Happy New Year and welcome to 2008! While 2007 was a particularly successful year in both box office and quality wise, 2008 promises to be a year filled with a lot of experimentation, along with some much-awaited film releases.
Thanks to Aly Kassam who wrote an article with a sneak peak into 2008’s films — here is our official prediction thread about the films to be releasing in 2008. I will be writing predictions for quality as well as for box office — as both are truly important for a truly enjoyable movie going experience!
Before getting into the films, I would like to note that in my charts below, I have written a table with “QUALITY” above “BOX OFFICE”. This is because I have firm belief that in order for Indian Cinema to move forward, filmmakers must concentrate on QUALITY rather than BOX OFFICE — to truly make something memorable, rather than just money spinners.
However, I digress. Here is Part 1 of the prediction list!
Aamir Khan’s JAANE TU YA JAANE NA
While not much is currently known about Abbas Tyrewala’s directoral debut, except for a very impressive crew (Aamir Khan producing, music direction by AR Rahman and a whole slew of guest appearances — plus Tyrewala’s skill at writing screenplays and dialogues) we’re sure this one is going to be one to wait for.
Taking Aamir Khan’s track record with production into consideration– any project he throws his support behind is likely to be a very high quality product at hand. Tyrewala’s skill at writing and the music direction by Rahman should bring forth a strong film that will be enjoyed by intelligent audiences.
Box Office: Avg to Hit
The film may be hurt by no large headliner star. However, with what is sure to be strong word of mouth, the film will likely recover costs.
Ashutosh Gowariker’s JODHAA-AKBAR
With the soundtrack of Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum opus Jodhaa-Akbar hit the airwaves and the film to be releasing on Valentines Day, this highly awaited period film starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is one that has a lot going for it. However, with the delays the film and its music have faced, will it affect its overall outlook?
Rahman returns and gives a phenomenal soundtrack, and with Ashutosh Gowariker’s track record in they two very high quality films Lagaan and Swades, there should be little doubt that Gowariker will deliver a quality film.
Box Office: Flop
Audience feedback on the trailers has not been positive to say the least. While the oft-delayed soundtrack has finally released, the film is still unsure of the final release date, or if Gowariker’s back will act up again — thus delaying the film even further. Also, the songs do not have a mass appeal. The main factor towards high box office performance will be the presence of Hrithik and Ash. However, if Shahrukh Khan could not bring Swades as a box office hit, it remains to be seen if the two stars can do the same for this film.
Abbas-Mustan has always made thriller films. It’s the forte and needless to say, the hype for his latest Race is getting larger by day. With the trailers having hit the screens everywhere, this slick-thriller starring Saif Ali Khan, their favourite Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy is sure to be an intelligent, high energy type of film.
Abbas-Mustan have always made films that have a thriller element to them, and yet are very high quality. While 36 China Town did leave some to be desired, in terms of quality, they did bounce back with a tremendous Naqaab. One expects that with the two at the helm again, Pritam giving the music, and slick promotion, this film is going to be one of the few examples of “quality” meets “style.”
Box Office: Super Hit to Blockbuster
Out of any of Abbas-Mustan’s latest films, none of them are as well positioned to be a box office blockbuster than Race. A huge star cast, slick and well executed trailors, beautiful women — this could be the follow up to Dhoom that really everyone is waiting for to succeed at the box office.
Subhash Ghai’s BLACK AND WHITE
Subhash Ghai has been trying to get on a roll of late. While his productions have been successful (Iqbal and Dor), his latest directorial movies have been leaving some to be desired. This year, he launches Black and White along with the already highly awaited Yuvraaj. Starring Anil Kapoor, not much is known about this film except for its cast.
Subhash Ghai has been away for quite some time from the directorial scene. One would hope for the extent of his filmmaking school, that his next films are at least of a good quality. Based on the fact that this is a lower budget film, the emphasis will be on script. We’re hoping this one springs a surprise, but not holding our breath.
Box Office: Average
By word of mouth, this film could go to be a money maker, but only with excellent promotion and good word of mouth. The opening weekend will be key to its final collections. However, I’m not expecting a money spinner on this one.
Mudassar Aziz’s DULHA MIL GAYA
Mudassar Aziz’s directorial debut Dulha Mil Gaya made news early with the re-casting of Shahrukh Khan and Sushmita Sen. Unfortunately, Shahrukh confirmed he was only a “special appearance” and that the two real stars of the film are Sushmita and Fardeen.
This one does not have the freshest look to it, perhaps because of the delays it has undergone. The information given about it so far could go either way. This one could be a dark horse in terms of quality, but will have to see what happens.
Bos Office: Average
Shahrukh’s guest appearance will definitely give this film a push at the box office, but it depends on the amount of promotion SRK gets in this film. Audiences naturally punish filmmakers that overly promote a “guest appearance” who are front and centre, and only have a 5 minute role (see Shakti — The Power). This one looks like it will recover its investments, but sustainable power will depend on it being a quality product or not.
Rumi Jaffrey’s GOD TUSSI GREAT HO
Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra — the starcast will ultimately decide whether this film succeeds or not. Rumi Jaffrey, who has written a lot of previous Salman films, such as Main Pyar Kyun Kiya, Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar, and Yeh Hai Jalwa, comes to the director helm here, for what is sure to be a good masala entertainer.
At the onset, one does not expect this to be ground-breaking at all. The film is structured like a typical masala entertainer, so we’re not expecting anything too different about this film except for being a film that appeals to hardcore Salman and Priyanka fans.
Box Office: Hit
A beautiful formula to use — based on the performances of Salman, Amitabh and Priyanka, combined with what is sure to be some very melodious music, this film will fetch a huge opening and be yet another feather in Salman’s cap of box office success.
Mahesh Bhatt’s JANNAT
After the grossly under-rated film that was Mahesh Bhatt’s Awarapan, Bhatt is back with Emraan Hashmi, this time paired opposite Esha Deol in this romantic drama. Kunal Deshmukh, who is a first time director, gets a huge chance at making a powerful film. While we are waiting for more details to be announced, we’re sure this is one to truly look out for!
When Mahesh Bhatt and Emraan Hashmi both come together, previous instances have presented various guarantees, including beautiful music, a meaningful yet offbeat entertaining film, and, more recently, films with a message. With first time director Kunal, and Esha Deol part of the project, we’re sure this one is going to follow in the quality path of Awarapan.
Box Office: Average to Hit
With good word of mouth, good music and overall publicity — this film could do very well. Often films that are “different” do not fare as well as other films that follow a certain formula, Gangster being the lone exception to this rule. One can expect a fresh product — backed with excellent technicians, the film should do good business.
Ajay Devgan’s U ME AUR HUM
After Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgan takes his turn at the directorial helms. His latest production, co-starring with his wife Kajol, is a romantic film that goes from flirting to dating to marriage and afterwards. This one should be very popular with the desi crowds, and based on promotion in the coming months, should be one of the highlights of the coming year.
Ajay Devgan is a meticulous actor. While he does serious brooding roles with more ease, it must have been an excellent script for him to get into the direction arena. Plus, with Kajol’s second film after her return — quality is definitely something that should be expected from this film.
Box Office: Average to Hit
With all the ingredients to do smashing business at the box office (star cast, an innovative romantic script, guest appearances) this film is all set to be a highlight in both quality and box office this year!
Coming up next, in part 2 of this 3 part series, our predictions for TASHAN, BHOOTNATH, HAR PALL, HEROES, SARKAR RAAJ, DRONA, SINGH IS KING, YUVRAJ and many more!