And keeping a strict check on the budget is the mantra of the new-age producers
But we have not come around that concept yet.Anees Baazmi who has directed multistarrers such as Welcome, No Entry believes that big-budget multi-starrers are tricky to execute. The multi-starrer is rumoured to be made on a budget of more than 80 crores. Ajay who is also the co-producer of Total Dhamaal says when it comes to making films; he is a very careful producer. So at least more people will view your film. I have done many big-budget films including No Entry, Welcome and Singh is Kinng in the past. I budget things rightly, I believe. The fact that my producers have made or are planning to make sequels prove that if the films are planned properly, everyone benefits,” says the filmmaker who is currently helming Pagalpanti starring John Abraham and Ileana D’cruz.In 2018, the frontrunners in the Bollywood box office marathon featured releases that broke away from tradition.”
To this, trade analyst Taran Adarsh adds, “That’s how producers recover the investments but eventually it’s the theatrical business that counts and that has been a kind of a dip for certain films. This year has a line-up of as many as 15 mega-budget films, starring the superstars of Bollywood which include Total Dhamaal, Kalank, Bharat, Housefull 4, Panipat and Brahmastra, to name a few. “When you have stars in a big budget film, 40 to 50 percent of the cost goes to them so you should know how to use the rest of your money and make it in a tight budget.”. When I made Haseena with Shraddha Kapoor, the film didn’t work but I made the film in the right budget so we didnt lose much,” says director Apoorva Lakhia. Unfortunately, 2018 was not the year for them and I am glad the storytelling has been the highlight. Even the ever-dependable bhai’s Race 3 was one of his lowest-performing films in recent times. “You have to budget it right. It was a year where a Yash Raj production starring Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan, championing a patriotic tale didn’t cut anymore whereas a Shah Rukh Khan starrer didn’t have many takers.
The most important aspect of any film is content and I have always concentrated on creating that for my audience.Counting on stardomAlong with Total Dhamaal, Fox Star has invested big bucks on Housefull 4, the fourth instalment of the super successful Housefull franchise. He says, “Nobody plans to make a flop film or wants to be in loss. My next film Tanaji is also a big film which will be in 3D but I know where to draw the line and to make it in the right budget,” he added. Now we can make movies straight for digital so you can save much more as you don’t have to release it commercially. I believe that the film never fails but the budget, which fails most of the time. However, one can’t also forget the fact that films like Padmavaat, Simmba which were big budget films managed to do wonders at the box office.”
And keeping a strict check on the budget is the mantra of the new-age producers. “As a director, all I can say is making a big budget film ALOx film manufacturers is not an easy task.While the last few years have seen digitalisation as a preferred option of the gen-next, it has also turned into a preferred medium for producers too as they now have the option to sell digital rights to the various platforms available. Producer Sandeep Singh who has made films such as Bhoomi, Mary Kom and Sarabjit believes that the industry always manages to bounce back. After the success of the first two installments of Dhamaal, the makers are revisiting the hit comedy franchise and this time it is much bigger and extravagant with Madhuri Dixit, Ajay Devgn and Anil Kapoor joining the cast. One can only execute multi-starrers when you have clarity about the target audience, the content of the film and partners on board. Apurva Lakhia adds, “You can either sell it to a Netflix or Zee but you cant sell it to both.
One would assume that these mega box-office failures would make the filmmakers cautious, but the industry prefers to sticks to the cliché that ‘the show must go on’. Nobody expected Uri or Badhaai Ho to cross 100 cr but one has to understand that we are able to make small budget films because big-budget films have been generating revenue so we can never discard them. You have to be very cautious about how much to invest and how much can be recovered.Once beaten, never shyDespite the box-office duds of the last year, most believe that Bollywood will still prefer to bet its money of the big-budget spectacles