By Archit Mishra (click here to read more articles from the author)
With the next ‘Bhatt’ generation ready to take over, we analyze the sequels produced by Vishesh Films, owned by brothers Mukesh Bhatt (Founder, Chairman & Managing Director) and Mahesh Bhatt (Creative Consultant). Murder 3 marked the directorial debut of Mukesh Bhatt’s son, Vishesh Bhatt, after whom their production house is named. It’s true that almost all of their films have had a fair bit of controversies due to obscenity involved, but hullabaloos alone can never give you hits and these movies also had good scripts which made them sail through at the box office. Every installment in their franchises has nothing much to do with their respective prequels, but belong to the same genre.
Without any second thoughts, Raaz is the best that India has produced in the horror/supernatural genre because of the universal acceptance and box office benchmarks it has set in this genre time and again. Jism is all about deceit backed by good dosage of sultriness. As the name suggests, Murder revolves around killings and has its share of thrills and chills for the audience. Finally, Jannat deals with crime such as match fixing and arms smuggling. While all these series are different in terms of their subjects, a perfect blend of passionate romance, drama and super hit music is common in all.
Box Office Performance:
|Franchise||Film||Team||Net BO Collections | Verdict|
|RAAZ Movies||Raaz (2002)||Directed By: Vikram Bhatt|
Starring: Bipasha Basu, Dino Morea & Ashutosh Rana
|22cr | BLOCKBUSTER
(2nd Biggest Grosser of the Year)
|Raaz - The Mystery Continues (2009)||Directed By: Mohit Suri|
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Ranaut & Adhyayan Suman
|26cr | SEMI HIT
(15th Biggest Grosser of the Year)
|Raaz 3 - 3D (2012)||Directed By: Vikram Bhatt|
Starring: Bipasha Basu, Emraan Hashmi & Esha Gupta
|67cr | SUPER HIT
(13th Biggest Grosser of the Year)
|JISM Movies||Jism (2003)||Directed By: Amit Saxena|
Starring: Bipasha Basu, John Abraham & Gulshan Grover
|8cr | ABOVE AVERAGE|
|Jism 2 (2012)||Directed By: Pooja Bhatt|
Starring: Randeep Hooda, Arunoday Singh, Sunny Leone
|34cr | ABOVE AVERAGE|
|MURDER Movies||Murder (2004)||Directed By: Anurag Basu|
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Mallika Sherawat & Ashmit Patel
|17cr | SUPER HIT
(9th Biggest Grosser of the Year)
|Murder 2 (2011)||Directed By: Mohit Suri|
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Jacqueline Fernandez, Prashant Narayanan
|46cr | BLOCKBUSTER
(13th Biggest Grosser of the Year)
|JANNAT Movies||Jannat (2008)||Directed By: Kunal Deshmukh|
Starring: Emraan Hashmi & Sonal Chauhan
|31cr | SUPER HIT
(12th Biggest Grosser of the Year)
|Jannat 2 (2012)||Directed By: Kunal Deshmukh|
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda & Esha Gupta
|42cr | SEMI HIT|
- It all began with Raaz (2002) which grossed over 22 crore and was only second to the mega budget Devdas (2002) at the ticket window that year. Ironically, Raaz also happens to be the only film (produced by the Bhatt’s) which managed to steal a spot in TOP3/ TOP5 in spite of 8 other profitable endeavors that followed. Interestingly, Raaz – The Mystery Continues (2009) was the first sequel to be made among all the franchises mentioned above.
- With 6 and 3 films under their belts respectively, Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu may be characterized as the trump cards of the Bhatt camp. Similarly, directors Vikram Bhatt, Mohit Suri and Kunal Deshmukh have called the shot twice each.
- Another horror series which deserves a place in this write up is Vikram Bhatt’s 1920. Both the features, 1920 (2008) and 1920: Evil Returns (2012), were critically acclaimed and commercially viable. The only reason we haven’t included them in our list is that they were not produced by Vishesh Films, but Vikram Bhatt himself.
Hit Formula: 4 franchises comprising of 9 films over the span of 11 years and quite astonishingly, when you don’t find even a single flop, your mind is forced to boggle. Well, Vishesh Films have a simple and rather straightforward approach: Instead of big A-List stars and splendor locales, they just rely on their content. This, pretty naturally, keeps their budgets to minimal and thus profit becomes a certainty. Not everybody is aware of the tactic to make phenomenal business out of limited screen counts, but I bet these guys do.
TOP 3 Bhatt Songs: In addition to intelligent commercial quotient, the Bhatts have also got tremendous music sense which plays a vital role for the upsurge of the buzz around release dates. We’ve selected our Top 3 songs (in the order of their occurrences) from the above films that went on to make most of the noise.
“Aapke pyaar mein” – Raaz (2002)
“Jaadu hai nasha hai” – Jism (2003) [Filmfare Best Female Playback Award – Shreya Ghoshal]
“Bheege hont tere” – Murder (2004)
Influences from Foreign Cinema: In the words of Mahesh Bhatt himself, “Our brain is a recycle bin and every thought/action of ours is inspired by something or the other we’ve seen, read or heard in the past”. Most of the films discussed here are believed to have taken their share of elements (plot/screenplay/dialogues) from previously released films:- Raaz – What Lies Beneath (2000); Raaz The Mystery Continues – The Ring 2 (2005) and Gothika (2003); Jism – Body Heat (1981) and Double Indemnity (1944); Jism 2 – Last Tango In Paris (1972); Murder – Unfaithful (2002); Murder 2 – The Chaser (2008). Their latest offering, Murder 3, is also remake of the Columbian film, The Hidden Face (2011).