Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bollywood attack!


About 250 films are scheduled to release in 2007. Are we ready for the deluge?

According to business figures, 2006 was the best year in the history of Bollywood. Banking on the boom, a record number of films (at least 250, say pundits) will release this year. Of which there are 43 prominent films — either produced by big banners or boasting large star-casts.

There are no dull periods in 2007. Producers earlier hesitated releasing films in February and March, (school and college exams!), yet caution is thrown to the wind as Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Eklavya’ and Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Nishabd’ get ready for Feb-March releases.

Yashraj Films is breaking their own record by releasing around seven films this year, of which six have already been launched.

However, trade analyst Amod Mehra is a little worried, “The boom is welcome, but so many films releasing at the same time might eat into each others’ market. I think producers are being too optimistic. It is however going to be a make or break year for Bollywood, since everything is going to be gigantic. Corporates are going to participate in a much bigger way and that should help the industry.”

Producer Viveck Vaswani agrees. “We’ve come a long way from the 70s when only 40 films were released annually. The volume is going to be huge this year, thanks to multiplexes. ‘Dhoom 2’ made about Rs 1 crore just from Nariman Point last year and 1.5 crores from the multiplexes in Andheri. My mother who once watched 8 films a year, is watching 20 because of the proximity of the theatres. There will also be a good balance since the number of super deluxe A grade movies won’t be as many, because big stars can only do limited ones.”

However, ‘Trade Guide’, editor Taran Adarsh says stars are not going to be the pull for the movies any longer.

“The emphasis is going to be on stories and scripts. Any film with a good story is going to work and that’s going to be the turning point of 2007.”

Suneel Darshan’s ‘Shaka Laka Boom Boom’ will release in April. He says it will be interesting to see if creativity will be sacrificed at the altar of quantity. “I am amazed that Mukta Arts is releasing four films in two months, UTV 8 films in 2 months. The numbers have more to do with new-age movies than big films.”

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