It isn’t lucky seven for Bollywood


While there are mixed reports regarding Yash Raj Films’ latest release Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Bollywood’s hope of recreating last year’s box office successes has taken a big blow in 2007, with collections of only $5.8 million in the first six months compared to $135 million in 2006.

Unlike 2006, which had hits like Rang De Basanti, Don, Dhoom 2 and Lage Raho Munnabhai, revenues this year have nose-dived despite original scripts and directors experimenting with fresh ideas.

Even films like the Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan starrer Guru, the multi-starrer Fool N Final, Yash Raj Film’s Ta Ra Rum Pum, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Eklavya and Nikhil Advani’s Salaam-e-Ishq have failed to catch the fancy of moviegoers despite their star cast, elaborate costumes and catchy foot-tapping music.

“It has so far not been a very good year, it will be very difficult to match last year’s collections” says Suleman Mobhani, co-founder of India FM, a Bollywood trade website. Says veteran analyst Komal Nahata, “People now do not watch movies to see which star is in the film. If a good script does not even have a single superstar, it could still become a hit. It’s content that’s the driving force now.”

With six months still to go, Bollywood’s fortunes might still change with biggies like Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar, Ram Gopal Varma’s RGV Ke Sholay and Shah Rukh Khan starrer Chak De India awaiting release.