The last few years saw the return of masala movies in Bollywood. It all probably started with the success of Salman Khan’s Wanted in 2009, no one expected the movie to do well however it broke box office records and that opened the road for other such movies. Whether it is Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn or Shahrukh Khan everyone has jumped on to the masala movie bandwagon. And why not after all these movies are turning out to be a safe bet with most of them turning out to be blockbusters.
Irrespective of whether these movies have a script or not, they are setting the box office on fire provided they have a superstar in them who fights the gundas, few romantic scenes, touch of comedy and an item song! In fact a huge number of these hit movies are remakes of South Indian movies. Consider this, Salman Khan’s last 5 movies have all done more than 100 crore business in India alone and if you think about it they all have a lot in common.
However what caught our attention was the performance of Salman’s last release Dabangg 2. Sure the movie is a blockbuster and has done 150 crore business in India but this is way less than what it was expected to do. The sequel of Dabangg had a huge hype around it with trade pandits and movie analyst calling it’s advance opening unprecedented. The movie opened to a huge response but didn’t do as well as it was expected to do. Agreed that it’s a blockbuster but Dabangg 2 was expected to cross 200 crore and it came nowhere around that figure. In fact it did almost 30-40 crore less business than Ek Tha Tiger. People might argue that why this comparison when the movie was a blockbuster, but hey with the masala movies these days (and that too with Salman) it’s not about whether they will emerge as a hit or not, it’s about how big a hit they will eventually become!
The question now is will 2013 mark the beginning of the end of the masala entertainers. The trend has to change some time, so will be it 2013 looking at the comparatively milder response to Dabangg 2? SRK has Chennai Express up for release this year, Ajay Degn has Himmatwala, Akshay has Thuppakki Remake and Salman has Kick. Clearly again a year full of masala movies from superstars. Let’s see it these movies will live up to the hype or under-perform at the box office.