Bollywood hits back with biggies

May 5, 2010 IANS

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Bollywood has heaved a sigh of relief with the success of Akshay Kumar-starrer "Housefull" and has lined up more impressive biggies - "Badmaash Company", "Kites", "Raajneeti" and "Raavan" - to scorch the summer screens.

Close to Rs.250 crore (Rs 2500 million) is collectively riding on the five releases.

"These are big films and there are big hopes from them. On an average, there is more than Rs.250 crore riding on these movies now. 'Housefull' has started the process on a good note and is doing well," trade analyst Komal Nahta told IANS on phone from Mumbai.

Released Friday, "Housefull" has an ensemble cast of Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, Arjun Rampal, Riteish Deshmukh and Jiah Khan. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala at over Rs.50 crore, the mindless comedy has grossed around Rs.64 crore in its opening weekend worldwide.

"With the current response, the producers of the movie will make anywhere around Rs.15 crore profit," said Nahta.

Vikas Mohan, who runs the trade publication Super Cinema, said: "We are very much optimistic that the industry will smile again and these movies will bring Bollywood a breather starting with 'Housefull'."

Nahta threw light on the scale of money that has been splurged on the five big banners and big starrers.

" 'Badmaash Company' has been made on a budget of about Rs.35 crore by Yash Raj Films (YRF) and is a sole property of theirs," said Nahta.

"While 'Kites' has a budget of over Rs.60 crore, 'Raavan' has been made at Rs.45 crore. 'Raajneeti' too has been made with almost the same budget at around Rs.45 crore and then there are miscellaneous expenses," he added.

Releasing Friday, "Badmaash Company" is actor Parmeet Sethi's directorial debut and he has teamed up with Shahid Kapoor and Anushka Sharma for it.

Then there will be the Anurag Basu- directed international love story "Kites" that has garnered an unprecedented buzz, thanks to its lead pair - Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and Mexican actress Barbara Mori, the involvement of Bret Ratner, who edited the English version of the film, and reported creative differences between producer Rakesh Roshan and the director.

It will have a worldwide release May 21 in both Hindi and English.

Prakash Jha's racy, politics-centric thriller "Raajneeti", which will release June 4, has a mixed cast that consists of experienced actors like Nana Patekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Ajay Devgn and Manoj Bajpai and new talents like Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. It will see model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal in a completely different avatar.

Another much-awaited big movie is "Raavan". After "Guru", Mani Ratnam has once again teamed up with real life couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, but the two are now pitted against each other. Scheduled for a June 18 release, it has been co-produced by Reliance Big Pictures and Madras Talkies.

"Raavan" too will be released in two languages - Hindi and Tamil. Southern superstar Vikram will mark his Bollywood debut with the Hindi version where he will be seen as Aishwarya's husband.

"These are the hugely awaited films of the year and we are hoping them to really do good. The coming months are going to stabilise the industry," said trade analyst Atul Mohan.

Also releasing with the biggies in the second quarter are movies like Gurinder Chadha's "It's a Wonderful Afterlife", "Bal Hanuman 2", "Bumm Bumm Bole", "Fatso", "Kajraare", "Krantiveer - The Revolution", "Allah Ke Banday", "Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai", "Milenge Milenge" and "Peter Gaya Kaam Se".

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