Bollywood roars during festivals

Cast of ‘Happy New Year’ from left, Vivaan Shah, Sonu Sood, Shah Rukh Khan, director Farha Khan, and Boman Irani.

Cast of ‘Happy New Year’ from left, Vivaan Shah, Sonu Sood, Shah Rukh Khan, director Farha Khan, and Boman Irani.

Festivals are boom-time for Bollywood movies. Tinsel town typically gears up to take movie buffs on a roller-coaster ride during this time. And, you cannot hold back when the filmi big daddies zero in to woo you during the festive-freaky-fridays.

Most of the films released this time turn out to be top grossers of B-town. This sharpens the belief that festival times are big money spinners. Diwali is considered to be the best time for big ticket films. Come Diwali, and you can surely find a Shah Rukh Khan release. In fact, Khan is said to be synonymous with the festival of lights. His films — ‘Veer-Zaara’, ‘Ra.One’ and ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ all struck box-office gold. This trend has been going on for a long time now and dates back to Nov. 12, 1993 when King Khan’s ‘Baazigar’ released. SRK’s rendezvous with Diwali has indeed brought the superstar super luck.

So, no one messes with Shah Rukh Khan on a Diwali weekend. Not even filmiland’s first family. If you remember, Ranbir Kapoor’s debut film, ‘Saawariya’, clashed with Khan’s ‘Om Shanti Om’, directed by Farah Khan during the Diwali weekend. Sure, Kapoor got good reviews from critics, but ‘Saawariya’ was beaten hollow by ‘Om Shanti Om’. We can recall, that Diwali also saw the debuts of Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor. Now Deepika was hoping she could recreate the magic of ‘Om Shanti Om’ with Khan, with this year’s Diwali multi-starrer release, ‘Happy New Year’. And, by the looks of how the movie is faring at the box office, she is not far from achieving just that!

Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ has broken all first-day records and made Rs. 45 crore — Rs. 42. 62 crore in Hindi, Rs. 1.43 crore in Telugu and Rs. 92 lakhs in Tamil — Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh has tweeted. Aamir Khan’s ‘Dhoom 3’ was the last big opener with Rs. 36.32 crore while Shah Rukh’s ‘Chennai Express’ made 33.12 crore.

Not just that, this year’s Diwali has also witnessed the release of its most expensive film till date — noted South Indian director S Shankar’s Ai (or ‘I’). Made at an estimated Rs 185 crore, the Vikram-Amy Jackson starrer beats ‘Dhoom 3’, ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Robot’ (Enthiran in Tamil) and ‘Krrish 3’ when it comes to total production cost.

There are also other festivals and national holidays too, which witness bumper releases.

Festivals like Christmas have also clicked with Bollywood biggies. With ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Taare Zameen Par’, Aamir Khan proved that Christmas is no less a good week to release films. Christmas has indeed been the most lucrative period. From ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Welcome’ to ‘Dabangg’ and ‘Dhoom 3’, all films that released during this time emerged big hits!

Ditto Salman Khan, starting with ‘Wanted’ and ‘Dabangg’. Eid has undoubtedly emerged as a huge business season for Bollywood. The Khans love this date, as it has always worked in their favor.

2013 marked the entry of another Khan on Eid. Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Chennai Express’ broke all records and turned out to be one of the highest grosser of all times. This also marked the entry of the ‘200 Crore Club’ in Bollywood. Salman Khan’s ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ released on Aug. 15, 2012 cashed in on the sizzling chemistry between Salman and Katrina. Again, he broke all records, even the one made by his own movie – ‘Bodyguard’. ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, a psychological thriller swept all BO records too, with Vidya Balan’s stunning act with Akshay Kumar in tow.

Considering that a national holiday boosts the opening numbers in a big way, a new trend sparked off — when release dates were being announced even while the scripts are being finalized!

Besides the three festivals, movies released during the Indian Republic Day weekend, Independence Day, Pre-IPl (Indian Premiere League) and Post IPL days also do well.


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