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January 3, 2000

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Send this story to a friend 2000 can only be better

Komal Nahta

Let's begin this column by taking a look what the Bollywood stars were up to in 1999. The following table should help...

Star Films released Fate at the box office
Aamir Khan Sarfarosh
Mann
1947 Earth
Hit at places
Flop
Flop
Aishwarya Rai Aa Ab Laut Chalen
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Taal
Flop
Commission earner
Commission earner
Ajay Devgan Kachche Dhaage
Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Hindustan Ki Kasam
Dil Kya Kare
Gair
Thakshak
Commission earner
Commission earner
Commission earner
Average
Flop
Flop
Flop
Akshaye Khanna Lawaaris
Kudrat
Aa Ab Laut Chale
Taal
Dahek
Flop
Flop
Flop
Commission earner
Flop
Amitabh Bachchan Hindustan Ki Kasam
Lal Baadshah
Sooryavansham
Kohraam
Average
Flop
Flop
Flop
Anil Kapoor Biwi No 1
Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain
Mann
Taal
Semi-hit
Semi-hit
Flop
Commission earner
Bobby Deol Dillagi Flop
Govinda Anari No 1
Rajaji
Haseena Maan Jaayegi
Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain
Flop
Flop
Commission earner
Flop
Juhi Chawla Safari
Arjun Pandit
Flop
Average
Kajol Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain
Hote Hote Pyaar Ho Gaya
Dil Kya Kare
Semi-hit
Flop
Flop
Karisma Kapoor Silsila Hai Pyar Ka
Biwi No 1
Haseena Maan Jaayegi
Hum Saath-Saath Hain
Flop
Semi-hit
Commission earner
Super-hit
Mahima Chaudhary Daag -- The Fire
Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin
Dil Kya Kare
Semi-hit
Flop
Flop
Manisha Koirala Kachche Dhaage
Lal Baadshah
Laawaris
Jaihind
Kartoos
Mann
Hindustan Ki Kasam
Commission earner
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop
Average
Raveena Tandon Anari No 1
Jaihind
Rajaji
Shool
Gair
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop
Salman Khan Jaanam Samjha Karo
Biwi No 1
Sirf Tum (special appearance)
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Hello Brother
Hum Saath-Saath Hain
Flop
Semi-hit
Overflow
Commission earner
Flop
Super-hit
Sanjay Dutt Daag -- The Fire
Kartoos
Safari
Haseena Maan Jaayegi
Vaastav
Khoobsurat
Semi-hit
Flop
Flop
Commission earner
Commission earner
Flop
Shah Rukh Khan Baadshah Flop
Sonali Bendre Sarfarosh
Hum Saath-Saath Hain
Dahek
Overflow
Super-hit
Flop
Sunil Shetty Hu Tu Tu
Bade Dilwala
Kaala Samrajya
Flop
Flop
Flop
Sunny Deol Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin
Arjun Pandit
Dillagi
Flop
Average
Flop
Sushmita Sen Biwi No 1
Sirf Tum
Hindustan Ki Kasam
Semi-hit
Overflow
Average
Tabu Hu Tu Tu
Biwi No 1
Kohraam
Hum Saath-Saath Hain
Thakshak
Flop
Semi-hit
Flop
Super-hit
Flop
Urmila Matondkar Kaun
Jaanam Samjha Karo
Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain
Mast
Dillagi
Khoobsurat
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop
Flop

As you can see, the year 1999 has not been any different from the other years of the past decade, except that the films that did not run made losses that were huge enough to be back-breaking. What was also quite unusual was the fact that not a single film could qualify as the universal blockbuster of the year.

There was, of course, Hum Saath-Saath Hain, but it has not done the same kind of business all over India. That is to say, its business in circuits like Bombay, east Punjab, Bihar, C P Berar, C I, Rajasthan and Nizam are strong enough to give it the title of blockbuster, but its collections in Delhi and Bengal dont merit the coveted title. For those who do not know what C P Berar and C I stand for, the former (Central Province) covers parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, while C I (Central India) covers places like Indore, Ratlam, Bhopal, Ujjain -- in short, the other parts of Madhya Pradesh.

