As Ajay Devgn­star­rer Gol­maal Again hits the bulls­eye at the box of­fice and House­full 4 is an­nounced, we take a look at what’s mak­ing top Bol­ly­wood stars and film­mak­ers turn to­wards fran­chises in a big way

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What do House­full (2010), Sing­ham (2011) and Gol­maal (2006) have in com­mon? Well, be­sides be­ing big suc­cesses at the box of­fice, these Hindi pot­boil­ers also spawned three of Bol­ly­wood’s big­gest fran­chises, with the re­cently re­leased Gol­maal Again be­com­ing the big­gest hit in the Gol­maal fran­chise, and direc­tor Sa­jid Khan com­ing back to helm the fourth film in the House­full se­ries, star­ring Ak­shay Ku­mar.


It wasn’t the case in past years, but Bol­ly­wood seems to have de­vel­oped a knack for com­ing up with and sus­tain­ing hit fran­chises. What’s more, a num­ber of top stars are also choos­ing roles in block­buster fran­chises. The list in­cludes, Ajay Devgn, who head­lines the Sing­ham and Gol­maal se­ries; Ak­shay, who has fran­chises such as House­full, Hera Pheri and Khi­ladi in his kitty, and Sal­man Khan, who has the Da­bangg and Tiger se­ries.

Hrithik Roshan is cred­ited for com­ing up with B-Town’s own indige­nous su­per­hero fran­chise, Kr­rish; San­jay Dutt is the face of Ra­jku­mar Hi­rani’s Munna Bhai se­ries, and the De­ols have come up with the Yamla Pagla Dee­wana films. And that’s not all: other suc­cess­ful fran­chises to hit Bol­ly­wood over the past few years in­clude Race, Wel­come, Dhoom, Sarkar, and Raaz, among oth­ers.

Trade an­a­lyst Taran Adarsh says, “The big rea­sons [why fran­chises have be­come pop­u­lar] are tre­men­dous re­call value and high en­ter­tain­ment quo­tient. When a fran­chise be­comes a brand, peo­ple can eas­ily as­so­ci­ate with it.” Re­fer­ring to Varun Dhawan’s se­quel to Sal­man’s 1997 hit, Jud­waa, Adarsh adds, “It wouldn’t be sur­pris­ing if Jud­waa 3 is also an­nounced in a few years’ time.”


Ac­tors also ad­mit that “over time, fran­chises be­come brands”. Ajay says, “You can only make a fran­chise work when the char­ac­ters in the film work well. When you

We aren’t mak­ing proper fran­chises be­cause the story never con­tin­ues in any of them.



In the re­cent past, sev­eral other hit fran­chises — such as Dhamaal, Wel­come, Ragini MMS, Masti, Sa­heb Biwi Aur Gang­ster, Fukrey, Aashiqui and Hate Story — have also caught peo­ple’s at­ten­tion. But Kr­rish maker Rakesh Roshan feels fran­chises aren’t get­ting the “right treat­ment” in Bol­ly­wood.

“We aren’t mak­ing proper fran­chises be­cause the story never con­tin­ues in any of them. But in the Kr­rish se­ries, we are do­ing that. In other fran­chises, the stars are the same but the story as well as the set-up is com­pletely dif­fer­ent. For ex­am­ple, like The God­fa­ther tril­ogy, you can’t watch them as a se­ries,” says Roshan, adding that “work is on in full swing” on the script of Kr­rish 4.


But what makes fran­chises such a hit idea? Ex­plains Roshan: “With fran­chises, au­di­ences al­ready know the char­ac­ters and their world. So, the feel­ing is al­ways like, ‘let’s go and watch this film; it will be a lot of fun.’” Film-maker Sa­jid Na­di­ad­wala too fo­cuses on the “en­ter­tain­ment quo­tient.” “House­full is a fran­chise of fun. So in the fourth part, we have a funny the­matic twist as the plot is that of rein­car­na­tion,” he says.

At the same time, ex­perts warn about “go­ing over­board” with the idea of fran­chises as it can sound the death knell for the se­ries. “When you take a fran­chise for­ward, it goes with­out say­ing that the pres­sure and ex­pec­ta­tions keep mount­ing. And mak­ers have to en­sure that they de­liver what the au­di­ences are ex­pect­ing,” says trade ex­pert Taran Adarsh.

(Clock­wise) Kr­rish 3, House­full 3, Dhoom:3, and Gol­maal Again have beenn bibig hit­shit at the box of­fice

A still from Munna Bhai MBBS

A still from Aashiqui 2

A still from Sing­ham Re­turns

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