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The Final Countdown

Just how much of a firecracker will the last quarter of 2016 be? Here’s what the trade expects

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In a few weeks from now, we will kick off the fourth and final quarter of the year 2016, and it’s time to gauge how the Hindi film industry will perform in the closing innings of the year. Given that we are the biggest film industry in the world, the nine months so far, between January and September, have been choc-a-bloc with releases.

The fortunes of first nine months depended mainly on content-rich films, which fared well at the box office. There was a great mix of genres, from women-centric films to out-and-out, male-dominated action flicks, from comedy to action, romance to drama.

Our audience not only enjoyed Hindi releases but also revelled in a few Hollywood films along with a handful of regional releases thrown in. However, the industry hopes to see some really big numbers during the last and most festive quarter of the year.

From October to December, there is a strong arsenal of biggies waiting to be unleashed on the silver screen. October will see an interesting mix of content at the box office, with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya introducing Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, releasing on October 7, along with Soha Ali Khan-Vir Das starrer 31st October, and Sonu Sood’s maiden production Tutak Tutak Tutiya, featuring Sood along with Prabhudheva and Tamannaah.

Come October 14 and the ticket windows will tempt with five releases – Mahayoddha Ram, Motu Patlu King Of Kings, Ek Tera Sath, Gandhigiri and Sanjeev Sharma’s Saat Uchakkey which has an ensemble cast comprising Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher and Kay Kay Menon.

October 21 has no films set to release as yet but the following week has not one but two of the most anticipated films releasing. October 28 will see Ajay Devgn’s magnum opus Shivaay hitting the big screen along with Karan Johar’s multistarrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Both films will enjoy the Diwali festivities surrounding their release.

The first week of November has no film set to release, thus giving Shivaay and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil a clean two-week run at the box office. However, November is a month of sequels, with Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Rampal’s Rock On 2, a sequel to the 2008 film of the same name releasing alongside Harry Baweja’s animated feature Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise Of Banda Singh Bahadur, a sequel to 2014’s Chaar Sahibzaade.

November 18 will see two more sequels – Anubhav Sinha’s Tum Bin 2 and John Abraham and Sonakshi Sinha’s Force 2. November 25 will see Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt’s Dear Zindagi directed by Gauri Shinde, and Vidya Balan’s Kahaani 2 directed by Sujoy Ghosh.

December will start with the release of  T-Series’ Wajah Tum Ho. Aditya Chopra’s Befikre featuring Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor will hit the screens on December 9. The month of December and the year 2016 will conclude with Aamir Khan’s Dangal, releasing on the Christmas weekend, December 23.

Here’s what the industry had to say about their expectations of the last quarter of 2016.

 

amrita-pandeyAmrita Pandey, Vice President, Studios, Disney India

As we know, the last three months of any year are the festive season not just in India but all over the world. It’s also a period when some of the most-awaited films are slated for release. The most-awaited movie of the year is Disney and Aamir Khan Production’s Dangal, starring Aamir Khan as the real-life wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, directed by Nitesh Tiwari. Given the overwhelming response to the first poster, we too can’t wait for the audience to watch it. While Dangal releases towards the end of December, on 23rd, we have an equally exciting line-up of films before it too. The month of October kicks off with Disney’s Queen of Katwe (releases on 7th Oct.), which is a truly inspiring story about a real-life chess champion girl from the streets of rural Uganda, this one is directed by Mira Nair and has just received a truly warm reception at the Toronto Film Festival. After the heartwarming start, we have Marvel’s Doctor Strange (releases on 4th Nov.) with Benedict Cumberbatch in lead role. The movie introduces the masses to yet another superhero, the Sorcerer Supreme. The fun, uplifting ride with Disney’s Moana also coming up this quarter, a movie about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. The male lead character who is a tattooed demigod is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ! And then we have Lucas Films’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (releases 16th Dec), in which a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. With such a diverse and exciting line-up of releases, we are hoping we will end 2016 with a bang

 

nandu-ahuja-erosNandu Ahuja, Senior VP, India Theatrical, EROS International

With movies of diverse genres, these three months look very promising for us — from an animation movie Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur, a sequel to the cult hit Char Sahibzade, to two musical dramas Rock On 2 and Banjo. In the last quarter of this year, we will not only release Hindi marquee films but will also continue to make inroads into regional markets with a Bengali release scheduled in December – Sandeep Ray’s Double Feluda featuring Bengal’s famous sleuth created by Satyajit Ray. We had a successful quarter last year too, with one of the biggest uccesses Bajirao Mastani closing 2015 for us. We hope to end this year on a high as well.

 

ratan-jainRatan Jain, Producer

The success rate of films has been quite low this year as many big films bombed at the box office. Even this quarter hasn’t done all that well but Pink is getting good reviews and M.S. Dhoni… seems to have potential.

October 7 will see the debut of Anil Kapoor’s son in Mirzya, which looks interesting but the subject of the film might restrict it to a section of the audience. Then two biggies clash during Diwali – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay – and both films look very promising and both of them have great music. Let’s hope both do well as that will be good for the industry.

November looks like a month of experimentation as there are some sequels lined up – Rock On 2, Tum Bin 2, Force 2 and Kahaani 2.The performance of these films will depend totally on their content. Then we have Dear Zindagi, which also depends on its content because nothing much about the film has been revealed.

December could turn out to be great as it has Aditya Chopra’s Befikre featuring Ranveer Singh. The movie is guaranteed to do a certain amount of business as Ranveer Singh is the new superstar. Following that, Christmas looks even better as Aamir Khan is releasing Dangal. It’s been a long time since the audience has seen him doing a different kind of film, so Dangal might set new records at the box office. Of course, its content will also be a determining factor because, these days, it scores over the cast and music.

Soumita Sengupta and Rohini Nag Madnani
Collection Chart
As on February 18th, 2017
FilmsWeekWeeklyTotal
Jolly LL.B 21
71.87Cr
71.87Cr
Horror Night
1
14K
14K
The Great Leader Kanshiram1
10k
10k
Rings**
1
2Cr
2Cr
Alif249K2.46L
Na Raja - Na Rani - Third Man210K30K
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