My Most Awaited Bollywood Films Of 2018!

THUGS OF HINDOSTAN: This easily is the biggest all-Bollywood film of the year as it stars Aamir Khan. And this time, he’s teamed up with Katrina Kaif, Amitabh Bachchan and Fatima Sana Shaikh for this period action film. It’s being shot in some beautiful, virgin locales and should be a visual delight. Director Vijay Krishna Acharya doesn’t quite enjoy a great reputation thanks to Tashan but his last film Dhoom 3 was a terrific entertainer, though mindless. Hence, Thugs Of Hindostan can be expected to be a pan-India entertaining flick.

ZERO: With each passing year, the respect and credibility of Aanand L Rai has been increasing thanks to his choice of films. Also, as a director, he has chosen some grounded, witty scripts that has made him one of the best that we have. Hence, one can’t help but wait eagerly for Zero, which features Shah Rukh Khan as a dwarf. The sneak peek was hilarious and this could be a fun-filled entertainer.

SANJAY DUTT BIOPIC: It’s an exciting venture as it stars Ranbir Kapoor and that it talks about the roller-coaster life of Sanjay Dutt. But more than, it’s the fact that it’s directed by Rajkumar Hirani which makes it all more the exciting. He has had 100% track record and Dutt biopic should be another feather in his cap.

PADMAAVAT: The film had created buzz even before it got into controversies. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been having a great run since Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela. His last release Bajirao Mastani also was too good. The grandeur that he showcases in his films can’t be missed at any cost. The casting too is intriguing – there’s Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone but both reportedly don’t come face to face in the film at all. And Shahid Kapoor plays Deepika Padukone’s warrior husband all three look great and totally into their character.

2.0: Robot was terrific and hence its sequel 2.0 has to be a highly awaited one. Director Shankar knows the pulse of the audiences (his 2001 film Nayak still is very relatable) and what’s more, this time we have Akshay Kumar as the super villain. That it’s shot in Hindi and not just dubbed is another exciting factor.

SAAHO: The whole nation has fallen in love with Prabhas after the Baahubali series. Hence, his next flick Saaho is eagerly awaited. It’s a trilingual film and not dubbed like Baahubali. Nothing is known about this film’s plot but from the teaser, it’s evident that it’s going to be a visual extravaganza.

PAD MAN: R Balki can work wonders when he attempts new, unusual stories (he faltered just once with Shamitabh). Pad Man seems to be another entertaining-moving film from this genius maker. It deals with a small-town resident who makes low cost sanitary pads. Twinkle Khanna has written the story and this is something very exciting since we all know that she is a great writer!

AIYAARY: Neeraj Pandey is a name to reckon with. From A Wednesday to Special 26 to Baby to M S Dhoni – The Untold Story, he has never disappointed. Hence, despite the not-so-awesome trailer, Aiyaary is a film that makes me curious and excited.

PARMANU: The last time John Abraham took up a real-life political subject with Madras Café, audiences were left amazed. Hence, there’s some sort of curiosity for Parmanu, that talks about India’s Nuclear programme. It also stars Diana Penty and Boman Irani.

RACE 3: It is disappointing that Saif Ali Khan, the mainstay of Race franchise, is missing from the third part. Also, Abbas-Mustan aren’t directing it this time. But then there’s Salman Khan who has taken over the mantle and he is also accompanied with Anil Kapoor. Race is about sizzling hotties and this time, Jacqueline Fernandez has been retained. She’ll surely add the required sizzle to the film. It’s an Eid release moreover and hence, should be a dhamaka!

SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY: It’s directed Luv Ranjan, whose Pyaar Ka Punchnama films became a game changer. There was absolutely no excitement for his next, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, but it all changed when the trailer was unveiled. Kartik Aaryan seems in great form and Nushrat Bharucha is also expected to rock the show.

RAID: Ajay Devgn is on a roll after Golmaal Again crossed the 200-crore-mark. His first film of the year is Raid, featuring him as a no-nonsense officer in Uttar Pradesh. It is directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, known for his gritty films. Ileana D’Cruz is seen opposite Ajay once again after Baadshaho. Surely, a film that can work wonders if it has the right amalgamation of entertainment and substance!

OCTOBER: Shoojit Sircar can never be underestimated, especially after the much loved Vicky Donor and Piku. October is supposedly dark but with Shoojit at the helm, one can expect for something interesting. Also, Varun Dhawan gets back into unconventional zone after Badlapur with this one.

BAAGHI 2: Till date, I haven’t been really impressed with Tiger Shroff’s films. Yet, his films are always keenly awaited for me as he’s a treat to watch on screen. Thanks to people like him, there’s hope that masala film genre will survive for a longer time. I found Baaghi strictly okay and hoping Baaghi 2 rocks and shows Tiger in all its glory!

MANIKARNIKA: Kangana Ranaut is a fabulous performer and I am really looking forward to see how she has essayed Rani Lakshmibai in this historical!

RAAZI: Meghna Gulzar left viewers stunned with Talvar and something similar can be expected from Raazi, which stars talented actors like Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal. That it’s shot in beautiful Kashmir locales is an added advantage.

