Box Office India is going through a lean phase in 2013, if we consider the first 4 months of the year. Himmatwala was the biggest disappointment of the year, whereas Special 26 didn't lived upto its reputation. What's more only Race 2 has emerged as the lone 100 crore film in 2013. Last year Bollywood saw as many as 9 films make it to the 100 crore club, with Ek Tha Tiger nearing the 200 crore nett mark. After that all positivity 2013 looks extremely low atleast for the time being.
We had a talk with few exhibitors and theater owners, they are right now little down, but not completely out. While talking to one of the dear exhibitor friend, he told us this important aspect that in 2011 (Ready, Bodyguard) and in 2012 (Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg 2) there were two films of Salman Khan each year and coincidentally they were the top grossers of respective years. But in 2013 there may not be a single release of him. Yes, Mental shooting is going on and is delayed due to varied reasons and now looks 50-50 for 2013. Although makers are trying hard to have it release somewhere in November 2013. With lull going at the box office, a Salman starrer would have been Sanjeevani for distributors and exhibitors.
Now let's forget about Mental. Main bone of contention is whether a Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar or any other starrer film can topple Salman Khan starrer film or not. With all due respect to Sallu fans, wouldn't it been exciting to see a change at top after 3 years. We have some of the biggest release in 2013 in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Ranbir Kapoor starrer), Chennai Express (Shahrukh Khan starrer), OUATIM 2 (Akshay Kumar starrer), Boss (Akshay Kumar starrer), Krrish 3 (Hrithik Roshan starrer), Dhoom 3 (Aamir Khan starrer). Satyagrah is a multistarrer with Ajay Devgn in it and may have an outside chance. Even if Salman gets his single release in Mental this year, still we think other mega stars have a big chance in to be at the top in 2013.
Shahrukh Khan's Chennai Express is a masala entertainer and is having every ingredient to be the top grosser of the year. It has all to be hit with masses and classes, what it needs is a good content. Next Aamir Khan's Dhoom 3 is also having great buzz and might be the biggest bet to be the top grosser of the year. Hrithik Roshan is also coming after a long gap with Krrish 3. Krrish was a big hit last time and makers of the film is expecting Krrish 3 will go one step further this time. There are some other releases as mentioned above, but frankly all are outsiders for the top rank.
So, if a case comes when Mental is not released in 2013 or even if released, what is the percentage of other starrer film to be the top grosser of the year. This is what we got from the few exhibitors.
Case I - If Mental released. Exhibitors think Dhoom 3 will be the biggest grosser of the year followed by Mental, Krrish 3 and Chennai Express.
Case II - If Mental is not released. Dhoom 3 will be the biggest grosser of the year followed by Krrish 3 and Chennai Express.
Case III - If Chennai Express gets solo release, it will be a bigger grosser then Krrish 3.
From the above three cases and a chit chat with few exhibitors. They still have fate in Aamir Khan brand and expect Dhoom 3 to break all record, even if Mental gets a release in 2013. Second important point is if Chennai Express is released with OUATIM 2, then its collections will definitely get affected.
Salman has delivered top grossers in last three years in Dabangg (2010), Bodyguard (2011) and Ek Tha Tiger (2012). His Mental may or may not have a release in 2013. This is the right time for his contemporaries to rule the roost and be counted. Again in 2014 Salman have big releases in Kick and No Entry Mein Entry and it might be little difficult for them. Time is right, hit the nail in the coffin. Or Sallu miya will have the last laugh again in 2013 with Mental?