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Old 12-25-2008, 11:12 AM
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Dec 2008
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Default Small movies ruled Bollywood in 2008

The film industry which is reeling under recession saw a year of small wonders in Bollywood with low cost films by young directors ringing the cash counters, while big budget films with star-studded cast bombing despite the hype.

Taking off from last year where films like 'Bheja Fry' and 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' were successful, 2008 also saw a variety of small budget films sans star power raking up good moolah.

The trend started with 'Jannat' followed by 'Aamir', 'A Wednesday', 'Rock On', 'Welcome to Sajjanpur'. They drew in the audience on basis of a varied story line and content. Even horror flicks, Vikaram Bhatt's '1920' and Ram Gopal Varma's 'Phoonk' managed satisfactory sales.

Big budgeted and much hyped movies like 'Tashan', 'Love Story 2050', 'Drona', 'Yuvraj', 'Heroes' bit the dust while Shah Rukh Khan's 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' fared below expectations.

The film RNDJ, however, was able to bring smiles back on the faces of theatre and multiplex owners as audiences returned to the halls after the Mumbai terror attacks.

The year will sign off with Aamir Khan's 'Ghajini' which has already generated a huge buzz with the actor's new eight pack abs.

Recent recession has forced corporates to renegotiate budgets of high priced film projects. Filmmaker Makesh Bhatt said that 90 per cent of the films had to be put on hold and underproduction movies have been delayed due to the slowdown.

Sidharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, said the recession had hit the industry hard with rising cost of production.

"There is a liquidity crunch and all participants are coming together to find a solution," Kapur added.

The effect of recession would be felt next year.

"Fewer movies will be made and released with a lower price and not the one which was committed earlier. The films may not recover their costs".
"2008 was a very bad year in terms of business for the industry, the total losses of more than 600 crores. There were few hits," said trade analyst Amod Mehra.

Contemporary issues like terrorism have ruled roost with as many as four films -'Black&White', 'Aamir', 'Mumbai Meri Jaan', 'A Wednesday' dealing with the issue of terrorism.

'Shoot on Sight' directed by Jagmohan Mundra was based on the London bomb blasts of July seven, 2005.

The box office performance of 'Ghajini' will affect box office in 2009 as well. Akshay Kumar's 'Chandni Chowk to China' will be another attraction to be released in January.

Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra 'Dilli 6' is also eagerly awaited.'Main Aur Mrs Khanna' and 'What's your Rashee?' will also be released during the next year.

Newcomers like Imran Khan, Harman Baweja, television hearthrobs Prachi Desai and Rajeev Khandelwal made their debuts during 2008. While filmmaker Farhan Akhtar had a successful transition to actor-singer in 'Rock On!'.
Veterans like B R Chopra, Mahendra Kapoor, Jayshree Gadkar, Chandrakant Gokhale, Vijay Tendulkar passed away.

Trade sources said low cost films and contemporary themes were a hit. "If you spend less you need to earn less to make profits. While if you spend spectacularly, you need to earn big to recover the costs," trade analysts point out.

Attributing the steep rise in the costs of production and talent to the fresh funding from new public limited companies, Kapur said "Prices are bound to go up when there is more demand and less supply."

Kapur who produced movies like 'Aamir', 'A Wednesday', 'Fashion', said "small budget films have to jostle hard for mind space whereas big movies sell all by themselves."

Taran Adarsh, editor of another trade magazine ‘Trade Guide’ said good stories clicked in 2008 irrespective of the genres.

'Jaane Tu...ya Jaane na' and 'Jannat' were the biggest grossers while 'Rock On!' 'A Wednesday', 'Welcome to Sajjanpur', 'Jodhaa Akbar',’Race’, 'Singh is Kinng',

'Dostana', 'Golmal Returns', 'Aamir','Fashion', 'Aamir' were the other successful films, he added.

The year also saw the screening of first Pakistani movie 'Khudha Ki Liye' in India which drew an enthusiastic response from the audience.

The year saw a record release of six animation films like 'My Friend Ganesha' and 'Roadside Romeo' but all of them flopped.
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