Film frat gives its verdict on next big Bollywood blockbuster

MUMBAI: Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer Singh Is Kinng stormed the box office on 8 August, 2008 and went on to collect Rs 595 million (Rs 59.5 crores) over the weekend. The film took the biggest ever opening in the history of Indian cinema, breaking all previous records of Om Shanti Om in 2007 and Dhoom:2 in 2006.

Singh Is Kinng has undoubtedly set new benchmarks for weekend performance and its first week worldwide collections stand at Rs 900 million (Rs 90 crores). Now bets are high on the next big box office blockbuster.

Businessofcinema.com queried various filmmakers about their gut feeling on the next big film in terms of collections. Some said Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which brings together Shah Rukh Khan, Aditya Chopra and Yash Raj Films; other put their money on Ghajini starring Aamir Khan, which has been acquired by Studio 18 for domestic distribution and has huge amount of money riding on it, and yet some others have full faith in Chandni Chowk To China, which is Akshay Kumar’s next after Singh is Kinng where he’s paired opposite Deepika Padukone.

While some filmmakers reserved their opinion and refused to be drawn into making a definitive comment; a few resorted to giving "politically correct" answers.

Read on to know more…

Nikhil Advani: Apart from Chandni Chowk To China, there is Ghajini and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Singh is Kinng did the kind of business it did because of the way Studio 18 released it, so a lot depends on the strategy as well. Yash Raj does not release their films in a similar fashion; they are a little more conventional. However, I think it will be either of these movies only.

Anees Bazmee: There are three – four big films like Drona, Ghajini and Chandni Chowk To China. A lot depends on the marketing and promotions of movies. Singh is Kinng also got a great push because of the fiasco in the Parliament. Sometimes 15 days can be enough to drive audiences to theatres and sometime even three months are not enough.

Farah Khan: I do not understand numbers like producers do. So I cannot predict. Moreover, even if I want to say anything I cannot.

Sanjay Gadhvi: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, because it has the lethal combination of Shah Rukh Khan and Aditya Chopra.

Anubhav Sinha: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, because it brings together the deadliest combination of Khan, Chopra and Yash Raj Films. Nothing can get bigger than this.

Kunal Kohli: If I name any film just like that then I might end up upsetting a friend. Moreover, things like these cannot be predicted.

Madhur Bhandarkar: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini as they have big stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. I think these two films are bound to take a terrific opening.

Sajid Khan: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Chandni Chowk To China and Ghajini look good, but I think Kambakkht Ishq will be the biggest. I am not saying this because Sajid Nadiadwala is a friend but because I know the scale of this film. It is being shot in Hollywood and Sylvester Stallone has performed never seen before action stunts in it.

It is good how films like Om Shanti Om, Dhoom:2 and Singh Is Kinng are opening gateways for films in future and the opening weekend collection of Singh Is Kinng is the total business that most other films do.

Boney Kapoor: It will be It’s My Life directed by Bazmee.

We question: What if you were to select a film other than your home production?
Pokhiri, with Salman Khan in it!

We repeat: What if you were to select a film other than your home production?
Why can’t Pokhiri do that kind of business? It can! If I were to select a film outside of my banner, then I think it will be Yuvraaj as it brings Salman Khan and Subhash Ghai together and it will be phenomenal.

Rohan Sippy: It is good to see the way distribution and marketing is evolving in Bollywood. The initial six months of 2008 were bad, so now I hope every film does well as it will be good for the industry. I think Chandni Chowk To China will take the next big opening.

What if you were to select a film other than your home production?
I do not think I am entitled to speak about any other film other than Chandni Chowk To China.

Rajkumar Santoshi: I have not seen Singh is Kinng so it will be tough to answer this question. Look what had happened to Tashan, which also had Kumar in it. It is very difficult to say anything about a film’s potential business without even seeing it.

Ratan Jain: This question is a little difficult to answer without having a look at the publicity of any movie. However, I think Chandni Chowk To China will be the next big blockbuster after Singh Is Kinng and what reaffirms my answer is the fact that I have seen Chandni Chowk’s publicity material and it looks exciting.

A right mix of script, star cast, director, producer, distributor, and marketing is what it will take to break this record of Rs 595 million. Will it be Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ghajini, Chandni Chowk To China, Pokiri, Drona, Yuvraaj, Kambakkht Ishq or may be some other film altogether? Only time will tell…

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