VEERE DI WEDDING: Chick flicks are rarely made in Bollywood. Hence, once such a film is about to arrive, the excitement surely goes up. And Veere Di Wedding is extra special as it stars two fashionistas – Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. Swara Bhaskar and Sumeet Vyas also feature in this slice of life wedding drama.

SANDEEP AUR PINKY FARAAR: I feel Dibakar Banerjee is way ahead of Anurag Kashyap when it comes to realistic fares. He was missing from the scene since sometime but now it’s great to see him back with what seems like a fun-filled entertainer. Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra are the leading actors in this flick. It’ll be interesting to see the locales of Uttarakhand as well, which is a rarely explored location despite the proximity from Delhi.

BATTI GUL METER CHALU: Uttarakhand will be shown prominently in Batti Gul Meter Chalu as well, directed by Toilet – Ek Prem Katha director Shree Narayan Singh. This Shahid Kapoor-Shraddha Kapoor-Yami Gautam starrer talks about the relatable issue of hefty electricity bills and it’s based in small towns, which will be interesting to see on screen.

DEEPIKA PADUKONE-IRRFAN KHAN STARRER: Deepika Padukone’s next after Padmaavat will be a film on the life of Sapna Didi who attempted to kill Dawood Ibrahim. Irrfan Khan also stars in this drama which will be directed by Vishal Bhardwaj himself.

TOTAL DHAMAAL: Golmaal Again proved how multi-starrer clean comedies can go a long way. Hence, there’s tremendous excitement for Total Dhamaal. It’s star cast itself is terrific – Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh and Ashish Chowdhry! Dhamaal has been a fun franchise and Total Dhamaal hopefully would go one step ahead.

SIMMBA: Ranveer Singh is a powerhouse of energy and comedy. But this part of his has been rarely explored in films. Finally, it will be displayed in full glory in Simmba, directed by Rohit Shetty. The first look itself looks highly entertaining and colourful and more importantly, masaledaar, the need of the hour!

SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER (Tentative title): Sriram Raghavan’s crime dramas are unforgettable. Here’s hoping Shoot The Piano Player continues with the tradition. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana in his first ever dark role along with Radhika Apte and Tabu.

KARWAAN: This can be the sleeper hit of the year. It stars Irrfan Khan and South sensation Dulquer Salmaan along with Marathi actress Mithila Palkar. The title gives a nice travel vibe and Irrfan is amazing as always. Surely, a film to watch out for!

KEDARNATH: Kedarnath has always been on my priority list of places to visit. Hence, a film about this temple town is quite exciting for me. Moreover, the makers plan to show the flood that ravaged the town in 2013 and it’ll be intriguing how they manage to show it authentically. Abhishek Kapoor faltered with Fitoor but he has proven his worth with Rock On and Kai Po Che. The star cast too can be interesting – Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan.

SUI DHAAGA: The title is catchy and it brings together Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma for the first time. Moreover, it talks about Gandhian principles and it’s directed by Sharat Katariya, whose 2015 flick Dum Laga Ke Haisha is still memorable.

1921 collects 7.75 cr in 4 days; Kaalakaandi collects 3.40 cr; Mukkabaaz collects 4.75 cr

Image result for 1921 kaalakaandi mukkabaaz
Box Office India Trade Network

1921 has emerged the best of a poor lot as it remained a good lead over the three films. The film grossed in the 1.25-1.50 crore nett on range on Monday to takes it total to 7.75 crore nett apprx. Its a total that MUKKABAAZ or KAALAKAANDI don't have a chance to hit over the week. The hold is decent but first day saw a late multiplex release. It remains to be seen how the film goes from here and it can continue at these levels there will at least be a respectable total. The first four day business of 1921 is as follows.
Friday - 1,50,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 2,25,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 2,50,00,000 apprx
Monday - 1,50,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 7,75,00,000 apprx

KAALAKAANDI is a disaster and as expected went down on Monday and will be a one week runner only. The film will close the week at around 4.75 crore nett and a probable lifetime of 5 crore nett. The first four days figures of KAALAKAANDI are as follows.
Friday - 1,00,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 95,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 95,00,000 apprx
Monday - 50,00,000
TOTAL - 3,40,00,000 apprx

MUKKABAAZ is also a dud though not as bad as KAALAKAANDI. The first day collectiosn are in the same range as day one but are too low being well under 1 crore nett. The film will gross around 7 crore nett over the first week.  The first four day business of MUKKABAAZ is as follows.
Friday - 75,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 1,50,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 1,75,00,000 apprx
Monday - 75,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 4,75,00,000 apprx

Tiger Zinda Hai collects 326.79 cr in 25 days

Tiger Zinda Hai Box Office Collection : फिल्म हुई हिट तो कैटरीना ने कह डाली ये बात
Box Office India Trade Network

TIGER ZINDA HAI is still maintaining rock steady collections well into its fourth week. The Christmas and New Year period is over but the trend in collections is similar to the holiday period. The film jumps huge every Sunday and then is holding well over the weekdays. 

