Sequels were once sure-shot money spinners but filmmakers can no longer take their success for granted
Shifting sands can be very dangerous but, like it or not, with the Indian audience fast maturing and evolving, the film industry cannot help but find itself in a state of flux. Caught in this transition are sequels, which have become quite a fad in the Hindi film industry.
But, filmmakers are realising that the formula for success here too has changed. Almost by default, sequels once benefitted from the success of the original film, even when they were not organic extensions or a natural progression of the story. In other words, they rode on the brand value of the original instalment and the connection it had established with the audience.
It' ands been a while since the Hindi film industry discovered the business potential of sequels, and had been leveraging this formula ever since. Sometimes, filmmakers have taken it too far and even cast entirely new story lines, merely to profit off the original.
But that doesn' andt work any more. Much like critics, enlightened movie-goers are now judging films, sequels included, purely by their content. Being a sequel even to a blockbuster no longer guarantees footfalls at cinema halls. If the content is not up to the mark, movie-goers have no qualms rejecting the film.
Here are some examples. The last quarter of 2016 saw many sequels like Kya Super Kool Hai Hum 3, Great Grand Masti, Rock On 2, Tum Bin 2, Force 2 and Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh but, sadly, none of them hit the bull' ands eye at the box-office. And, mind you, these were sequels to hit films and franchises.
However, in January 2017, Jolly LLB 2 was a roaring success at the ticket window, and why not? The film, a sequel, was rich in content. The verdict is clear - movie-goers are becoming receptive to good stories and are willing to invest their time and money in content-oriented films.
Coming up in the next few months are a host of sequels making their way to box-office counters. This week, we saw the release of Commando 2, while next week will see Dharma Productions' and Badrinath Ki Dulhania featuring Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, and Friday Filmworks Naam Shabana, a prequel to the 2015 film Baby with Taapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar (special appearance). After the first quarter, we will see sequels like Amitabh Bachchan' ands Sarkar 3, Bahubali: The Conclusion and Atithi In London, among many others.
This week, we asked trade insiders the big question: Why are sequels losing steam and what can be done to reverse the trend? Over to them:
Rahul Puri MD, Mukta A2 Cinemas:
Sequels, remakes and reboots are the in thing these days but we must always remember that brand alone doesn't make a film successful. A good sequel should be a good film. Being part of a larger franchise isn't enough. Even Hollywood, which has been making sequels longer than us, have seen diminishing returns for poor narrative franchises. However where the storyline has been solid, the brand coupled with a good film experience means supernormal returns.
Source: Box office India