Masala Entertainers vs Off Beat Films

Entertainment Entertainment Entertainment.. I guess these are the three things which I look for when I spend 200 bucks every Friday. Fortunately, or unfortunately, many of us have developed a narrow perception about entertainment over the course of time. There has been an everlasting debate between ardent masala movie lovers and the so called pseudo intellectuals that “Entertaining films can never give you a message and vice versa”. I contradict. I believe that entertainment, in its true sense, can never go wrong. For me, an Ek Tha Tiger and a Barfi, can co-exist since both of these films provide entertainment of their own kinds.

The path breaking “Hatke” films have always existed and have been appreciated in Bollywood, but I can’t count even 10 such films which got their due at ticket window. Quite evidently, 2012 has become an exception (rather a revolution) in this context. As many as six high concept films have struck gold at box office so far. Possible reasons for this change could be: – (i) Vigilant marketing strategy (ii) Controlled budget (iii) Apt musical score backing the screenplay (iv) Expanding multiplex culture.

No points for guessing, Word of Mouth (WOM) has played an imperative part in making these films successful. To showcase the power of WOM, we’ve compared two mass entertainers (with least positive WOM among all other 100cr club films) with two offbeat films (having highest WOM among all recent high content films). Both OMG and Kahaani made only around 22-24% of their total business in opening weekend due to slow start, but it is clear how +ve WOM did wonders for these films later on. On the contrary, big budgeted films like Bodyguard and Ra One couldn’t capitalize comprehensively on their fabulous starts due to not so +ve wom and a much larger part of their total earning came in first few days only.

Off Beat Films vs Masala Entertainers

Let us now find out more about these off-beat films that did surprisingly well at the box office this year

Paan Singh TomarPaan Singh Tomar: This real life tale of an athlete turned dacoit is one of the hardest hitting stories of recent times. With his brilliant performance, Irfan Khan doesn’t let you imagine anybody else doing a better Paan Singh even for a second. Tigmanshu Dhulia not just portrayed both the life sketches of Paan Singh very well, but he quite ably managed to develop an emotional connection between the main protagonist and his audience and that made all the difference.

Lifetime Net Box Office Collection: 15 crore | Verdict: Semi Hit


KahaaniKahaani: A thriller with no item songs, no superstar and almost no promotion. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was sceptical about the box office results of this Sujoy Ghosh directorial venture. But, it was an all different Kahaani on the Friday it released. Vidya Bagchi (and not Balan, because she never allows you to believe that she is the same girl who played Silk) made an astonishing transition from her last Blockbuster ‘The Dirty Picture’ but the outcome was nevertheless the same and she drove Kahaani to unprecedented success on her shoulders. This film also proved that in a male dominated industry, female oriented films can also make the producers run all the way to the bank – provided they have good content. The tight screenplay also played a vital role as it managed to keep its viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the film. The pre interval and climax scenes deserve a special mention.

Lifetime Net Box Office Collection: 60 crore | Verdict: Super Hit

Vicky DonorVicky Donor: This is arguably the most experimental film of our times. I mean, can you imagine somebody making a film on Sperm Donation and expecting decent box office returns (forget about the box office, I would always be in two minds whether it will survive the Censor Scissors in the first place)? But, Vicky Donor accepted both these challenges and came out with flying colours. Director Shoojit Sircar and writer Juhi Chaturvedi really deserve a pat on their backs for exploring an issue which is still considered taboo in most of the parts of our country. One cannot forget an all round contribution of Ayushman Khurana in the department of acting, music composition and singing. Looking at his tremendous talent, we got to say that he is here to stay in the business of film making.

Lifetime Net Box Office Collection: 43 crore | Verdict: Super Hit

BarfiBarfi! : The next to make entry in our list is India’s official entry to Oscars this year. If there is any film which can be called this year’s surprise package, it’s got to be Barfi. It has become the first unconventional bollywood flick to join 100cr elite club. Everything worked in its favour from A to Z. The producers (UTV) smartly identified their target audience initially and released the film in limited screens (1700+ only). Director Anurag Basu broke all the barriers of conventional film making and it is indeed commendable on his part to engage a wider sect of audience with a script which had limited scope for dialogues. Ranbir & Priyanka gave superlative performances in Barfi and it is arguably their best work till date. I would like to give special credit to Ranbir for the courage and believe he showed in attempting such an offbeat project, which I doubt if most of other senior stars would have taken risk for. Last, but not the least, Barfi is certainly incomplete without Pritam, for it is his poignant score which forms the soul of the film.

Lifetime Net Box Office Collection: 105-110 crore (estimated) | Verdict: Super Hit

Oh My GodOMG! Oh My God: It is indeed audacious to question the very fundamental rituals and believes about temple, mosque & idol worship in a nation where Religion is considered more essential than Education. And that’s exactly what forms the theme of OMG. This thought provoking film by director Umesh Shukla quite boldly puts forth all those questions and concepts about God which most of us must have had in our hearts but could never speak out. With a few scenes as exception, Bhavesh Mandalia’s screenplay mostly takes the satirical & humorous route rather than just being preachy and that’s really worked in favour of the movie. At box office, this film has just been OMG. To be specific, it’s one of those rare films in the recent past which performed exceptionally better on weekdays than weekend. In a career spanning as long as 28 years, can anyone name a bigger box office success of Paresh Rawal as lead? Well, atleast I can’t. Mr. Rawal gets to showcase his immense talent and acting experience. Akshay Kumar redefined the reflections of God in his pleasant extended guest appearance as Mod-God. Mithun Chakraborty does impresses astoundingly in his character with grey shades.

