Excel Entertainment was founded by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar in 1999 and together they churned out first film under their production banner, Dil Chahta Hai that achieved the status of a cult classic.
After that this leading production house has given 16 films ranging from ‘Lakshya’, a coming of age film set against the 1999 Kargil War, ‘Don’ remake of the 1978 thriller, and ‘Honey Moon Travels Pvt Ltd’ a light hearted bittersweet comedy surrounding newly married couple and their struggles. The others include – Rock On, Luck By Chance, Karthik Calling Karthik, Game, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Don 2, Talaash, Fukrey, Dil Dhadakne Do, Bangistan, Baar Baar Dekho and Rock On 2.
Movies like Dil Chahta Hai, Rock On, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhakane Do were movies that were well received, but never did supremely well in box-office in terms of revenue numbers. Despite having A-list actors and actresses like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar himself, their numbers at box-office pretty much remained the same.
Have you ever wondered why these films despite having popular star cast, amazing locations and strong storyline have failed to perform tremendously well at the box-office?
Maybe it’s because the stories they tell do not appeal to the Indian masses. Whether it was touching the topic of homosexuality in 2007 in Honey Moon Travels Pvt Ltd or making a psychological thriller like Karthik Calling Karthik or 3 friends randomly taking off to exotic Spain locations on a bachelor trip in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or a dysfunctional super-rich family who take a cruise trip to celebrate parent’s anniversary.
Though the concepts of the movies were fresh and untouched in Indian cinema, they failed to appeal to the masses. There are in Hindi language and hence fall in the category of ‘Hindi cinema’, but they are far from that. They are not usual Hindi movies that Indian audiences go to a theatre for and like to watch.
Their next movie is Raees. It is based in Gujarat, India. Going by all the theatrical promos and dialogue promos, the character played by SRK looks appealing and the kind that most Indian audiences can relate to. Will this movie prove game changing for Excel?
The movies that are made ahead of time usually don’t do well at box-office but are immortalized through generations later. But this is not enough for a production house to do well. If they want to keep going, they need to make cinema that is more general and appealing. Value of good cinema is often judged by the revenue it collects.
Recently, it was also reported that Excel Entertainment had to shut down their preview theatre, Lighthouse (insert the article link) because of financial crunch.
Let’s hope that experiment cinema like ‘Barfi’ which worked for Indian audiences, some of the movies like Dil Chahta Hai and Taalash also works.