Bollywood 2012: Small-budget films fight it out in Rs 100 crore club

Bollywood 2012: Small-budget films fight it out in Rs 100 crore club
Mumbai:

While the 100 crore club became a fad in Bollywood this year with star-driven films raking in the moolah at the box office, small budget movies too made their presence felt among the bigwigs with strong content and entertainment factor.

Superstars -- Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir -- ruled the box office with the success of 'Ek Tha Tiger', 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' and 'Talaash'. On the other hand, the innovative subjects of movies like 'Gangs of Wasseypur', 'Kahaani', 'Vicky Donor' and 'Paan Singh Tomar' connected with the audience.

"It was a better year this time. A lot of big and small budget films have done well. New kind of films with innovative subjects were being made and audience liked them. There were only a few disappointments this year. Overall it seems the year was good for the Hindi film industry," trade analyst Vinod Mirani told PTI.

'Kahaani', directed by Sujoy Ghosh and starring Vidya Balan, became a huge hit as a suspense thriller. The film was everything, but a typical Bollywood project with a pregnant female protagonist, small scale set-up in Kolkata and almost half the dialogues in Bengali.

Another path-breaker was Shoojit Sircar's 'Vicky Donor', with the male protagonist playing the role of a sperm donor, a profession still considered a taboo. The film's music and Delhi-setting was loved by the audience.

Anurag Kashyap's two-part epic 'Gangs of Wasseypur' was also a resounding success. With a rural crime setting, lot of violence and not so famous faces, the film impressed both the critics and the audience. The film was even screened at the prestigious Cannes film festival.

Irrfan Khan-starrer 'Paan Singh Tomar', story of an athlete-turned-rebel, and Akshay Kumar's 'Oh My God', a satire on certain religious beliefs, found resonance both among the critics and audience.

Another film which won hearts was Anurag Basu's 'Barfi!'. The film had two mainstream actors Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra completely demolish their starry images to emerge as a deaf-mute boy and an autistic girl in love. The film is India's official entry to the Oscars this year.

Simple yet touching, Sridevi made a successful comeback with 'English Vinglish' playing a housewife who endeavours to learn English.

While offbeat films found their space in mainstream cinema, it was a good year for the masala entertainers too.

The remake of ‘Agneepath’ starring Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt became the first movie of the year to reportedly earn Rs 123 crore at the domestic box office. It was followed by Sajid Khan's multi-starrer comedy 'Housefull 2'.

Films like Prabhu Deva's 'Rowdy Rathore', which saw Akshay Kumar return to action movies, and Rohit Shetty's comedy 'Bol Bachchan' also joined the Rs 100 crore club.

"2012 was one of the best years for us - a year when our strategy of focusing on entertaining and differentiated content across all genres came together in a big way. We had two of the biggest hits of the year 'Rowdy Rathore' and 'Barfi!'," Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director - Studios, Disney UTV told PTI.

Salman Khan's major release 'Ek Tha Tiger', which was his first with Yash Raj Films, grossed Rs 186 crore. Directed by Kabir Khan, the film was a love story of two spies from either side of the India-Pakistan border.

His other major release is the sequel to 'Dabangg', due to hit theatres this Friday. Also starring Sonakshi Sinha and Prakash Raj, the film is expected to be as big a money spinner as the former.

Diwali had the two King of Romances - Yash Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan - unite for the last time to deliver the superhit 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'. Starring Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in the female leads, the film also crossed the Rs 100 crore mark, besides going down in history as Mr Chopra’s swan song. 'JTHJ' clashed at the box office with Ajay Devgn's 'Son of Sardaar', but did not hamper its success.

Aamir Khan dabbled in the genre of suspense drama with 'Talaash'. Directed by Reema Kagti 'Talaash' went on to earn big money in the domestic and overseas market. The film saw Aamir playing the role of a cop, while Rani Mukerji played his wife and Kareena Kapoor, a prostitute.

Saif Ali Khan returned to romantic-comedy with 'Cocktail', a genre which has been lucky for him. Directed by Homi Adajania, 'Cocktail' also starred Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty. The film reportedly made on a budget of Rs 35 crore earned Rs 75 crore.

Saif's other film 'Agent Vinod' co-starring his now wife Kareena Kapoor dabbled with the spy thriller genre. This film had a modest fate at the box office.

Other films that disappointed this year include Abbas-Mustan's action thriller 'Players', south director Gautham Menon's 'Ekk Deewana Tha', R Madhavan-Bipasha Basu's 'Jodi Breakers', Priyadarshan's 'Tezz', Karisma Kapoor's comeback vehicle 'Dangerous Ishq', Rani Mukherjee's 'Aiyyaa', Ram Gopal Varma's 'Bhoot Returns' and Prakash Jha's 'Chakrayuh'.

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