Bollywood 2011: Masala films rake in the moolah

Mumbai: It was a return of masala fare with two Salman Khan starrers `Bodyguard` and `Ready` in the year 2011. Both films lacked water tight scripts but worked due to brand `Salman`, his typical one liners and songs like `Character Dheela Hai` and `Dhinka Chika`.

`Ready` opened to a overwhelming response on June 3. Reportedly, the movie, made with a budget of Rs 40 crore, went on to earn around Rs 179 crore in approximately six weeks.

Next `Bodyguard` released on Eid, a festival which has always proved lucky for Salman. The film grossed approximately Rs 229 crore worldwide and emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2011.

Thanks to Salman, `Bodyguard` heroine Kareena Kapoor continued to reign among actresses and South star Asin could also register a hit film with `Ready`.

Like Salman, even Ajay Devgn roared at the Box Office with `Singham` directed by Rohit Shetty, which made around Rs 150 crore in approximately six weeks.

"It was return of the 70`s and 80`s with action-masala films like `Bodyguard`, `Singham`, `Ready` doing well. The formula of action, packed with other elements like romance, family, drama, emotions is working. Approximately 90 per cent of the films failed this year, with lot of top actors disappointing audiences," trade analyst Vinod Mirani told reporters.

And among top names disappointing audiences comes actress Rani Mukherjee whose journalist act in `No One Killed Jessica`, the first release of 2011, failed to find takers. To make the mega-budget `Ra.One` a cracker of a Diwali release Shahrukh Khan went on a marketing blitzkrieg, innovatively promoting the film on all possible platforms besides collaborating with over 25 brands to grab eyeballs and recover the huge investment. The film garnered moderate response.

For Aamir Khan, 2011 was a mix of good and bad. His home production `Dhobi Ghaat` directed by wife Kiran Rao, which had his first appearance after `3 Idiots`, failed to garner attention.

But his next home production `Delhi Belly` starring Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan and Shenaz Treasurywala, was a hit. Aamir even turned `item boy` for a song `I hate you... like I like love you`.

Priyanka Chopra`s `7 Khoon Maaf` and Shahid Kapoor`s `Mausam` showed promise but failed to deliver.

The list continues with Sanjay Leela Bhansali`s home production `My Friend Pinto`, Ranbir Kapoor`s much-anticipated `Rockstar` and David Dhawan`s comic caper `Rascals`.

Abhishek Bachchan this year too had a disappointing run with `Game` and `Dum Maro Dum`. Even megastar Amitabh Bachchan`s `Bbuddah... Hoga Terra Baap` did not see success, nor did his `Aarakshan` directed by Prakash Jha.

Veteran actress Hema Malini`s home production `Tell Me O Khuda` was a comeback movie for daughter Esha Deol but it sank without a trace.

The list of flop films continued with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra`s `Teen Thay Bhai`, Anees Bazmee`s multi-starrer film `Thank You` and Nikhil Advani directed `Patiala House`.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, who shifted gears from realism to romantic-comedy with his film `Dil Toh Baccha Hai Jee`, couldn`t weave the same magic at the box office like his previous films `Fashion` and `Page 3`.

"Films with big names did not do well like Ra.One, 7 Khoon Maaf, Aarakshan, Game, Dum Maro Dum, Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap, Tell Me O Khuda, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. How much ever promotion one does, a film cannot become a hit or flop on the basis of poor or great marketing strategy," Mirani said.

`Yamla Pagla Deewana`, a comedy, which marked the return of the Deols - Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby after `Apne`, was declared a hit at the box office.

R Madhavan-Kangana Ranaut starrer `Tanu Weds Manu` was a surprise package. Even the voluptuous Vidya Balan managed to punch a hit with `The Dirty Picture`.

John Abraham followed in the footsteps of foe-turned-friend Salman by getting into the action mode with `Force`, which had a good run at the BO.

Zoya Akhtar`s `Zindagi Na Miledi Dobara` was a commercial and critical success.

"Every year there are hits and flops. But one good thing for the industry is that movies of different genres did well, it was not restricted to just one. Films like Bodyguard, Ready, Singham, The Dirty Picture, Delhi Belly and others showed that audience is open to range of different movies,"Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV Motion Pictures, told PTI.

Cashing in on the success of originals, sequels to `Bheja Fry`, `Dhamaal` and `Murder 2` did moderately well.

In the offing is Shahrukh Khan starrer `Don 2 - The King is Back`, an action thriller and sequel to Farhan Akhtar`s 2006 film. The sequel is slated for a release in December 23.

Small budget movies like Ekta Kapoor`s `Ragini MMS`, Vikram Bhatt`s 3D horror film, `Haunted`, actress Lara Dutta`s maiden home production, `Challo Dilli` and Luv Ranjan`s `Pyaar Ka Punchnama` managed to please select audiences.


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