Despite losses, Bollywood has a decent run in the first half of 2011

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 16, 2011 18:40 hrs

As the curtains come down on a rollercoaster first half of the year, there seems to be a wave of satisfaction in Bollywood. With the cricket fever gripping the masses, taking a heavy toll on box-office collections, and no big-banner releases, the awry script seems to have had a happy ending.

To the bean counter, the first half of 2011 saw investments of Rs 300-350 crore in the Hindi film industry, compared to Rs 600 crore in 2010. According to film trade analysts, “the losses have been roughly of Rs 150 crore this year, compared with Rs 300 crore last year”.

“It was a bad season for Bollywood, but, compared to the past few years, I would say it was a good first half, with some interesting films being released. The industry was aware that films would suffer with cricket reigning for as long as three months, so this much loss was expected,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Movie  Production/Distribution Collections (Rs cr)
Ready Sohail Khan Productions/Tseries 120
Yamla Pagla Deewana Top Angle Productions 55
Double Dhamaal Reliance Entertainment 46
Tanu Weds Manu Viacom 18 Motion Pictures 38.75
No One Killed Jessica UTV Motion Pictures 29.25
* Source: Bollywood Hungama

Of the 47 releases in the first half, about 11 have been declared hits, while one — Salman Khan-starrer Ready — has been tagged superhit. Last year, between January and June , there had been 70 film releases, of which only four had been hits. Failure of big-budget movies hit the industry hard. Some like Hrithik Roshan-starrer Kites, Raavan featuring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shahid Kapur’s Chance Pe Dance, Amitabh Bachchan-starrers Rann and Teen Patti, Salman Khan’s Veer, Pyaar Impossible and Prince turned out to be box-office duds.

“The first six months have been unique. We had back-to-back cricket tournaments, including the world cup that India won, yet the industry has done commendable business,” says UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapoor.

Among the money spinners of the first six months have been Salman Khan’s Ready — leading the pack with Rs 120 crore — and Reliance Big Pictures’s Double Dhaamal with a collection of Rs 46 crore so far. Other prominent movies include Yamla Pagla Deewana (Rs 55 crore), Viacom18 Motion Pictures’s Tanu Weds Manu (Rs 38.75 crore), Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted 3D (Rs 26.25 crore) and UTV Motion Pictures’ No One Killed Jessica (Rs 29.25 crore).

The silver lining in the cloud was that low-budget films with strong storylines, such as Shaitan, Pyaar ka Panchnama, Dhobi Ghat and Ragini MMS, did quite well.

“Ready and Double Dhamaal were a breather for the industry, which had seen a long drought at the box-office,” says a senior multiplex official.

From the point of view of multiplexes, the January-March quarter had been distaourous, with most of them reporting huge decline in their profits. For instance, Cinemax posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 2.17 crore for the quarter, compared to a net profit of Rs 4.44 crore in the same period the previous year.

However, a string of Hollywood movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast & Furious 5, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Hangover 2 kept multiplexes’ cash registers ringing.

Hopes are now pinned on the second half, which has stated on a good note with Aamir Khan’s Delhi Belly, Amitabh Bachchan’s Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap, Mahesh Bhatt’s Murder 2 and Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara starring Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akthar doing good business.

The other key releases the industry is looking forward to are Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan (August 12), Rohit Shetty’s Singham remake with Ajay Devgn (July 22), Reliance BIG Pictures’ Bodyguard starring Salman Khan (August 31), Imtiaz Ali’s Rock Star (September 9), Yash Raj Films’

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One around Diwali.

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