Well begun is half done. If that’s true, year 2011 should be the best year for Bollywood. Every week of the first month of the new year has been throwing up pleasant surprises and matching box-office figures to make the films released that week earning propositions.
The very first release of 2011, No One Killed Jessica, has turned out to be a commission earner in spite of being a woman-centric film, that too, without a hero! In the second week came Yamla Pagla Deewana which set the box-office in North India on fire and is also doing well in the rest of India. The third week of January brought Aamir Khan’s Dhobi Ghat to the cinemas and because the film was made in a very controlled budget, it is turning out to be a comfortable earning proposition in spite of being one for the niche market only. This last week of the first month of 2011 has seen Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji opening at the cinemas and, going by the opening response and initial reports, it is also set to do good business.
Interestingly, at least two of these films – YPD and DTBHJ – had become profitable ventures for their producers even before release. The satellite rights of both the films had been sold at handsome prices (Rs. 16 crore approximately in each case). The producers of both the films had sold the distribution rights of most of the circuits to individual distributors rather than to one corporate house. Each of the distributors is also laughing all the way to the bank. Another notable point is that all the four films are medium-budgeted.
An interesting aspect of the successful films of January is that all the four are as different from one another as cheese from chalk. ‘No One Killed Jessica’ is a film inspired by a real-life incident. ‘Dhobi Ghat’ is like French cinema, very real, very open-ended, yet starring an A-list actor like Aamir Khan. ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’ is a comedy which targets the masses whereas ‘Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji’ is a romantic comedy aimed at the city audience.