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."

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Latest stories from i100
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.

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor