String of hits brings smile back to Bollywood

Bollywood has had a better start to the second half of 2011 after a tough first six months of empty cinemas and postponed releases caused by clashes with major cricket tournaments, analysts say.

Long queues and "house full" signs have returned to cinemas in India's entertainment capital Mumbai and across the country since the start of June for a string of films that have proved a hit with audiences.

The upward trend started after the end of the back-to-back World Cup and Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournaments with the Salman Khan action comedy "Ready".

Since then, Sanjay Dutt's slapstick "Double Dhamaal", Aamir Khan's comedy "Delhi Belly", the thriller "Murder 2" and the Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif road movie "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" (You Only Live Once) have all done well.

The boxofficeindia.com website, which tracks industry takings, on Wednesday said that "Zindagi" had taken 443.2 million rupees ($9.9 million) since it opened on July 15, calling it a "hit".

"Murder 2" had taken 444.7 million rupees in under two weeks, deeming it a "blockbuster", while "Delhi Belly" had returns of 540.3 million rupees in three weeks, classing it as a "super hit".

"Double Dhamaal" was assessed as "above average" with takings of 452.1 million rupees in four weeks, according to the site.

"Singham", a crime drama starring Ajay Devgn, has had rave reviews since it came out last week and is also expected to do well.

"We've never had it so good. We've never had four successes back to back," said trade analyst Komal Nahta, referring to "Ready", "Double Dhamaal", "Murder 2" and "Zindagi".

"They were good films. There weren't too many releases in March or April but thereafter 'Ready' worked and the other films worked," Nahta, who writes for India's biggest film trade journal, Film Information, told AFP.

"When the World Cup and IPL were on there wasn't much filmed entertainment, so there was a hunger for films and people rushed to the cinemas."

The Indian releases had been expected to suffer as they hit screens around the same time as the last instalment of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" and the latest "Transformers" movie.

The boxofficeindia.com site said that first-week takings for the English version of the final Potter movie were 102.6 million rupees and 61.4 million in Hindi, as of Wednesday.

The English version of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" had taken 125.3 million rupees and 49.6 million rupees in Hindi in three weeks, it added.

The results were more positive news for the Indian film industry, which has seen overall revenues fall 20 percent in the past three years from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $1.85 billion in 2010.

Domestic box office revenues still contribute 75 percent of an Indian film's earnings, according to research by KPMG.

Poor quality content, rising overheads, the global economic crisis and an increase in other ways for people to spend their spare time have all been blamed for the downturn.

Vinod Mirani, another industry analyst, said the recent successes proved that good films would work no matter what.

"It's as simple as that," he added.

All eyes are now turned to the next big release, "Aarakshan" (Reservation), starring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, on August 12.

The film has already proved controversial as it tackles the sensitive issue of reserving posts in the government and education sector based on caste.

Nahta said concerns expressed by political groups representing low-caste Hindus were unlikely to harm the movie.

"In fact, controversy more often than not helps a film," he added.

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

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
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
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
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.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine