on the following day of the weekend, and along with its Telegu and Tamil dubbed versions, has already crossed Rs 107 crores at the domestic box office. At this rate, whether a film is a superhit, a sleeper hit or a superflop is practically estimated in less than a week since its release, thanks to the unprecedentedly wide-scale openings that they get, particularly the big budget ones. In fact, as the inner circuit of the Mumbai film industry already puts it, Rs 100 crore is an old boys club of the three Khans – Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir – and perhaps the second-order heroes (rarely does a heroine feature in this discussion centering on pure economics of raw male muscle and six or eight packs) can pull off a hit that breaches this mark, though amongst the Khans, this is already a matter of the past. It is, therefore, a huge pity that we are now left with this single benchmark to judge almost every film.