Bollywood ended 2013 with big winners like Krishh 3, Ram-Leela and Dhoom 3. However, the start of 2014 has been on a poor note, with none of the movies really setting the cash registers ringing. While films like One By Two and Mr Joe B Carvalho have turned out to be disasters, some of the movies like Dedh Ishqiya and Sholay 3D have been well received by the audience. However, the figures have been less than promising. Even though Sholay 3D had people relive the Bollywood classic, the final numbers which tallied around Rs 10 crores was not enough to recover its conversion cost.
Abhishek Chaubey’s Dedh Ishqiya too received excellent reviews from the critics, some even dubbing it as better than its prequel. However, the film fared poorly at the box office, opening to just 20 per cent screen occupancy with a screen count of 1000-2000. The film faltered badly in Uttar Pradesh, where it was expected to do well given its genre. Dedh Ishqiya also fared poorly in the overseas market in its opening weekend.
Even Salman Khan was unable to save the industry from its string of flops, with his latest film Jai Ho. After, churning out money-spinning blockbusters like Wanted, Bodyguard and Dabangg, the actor failed to reach the same level of success with Jai Ho, directed by brother Sohail Khan.
Added to that, his public endorsement of Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi hurt the film’s success in Hyderabad with the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen boycotting his film. Eventually, the film received a mixed response at the box office and in comparison with Salman’s high standards, Jai Ho turned out to be a major disappointment.
Some of the other movies which released in January included Divya Kumar’s directorial debut Yaariyan, Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely and Karle Pyaar Karle that featured debutantes Shiv Darshan and Hasleen Kaur. All of these movies sank without a trace, with many not even realising when the movies came and went.
As we enter February, audience are looking forward to some respite. This weekend begins with Hasee Toh Phasee starring Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra. The film has generated a fair bit of curiosity with its young and promising star cast. Sidharth returns to the silver screen, after his promising debut performance in Karan Johar’s Student of the Year. Parineeti too, will return after the success of Shudh Desi Romance.
A lot of expectations are also riding on Imtiaz Ali’s Highway, which is set to release on February 21. Having doled out films like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Rockstar and Jab We Met, Highway has been marked as a film that shouldn’t be missed.
Starring Alia Bhatt in her second film along with Randeep Hooda, and music by AR Rahman, we can’t wait.
Arguably the most highly anticipated release of this month though is Shaadi Ke Side Effects starring Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan.
The sequel to the 2006 rom-com Pyaar Ke Side Effects, it sees Farhan Akhtar return to the big screen after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, for which he received the Filmfare award for the best actor. Paired opposite one of Bollywood’s current leading ladies, Vidya Balan, the movie will also be a break from the biopic/epic love story sagas that have cluttered the screens. Directed by Saket Chaudhary, it hits theatres on February 28.
We, along with the audience, just hope that the month of February does much better that the abysmal performance of January.