It was a splendid weekend! The three films that opened on Friday — HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA, the keenly-awaited Marathi film LAI BHAARI and the Hollywood biggie DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES — have emerged triumphant in the domestic market.
Let’s talk of HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA first. Dharma Productions, piloted by Karan Johar, has dabbled with varied genres over the years. Besides, KJo has been working with newcomers [actors, directors], thus building a pool of talent slowly and steadily. His ‘Students’ [Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt], now ‘Graduates’, have been going from strength to strength with each film, while the number of directors he has introduced is nothing short of an achievement: Soham Shah, Nikhil Advani, Tarun Mansukhani, Rensil D’Silva, Ayan Mukerji, Punit Malhotra, Siddharth Malhotra, Karan Malhotra, Shakun Batra, Sonam Nair, Vinil Mathew, Abhishek Varman and now, Shashank Khaitan. 13 directors!
Talking in terms of numbers, 2014 has been a lucrative year for KJo. While HASEE TOH PHASEE did above average business and 2 STATES emerged a Super Hit [crossing Rs 100 cr nett business in India], his new film, HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA, directed by debutant Shashank Khaitan, has also emerged victorious. Despite torrential rains affecting its biz in several parts of the country. Despite Marathi film LAI BHAARI posing a tough competition in Maharashtra. Despite the overall business slowing down during the holy month of Ramadan, since a substantial chunk of movie-going audience stays away from films.
While HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA is rich in merits, what also worked in its favor is [i] the crackling chemistry that its lead pair [Varun, Alia] share on screen, [ii] foot-tapping music and [iii] excellent promotion prior to its release, with Varun and Alia going all out to make sure that the film was visible and talked-about on all platforms.
Now let’s have a quick look at the economics of HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA…
Cost of Production – Rs 17.5 cr
Print & Advertising expenses – Rs 11.5 cr
Total investment – Rs 29 cr
Money recovered from Satellite, Overseas and Music Rights – Rs 24 cr
This clearly indicates that the producers have to recover Rs 5 cr, which has already been recovered.
Marathi film LAI BHAARI is on a record-smashing spree in Maharashtra. This well-made entertainer, which marks Riteish Deshmukh’s acting debut in Marathi films, is doing marvelous business in Maharashtra and is expected to be a mammoth hit, as per trends. Riteish is the new ‘Hit Machine’!
The Hollywood biggie DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has also fared well, although it got marginalized in some circuits thanks to the opposition posed by HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA and LAI BHAARI.