All the same, Hum Saath-Saath Hai is the biggest hit of 1999. While films like Sarfarosh, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Daag -The Fire and Sirf Tum, which qualify as universal successes, are not blockbusters.

At the other extreme are films like Dillagi, Thakshak, Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain, Mast, etc. These films did not live up to the banners which produced them, the cast which they boasted of and the hype that was generated around them. More importantly, they failed to recover the money that had been invested in making them.

In some cases, the producer may have succeeded in earning a handsome profit by selling his film, but Strade pundits will still term the film as loser/flop/disaster if the distributors don't recover their investment. For instance, Taal and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam were profitable propositions for their respective producers. Some distributors also made money on these two films, but there were others who did not.

For instance, Taal and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam were losers in Rajasthan, C P Berar, Bihar, etc. Incidentally, both these films did extremely well overseas. So did Hum Saath-Saath Hain.

There were a total of 154 releases in 1999 -- 112 original Hindi films and 42 dubbed ones (either Hollywood films or Indian, mostly Tamil, Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam). Of the 154, only 20 managed to earn something for their distributors (and we are not necessarily talking of all the distributors for one particular film here). Another three broke even, while distributors of the remaining 131 faced losses. Therefore, the ratio of successful films was just about 15 per cent! In fact, in the last few years, this ratio has only been shuttling between 15 to 22 per cent.

What follows is a list of the films released in 1999. They have been graded according to their box-office performance. I'd like to add that this grading has nothing to do with personal likes or dislikes; it is as objective as can be because there is only one criterion -- the amount of money a film has made. I am making this very clear because I have been accused of been partisan. For example, there is a gentleman who has sent me a mail accusing me of being unfair to Sunny Deol and Dillagi.

Others may also have similar doubts when they like a film that has not done well at the box office. Or vice versa. So I would like to reiterate that the ratings in this column are a summary of the box office collections, which are a true barometer of general public opinion.

So here is the list of releases of this year and their status at the ticket-windows:

SUPER-HIT -- CLASS AA' (films which earn three times their cost or more that in the box office): Hum Saath-Saath Hain

HIT -- CLASS A1 (films which earn more than twice their cost, but less than three times their cost): None

SEMI-HIT -- CLASS A (films which earn twice their cost): Biwi No 1, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Daag -- The Fire

OVERFLOW -- CLASS BB (films which earn more than 125% of their investment): Sarfarosh, Sirf Tum, Munnibai (this one is a very, very small-budget film which did good business in small towns and moffusil areas on the strength of its sex scenes), The Mummy (dubbed)

COMMISSION EARNERS -- CLASS B1 (films which cover at least 20% over and above their investment): Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet, Kachche Dhaage, Taal (losing in some circuits but did very well in Bombay, south India and overseas), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (losing in several circuits but a hit in Bombay and Gujarat as well as in overseas), Haseena Maan Jaayegi, Vaastav (losing in parts of India but did very well in Maharashtra), Jaanbaaz Khiladi (dubbed), Maut Ka Samudra (dubbed)

AVERAGE -- CLASS B (films that earned back their investment): Arjun Pandit, Jaanwar, International Khiladi, Tez Raftaar (dubbed), Hindustan Ki Kasam, Titanic (dubbed)

