It is time to evaluate the first half of the year 2018. It has been a mixed bag which is usual what with various exams, IPL and such deterrents. Also, as usual, some films are media made hits while the others are real box office hits.
As usual, controversies did surround certain films. Padmaavat for example went through a trial by mobs, was not allowed to be released in four states. But, after postponements, the makers decided to go ahead, release the film and be done with it. That automatically killed the controversy, and luckily, not the film’s prospects. The film went on to do healthy business at the Indian box office alone. The groups that created the controversy and kept it in the headlines, must be thanked.
The other film, Sanju, was the one most awaited because it promised to reveal all the shady sides of Sanjay Dutt’s life. There was no controversy about the film before its release. It started after the film released since not only did reveal no shady sides of the star. It, in fact, glorified him, his life and the film came across as more of a PR exercise to cleanse his image. As it were, our folks are generous with forgiving celebrities and more so when it comes to Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan; Shiny Ahuja, accused of allegedly raping his maid servant, was not so lucky!
Padmaavat and Sanju have both proved to be huge hits and Sanju collections seem on the way to better some of the biggest hits. Ranbir Kapoor is being acclaimed for his performance but, wouldn’t it actually amount to mimicking or imitating a living role model? (I had one suggestion though. Ranbir’s voice should have been dubbed by Sanjay Dutt but never got around to tell the makers to try it out.}
Sanju can be termed as an accidental hit. You can’t define its genre or the purpose nor the message! Ranbir is one of those who also enjoys a lot of sympathy from public, thanks mainly to the goodwill of his parents and khaandaan. Yet, the kind of business it is doing is mystifying. Because, even while moviegoers criticise the film, they flock to watch it!
Anyways, whatever works at the box office is what counts.
But, the first half of the year also saw some genuine hits. Small films which made it bring. Who expected a new boy in town, Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 2 and Ali Bhatt’s woman oriented film, Raazi, to capture the box office to become big blockbusters? Nobody. And, not to forget the scale and the budgets involved which are a fraction of films with big stars.
The two other films which come after Raazi and Baaghi 2 were Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Veere Di Wedding. Both went well with youth and did well at the box office.
They all counted on films like Race3, the trade as well as the multiplexes. So it seemed. But, as it turned out, they were counting mainly on the Eid weekend and the Salman Khan draw. The film turned out to be the only major disappointment of the first half of the year.
Two female actors forayed in to what one may term as catering to the awards gallery. While, Anushka Sharma’s Pari failed to make an impact, the surprise success was Rani Mukerji’s Hichki. The actress came back with a challenging subject and delivered a hit besides earning acclaim.
The two actors who have taken to making purposeful films with social issues, Akshay Kumar and John Abraham made Pad Man and Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran and survived to count the cash with genres that don’t usually find a ready audience.
Ajay Devgn stuck to his usual genre of anti-establishment films with Raid. The ambience presently is not quite meant for such a theme and, what is more, the story was based on a case of an income tax raid in 1980. That an income tax office in 1980 was honest and daring, fine. Hardly appealing today. The film remained average.
A film from which one had lot of hopes as it brought together Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor as a father and son duo in the Hindi remake of the Gujarati play, 102 Not Out, with the same title. Appreciated by a section, its commercial performance remained limited.
The year so far saw the release of about 60 films. Except those mentioned here, rest were also ran.
@ The Box Office
*It has been the Sanju fortnight all the way. No new release was due as the film would occupy the film for a couple of weeks. The film has done so grandly. The film crossed the 100 crore mark during its first weekend and went ton to cross the 200 crore mark by the end of its opening week.
The film has been holding well during its week two and should end it at the touching distance of 300 crore.
*Race was out of contention despite its two-week open run soon as Sanju released. The film managed to add just about Crore to take its three week total to over 167 crore.