Lifetime Net Box Office Collection: 65-70 crore (estimated) | Verdict: Super Hit

English VinglishEnglish Vinglish: Gauri Shinde’s directorial debut is the latest and last film to join our list. Sridevi made an impactful comeback with this flick which dealt with language barrier and beautifully portrays the emotions within Indian housewives. It is a story about a lady and her struggle for English language. It has collected around 20cr in its first week.

Lifetime Net Box Office Collection: 30 crore+ (estimated) | Verdict: N/A (will be updated)

Pick your favourite off beat film and do share your views on the article.

By Archit Mishra

Which is your favorite off beat film of 2012?

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  • @lil wayne,Eros bought the distribution rights of Raone for 135 crore. And what about south superstar Rajnikanth & American-chinese actor Tom Woo

  • I said that despite 7 month promotion,presence of Rajnikanth & Tom Woo,songs of Akon & Diwali release & open week,Raone did not get more than 120 crores.

  • @dinesh vijan…..i dnt think so….copied movie afterall nd ranbir did justice to his character…if u see performances…ranbir..priyanka..nd newcomer actress wont dissapoint u many scenes r directly copied from hollywood films….

  • Big thanks to everybody for your enthusiastic participation. Heartening to find so many off beat movie lovers visiting our site. As for some of the queries/doubts, here go my clarifications:-

    (*) Each of these high content films has a pre-defined target audience. If Vicky Donor is youth appealing, then OMG is more a family oriented film. PST is a crime drama (an autobiography of sorts) and this genre is not universally accepted in India at present. Moreover there were no Chartbuster songs (like Barfi & Vicky Donor) or innovative promotion strategies (ala OMG style) to pull the audience. I guess even the makers (UTV) had expected the AVG to ABOVE AVG fair as best case scenario for PST. For me, SEMI-HIT is an achievement in itself.

    (*) Please make it clear; we are not against 100cr films. Bodyguard is a BLOCKBUSTER and Ra-One is a HIT in proportion of their budgets & earnings. But, relatively, they have the least wom among other 100cr films. WOM has nothing to do with final collections. Rather it is judged by week by week falls. Among all 100cr grosser this year, Rowdy Rathore is the most universally accepted film, followed by Ek Tha Tiger, Housefull 2 & Barfi.

    (*) GOW-1 & 2 are box office duds and thus not included in our list. HIT vs FLOP is decided by distributor share and distributors have made losses for GOW. I’m aware of the fact that these days a lot of misleading figures & facts are intentionally floated in the media to disguise the audience. And thus most of us have a lot of confusions about how to decide whether a film is HIT or FLOP. I’ll clear all such doubts in my next write up. Keep waiting :)

    (*) As for Ishaqzaade, it comes under romantic genre (& not offbeat films) backed by a big banner (YRF).

    Continue reading & keep your comments coming..Cheers !!

  • Percentage of people who want to see the film according to voting by bollywoodhungama SOS-68.94%,JTHJ-71.08%,Talaash- 74.3%,Khiladi 786-67.86%, Dabanng 2- 68.69%, Shootout at Wadala- 76.73 %. H

  • Iam pretty surprised at SAW’s percentage. Most of the films directed by Sanjay Gupta are flops like Musafir & Acid factory. This time Vivek Oberoi & Sanjay Dutt are not there.Anil Kapoor & Kangana Ranaut are coming back from super flop Tezz & Sonu Sood coming back from disaster Maximum. Still what will the reasons for this?Friends,what do you think?

  • Very good read yaar..I mean I never knew that Kahaani & OMG grossed 60-70cr. I thought they are small films..this proves that Indian Cinema is rising

  • @ Indicine/Archit – Wen is your article on hit/flop decider mentioned by Archit in his comment gonna get publish? I am very interested always in reading trade analysis. But I don’t understand tricky things in it.

  • The Waiting period is now over, especially for All Movies Lovers and Archit Mishra. The Trailer of his most eagerly awaited film is coming soon.
    According to Arbaaz Khan, the producer of the film. They are planning to release the full theatrical trailer of the film with the Diwali Releases. Probably, with Son of Sardaar only.
    Dabanng 2 is the Sequel to the All Time Blockbuster Dabangg which was released in 2010. This time the movie is being directed by Arbaaz Khan himself instead of Abhinav Singh Kashyap, who directed the previous film.
    The Teaser Promo of the film may come one week in advance. But, the full length trailer will be releasing on 13th November 2012. This is 6 Weeks before the release of the film.
    The Overseas Rights of the Film have been acquired by Eros. The Price is not known yet.

  • The films doing well are family entertainers, And its good to see families packing the cinemas. Even Salman, SRk, And Aamir have always won because of family entertainment. For these movies which mentioned above are clearly nicely made movies although most part of barfi was copied. If the directors stick to basics the movies will work.

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