FLOPS: Sikandar Sadak Ka, Loh Purush, Lo Main Aa Gayaa, Jahan Tum Le Chalo, Aa Ab Laut Chalen (it did well in Bombay), Hu Tu Tu, Bade Dilwala, Khooni Aahat (dubbed), Shera, Chalo America, Bombay Boys (dubbed; overflow in Bombay), Gupt Sandesh (dubbed), Krantipath, Qatil Chandalini, Kaun (did well in Bombay), Zameen Ke Neeche, Lal Baadshah (did well in Uttar Pradesh), Laawaris, Aag Hi Aag, Kaala Samrajya, Aarzoo, Kahani Kismat Ki, Jaanam Samjha Karo (did well in Bombay), Putlibai, Purnasatya, Bhoot Ka Darr, Avaidh Sambandh (dubbed), Anari No 1 (overflow in Bombay), Tan Aggan, Zulmi, Silsila Hai Pyar Ka, Tower House, Shaitaani Khazana (dubbed), King Kong (dubbed), Jaihind, Gehri Saazish (dubbed), Main Hoon Baazigar (dubbed), Beauty Palace (dubbed), Lafdaa, Hello Doctor (dubbed), Kartoos, Phool Aur Aag, Khooni Ilaaka -- The Prohibited Area, Main Tere Pyaar Mein Pagal (dubbed), Sooryavansham (semi-hit in West Bengal, overflow in Bihar and C P Berar), Rajaji, Ganga Ki Kasam, Safari, Dracula, Zimbo, Anyay Hi Anyay, Nyaydaata, Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi.., The Terrorist (dubbed), Hote Hote Pyaar Ho Gaya, Benaam, Khaufnaak Raat (dubbed), Mann (commission earner in Bengal), Mahashaktimaan (dubbed), Seven Nights (dubbed), Shakti Aur Shaitan (dubbed), Dada (did very well in Delhi-UP), Chudail No 1, Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin, Khopdi -- The Skull, Murda Ghar, Egypt Ka Rajkumar (dubbed), Trishakti, Captain Bhavani (dubbed), Bhayanak Raatein (dubbed), Kohraam, Tu Hi Meri Ganga, Gorilla (dubbed), Baadshah (did well in Nizam), Aaya Toofan, Prem Shastra, Sangharsh (fair in some circuits), Godmother, Aaya Yauwan Jhoom Ke, Inteqam Aurat Ka, Manchali Ladkiyan (dubbed), Parai Aurat (dubbed), Hello Brother, 1947 Earth, Shaitanon Ka Honeymoon (dubbed), Virus (dubbed), Dil Kya Kare, Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain, Dulhan Bani Daayan, Kama Tantra (dubbed), Sanyasi Mera Naam, Chambal Ki Kasam (Barood Ke Sholay), Dragon (dubbed), Sar Kati Laash, Phool Bani Phoolan, Mast, Sar Ankhon Par, Haveli Ke Peeche, Shaitan Tantrik, Shaitaan No 1 (dubbed), Mother, Heeralal Pannalal, Aadhi Raat, Khoonkhar Darinde, Star Wars: Pahla Bhag - Andekha Khatra (dubbed), Madam Don, Dil Ka Sauda, Shool, Maa Kasam, Shaitan Khopdi (dubbed), Pati Ya Premi (dubbed), Gair, Jurm Ka Vinashak (dubbed), Dillagi, Murdon Ki Kahani Ek Bachche Ki Zubaani (dubbed), Khoobsurat (overflow in Bombay and C P Berar), School Girl, Himalaya Ki Rani (dubbed), Kamini Aur Kaamdev (dubbed), Thakshak, Sautela, Kaam-Vasna, Chamunda, Bhopal Express, Poonam Ki Raat, Dahek, Tabaahi -- The Destroyer, Bahke Kadam, Vishwa Sainik (dubbed), Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri, The Real Fire - Agan (dubbed), King Cobra (dubbed)

TOP 10 HITS: Hum Saath-Saath Hain, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Biwi No 1, Daag -- The Fire, Sarfarosh, Sirf Tum, The Mummy (dubbed), Munnibai, Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet, Kachche Dhaage

TOP 10 FLOPS: Dillagi, Hu Tu Tu, Dil Kya Kare, Thakshak, Mast, Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain, Dahek, Hote Hote Pyaar Ho Gaya, Bade Dilwala, Mother

A look at the week

Rating Film Production House Verdict Position Last Week
1 Hum Saath-Saath Hain Rajshri Hit 1
2 Jaanwar Shree Krishna Intl Average (Above average in the Hindi belt) 2
3 Taal Mukta Arts Above average
(Flop in parts)
4
4 Deep Blue Sea Warner Above average 5
5 Vaastav Adishakti Above average
(Hit in Maharashtra)
3
6 The Real Fire -- Agan Gothi Pictures Flop New
7 King Cobra Star Entertainment Average 7
8 Khoobsurat Jhamu Sugandh Flop 6
9 Tabaahi AMGF Flop 9
10 Dahek M J Films Disaster 10

Komal Nahta edits the popular trade magazine, Film Information.

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