Bollywood looks for Diwali success

Bollywood is gearing up for a slew of new releases over the Hindu festival of Diwali, with expectations high that they will provide some cheer after a lacklustre year at the box office.

At least 10 big films are due to hit the screens in the coming weeks, with hopes of success pinned on the comedy "Golmaal 3" and the time-travel romance "Action Replayy" (eds: correct) that will be released on Diwali itself on November 5.

Like the Christmas period for Hollywood, Diwali has traditionally been seen as a money-spinner for India's Hindi-language film industry, as studios look to attract the holiday crowd with well-trailed movies featuring big name stars.

Industry watchers estimate that Bollywood could make four billion rupees (90 million dollars) by the end of the year.

"The year has not been so good," said leading analyst Amod Mehra. "The success ratio has been very low. The worst period for the industry was in May and June when two films, 'Kites' and 'Raavan' bombed badly.

"The losses from these two films was two billion rupees and it was a huge blow.

"A ray of hope has been provided by two films, 'Dabaang' (Fearless) and 'Robot'. Things are looking very promising this festive season."

"Dabaang", starring Salman Khan, grossed 10.8 million dollars during its opening weekend last month, surpassing the record of Aamir Khan's hit "3 Idiots", which took nine million dollars earlier this year.

The sci-fi fantasy adventure "Robot", made in three languages and starring the South Indian film legend Rajinikanth, opened two weeks ago and took more than double that, according to industry figures.

Trailers for "Golmaal 3" have been well received, amid hopes it can repeat the success of previous editions of the comic capers of a group of young friends.

"Expectations are huge from 'Golmaal 3'," said critic Komal Nahta. "It's a sure shot winner. It's the same with 'Action Replayy'."

"Golmaal 3" stars Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor with a return to the screens for veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty, "the Indian James Bond", whose spy films from the 1980s have become cult hits.

"Action Replayy" sees Akshay Kumar go back in time to the 1970s to try to save his parents' ailing marriage.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan - fresh from her success alongside Rajinikanth in "Robot" - also stars, with a supporting cast of huge flares, wing collars and platform shoes.

A successful Diwali would raise spirits in Bollywood, which was hit last year by a producers' boycott of multiplex cinemas, swine flu fears and a string of big budget failures. The economic downturn also affected overseas takings.

Overall revenues fell 14 percent to 89.3 billion rupees in 2009, consultancy KPMG said in a report for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The chief executive of the Star India group, Uday Shankar, told Businessworld magazine this month that only 14 of the 235 films released in the 12 months to August this year made a net profit.

Concerns have been expressed about the fees demanded by some leading actors and the need for studios to diversify revenue streams through cable and satellite television rights, the DVD home rental market and music downloads.

Salman Khan also echoed another long-standing worry in an interview with Businessworld.

"Perhaps not enough attention is paid to the script or sometimes viewers just don't like the film," he was quoted as saying.

"There are many entertainment options these days. It is a difficult phase for the industry but the show must go on."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Music
Arts and Entertainment
Reviews have not been good for Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the much loved eighties cartoon
Film

A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend

Arts and Entertainment
Untwitterably yours: Singer Morrissey has said he doesn't have a twitter account
Music

A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album

Arts and Entertainment
Full throttle: Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro in God's Pocket
film
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie Minogue is expected to return to Neighbours for thirtieth anniversary special
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law