If all goes as per plan, Bollywood would pretty much be creating a record of maximum number of sequels/franchises/prequels releasing this winter. At last count, as many as four such films are slated for release in the last five weeks of the year. With more films already in production, this number may well go up. The man seeing all such competition building around himself? Salman Khan.
"First sequel to be announced for winter release was of course Salman Khan's Dabangg 2, shooting of which is starting this month. However, slowly but steadily, many other films have stepped in the fray as well. These are Race 2, Aashiqui 2 and the newest entrant Shootout At Wadala. There are going to be a lot of 'familiar' films that audience would be exposed to this winter", says an industry insider.
Traditionally last quarter of the year is considered to be the most lucrative period for Bollywood due to the holiday season that kick starts with Diwali. Now it is obvious that Bollywood is betting its money on those films that enjoy a good track record. The fact that these are star studded affairs only makes them the first choice for all involved.
"Salman is at his career peak and life should come back full circle for Dabangg 2. Obviously it is the hottest film of the year and would be just perfect for the cold season. On the other hand, with Deepika returning to Race 2, the film has regained its star value. Since the prequel was much appreciated, stocks are high for Race 2, especially with Saif, Anil Kapoor, John Abraham and Jacqueline leading from the front", a trade veteran adds.
Meanwhile Bhatts' franchise Aashiqui 2 is touted to be the biggest musical of the year. Even though its cast is yet to be finalized, work has already begun on its music. A source from the production house informs, "Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt know that they have a huge challenge to do something that matches up to Nadeem-Shravan's score in Aashiqui that was composed 20 years back. They have to match it at the least, if not better it."
However, the one which has arrived all of a sudden and is now carrying a burden of huge expectations is Sanjay Gupta's comeback affair Shootout at Wadala. A prequel to Shootout At Lokhandwala, the film's huge cast led by Anil Kapoor, John Abraham and Kangna Ranaut has just been announced.
"Just like Yash Chopra, even Ekta is very particular about her announcements. Now that she has declared her intentions to release the film in December, Sanjay too is working backwards to make this happen", adds an insider, "The film is arriving in between Race 2 and Dabangg 2 but the makers aren't deterred with the competition."
Good for the audience who are all set to enjoy this quartet of sequels/prequel/franchise that are all set to gain further hype as the year progresses. Guess how Salman is thinking about this though.