June 27, 2011 11:58:09 AM IST Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
The D-Day, 1st July, 2011, will witness a clash of the Titans at the Indian Box Office. The fate of Aamir Khan Production's DELHI BELLY (distributed by UTV) and AB Corps BBUDDAH-HOGA TERRA BAAP (distributed by TV 18) will be decided on that day. Though there is hardly any similarity between both the films, comparisons will be made and the box office pundits will declare one or the other a winner.
BHTB entirely relies on the persona and charisma of the new evergreen hero of Indian cinema, the greatest of them all, Amitabh Bachchan. He stands as tall as ever and continues to charm the cinema audiences and 'aam Hindustanis' across all demographics with his histrionic genius and the capacity to reinvent himself time and again. His competitive spirit is intact, and he is ever ready to rise up to any challenge. Though often blamed by some of his fellow actors for playing it safe, there is none in the industry who has taken the kinds of risks Amitabh Bachchan has taken in his long and illustrious career. He experimented with roles none had ever attempted before. He defied the popular opinion and perception by doing films like RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG, and NISHBAD. Even the decision to start ABCL was a bold and innovative one. We must not forget that the ABCL was the first corporate film production house in the Indian film industry, much before the advent of Reliance Entertainment, UTV, TV 18, and Eros. Though his earlier foray failed, the new AB Corps is doing fine with a critically and commercially successful film like PAA under its belt and now BHTB, which has already become profitable according to trade reports, much before its theatrical release.
AMITABH BACHCHAN and AAMIR KHAN
On the other hand we have DELHI BELLY being meticulously marketed and promoted by an infallible Aamir Khan. He is also known for defying the odds and swimming against the tide, and is ever ready to stick his neck out as a producer for his conviction in a film's script. He relies solely on his hard work and instincts and leaves no stone unturned to ensure the commercial success of his films, including the art-house ones, by generating an overwhelming buzz around their releases through his personal involvement in their marketing and promotion. He has inspired laid back film stars like Salman Khan to change with the times and get pro-active in promoting their films. DELHI BELLY is his biggest challenge thus far. It is essentially an English film, with far out humour, developed and designed for those who love Hollywood films like HANGOVER. It was supposed to be a low budget low profile comic caper with a cast of newcomers led by just one known face, a star with an uncertain box office pull - Imran Khan. However, Aamir has turned it into a major event film with his publicity blitzkrieg. If the film does a bumper weekend business, which is likely to happen, all the stakeholders will be handsomely rewarded.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)