THE SUCCESS SERIES
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
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.
RAKESH ROSHAN, FILMMAKER
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