June 23, 2011 06:53:01 PM IST Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
Sequels seem to be the flavor of the season as far as Hindi films are concerned. Right from CHASHME BUDDOOR to JAANE BHI DO YAARO, to DON, to MUNNABHAI series to DOUBLE DHAMAAL to GOLMAAL series, it is the sequels which seem to be the panacea obtaining that elusive hit at the box office. Is it indicative about the fact that there is a dearth or rather death of content which is forcing the filmmakers in the Hindi film industry to bask in the reflected glory of the first hit?
If one were to analyze craze for sequels, Hollywood takes the lead in making sequels of films which attain success for as long as one can remember, be it SUPERMAN, E.T, INDIANA JONES, STAR WARS, STAR TREK, JURASSIC PARK, JAWS etc. Latest example of capitalizing on an original hit to release series of sequels would be from the TRANSFORMER series, whose fourth sequel is already underway within a period of less than four years.
Sequels are an attempt by the film makers to strive to keep alive the memory of a successful product. As a matter of fact in Hollywood a film is a complete brand packaging in itself, including merchandizing etc., all which serves as a catalytic factor in keeping the memory of a film alive. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN is one such example, whose books are now being sold through various websites. It is the disposable income of the audience in European countries and in USA which gives them the flexibility to go out and indulge in memory associated with a film. It is not that case in India. 3 IDIOTS is one of the most successful films of all times, but the book written about it has not been able to establish a chord in the same manner at all.
The business of sequels can become a successful vertical only when the whole process of making it is marketed as a product, packaged as a commodity worth waiting for with anticipation. Business of sequels as a matter of fact is guided by the commercial interests built around it and until and unless same kind of attempt is made in India the sequel mania would not provide commensurate results, as it does in Hollywood. It could be successful in some cases, but it cannot be universally applicable in all the cases, and indeed out of box thinking is required to ensure that the film which is released has a content to bring audience into cinema halls. A name in itself would not do the magic in terms of ensuring healthy box office returns after initial euphoria has died down. MUNNABHAI series has shown the way and it should be the guiding spirit for all such future ventures to come.