The new releases not working has helped its cause a little and seems like week four will close at around 11 crore nett which will take the film to 330 crore nett which should ensure a 335 crore nett lifetime total and this will make it the highest Salman Khan grosser with a GROSS total of 425 crore as against the 422 crore of BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN.

The box office figures for TIGER ZINDA HAI till date are as follows.
Week One - 2,06,04,00,000 
Second Week - 85,41,00,000 
Third Week - 27,34,00,000 
Friday - 1,50,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 2,15,00,000
Sunday - 3,10,00,000 apprx
Monday - 1,25,00,000 apprx
Third Weekend - 8,00,00,000 apprx
GRAND TOTAL - 3,26,79,00,000 apprx

Padmaavat to have paid previews from January 24

Upala KBR (DNA; January 17, 2018)

Only days after the makers of Padmaavat announced January 25 as its official release date, the team seems to have a tactic up its sleeve to give it a head-start in its clash with Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man. mid-day has learnt that the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer will have paid previews across theatres in India ( barring the states that have banned it) on the night of January 24.

Confirming the development, Manoj Desai, owner of G A multiplex in Mumbai, says, “While Pad Man releases on January 25, Padmaavat will release the night before. The distributors of Padmaavat are likely to reimburse the film that is scheduled for the 9.30 pm show that day and screen the magnum opus instead. There will be only one paid preview. This will happen not just in my theatres but across India.”

While one could view it as the makers trying to gain the first-mover advantage in a box- office clash, trade analysts opine it may also help in influencing public opinion. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama has been mired in controversy ever since it was announced. As many as four states — Rajasthan, Gujarat Madhya Pradesh and Haryana — have announced their ban on the film despite it getting a U/A certificate from the Censor Board.

“If the makers of Padmaavat are arranging paid previews, it means they are confident of their product and want to prove to those who have been protesting against the film that they are wrong. They want to show the audiences that the movie glorifies Rajput culture and traditions,” reasons trade analyst Atul Mohan.

Mohan further points out that if positive word-of-mouth starts trickling in by Wednesday night, it might lead to renewed interest in the film and by extension, more footfalls on Thursday. “The paid preview can lead to discussions on social media and can change the general audience opinion. Having a paid preview is more of a psychological move.”

The producers remained unavailable for comment.

Despite bans, the excitement around Padmaavat peaks

Meena Iyer (DNA; January 17, 2018)

Padmaavat is now a forbidden fruit in certain states of India where holier-than-thou attitudes persist, freedom of speech is threatened and miscreants seem to speak in higher decibels than the lawmakers. Rajasthan was the first state to say that it won’t allow the release of this magnum opus, which is actually based on the 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poem Padmavat. Next, the Government of Gujarat’s Information and Broadcasting department sent a notification stating the film would be banned there. In Goa, the period drama has not been banned but the Goa Police had expressed apprehension about the film being screened in the state during the peak tourist season as they feared it won’t be able to micro-manage the law and order situation, should there be any untoward incidents at theatres that screen Padmaavat. While other states are still debating their line of action with regard to this Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial, the trade in Bollywood is truly unhappy that no one is coming forward to stand with SLB.

Says trade analyst Komal Nahta, “This is victimisation at its worst. How can governments talk of banning a film that has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification? This is appalling and I’m truly angry that something like this should be happening. Honestly, the industry should rally around Sanjay and come out as a unified force to fight people who are trying to do something so unfair.” Nahta feels that despite this atmosphere of ‘a ban’ in certain states, the film will open huge because everyone is waiting for it.

Producer-exhibitor NR Pachisia couldn’t agree more. He says, “Padmaavat is not your regular movie. It is your annual calendar event which you wait for with bated breath. I hope it gets its due.” A third trade source says that people will travel from Gujarat to Maharashtra to catch a screening. He adds, “When Fanaa was banned in Gujarat in 2006, people travelled to Mumbai to see it.”

There are many others who are sure that the governments of the states, which have announced a ban, will come around. Nahta himself agrees on this. He says, “Either the Supreme Court will issue orders revoking the ban or the decision may come from the governments themselves to lift it. There’s still room for dialogue.”

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Padmaavat banned in Haryana

MUMBAI MIRROR (January 17, 2018)

Haryana has become the third BJP-ruled state after Gujarat and Rajasthan to ban the release of Padmaavat. According to Health Minister Anil Vij, the decision was taken by the state Cabinet keeping in view the law and order situation given that many feel historical facts have been “distorted” in the period drama which opens on January 25. Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court issued a contempt notice to Central Board of Film Certification chairman Prasoon Joshi in connection with the release. The Lucknow bench of the court granted three weeks’ time to Joshi for filing his response to the contempt notice. It fixed next hearing of the matter in the week commencing February 12.

A bench of Justice Mahendra Dayal passed the order on the petition filed by Kamta Prasad Singhal, who had submitted that he had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a ban on the film’s release because it promoted Sati, which is an offence. After hearing the PIL, the court had on November 9, 2017, dismissed the petition but, simultaneously, permitted the petitioner to move his grievance through a representation to the CBFC. Accordingly, he moved the representation before the chairman of the board on November 13, but Joshi is yet to decide on it and the three weeks time given to him by the High Court has lapsed.

India's Next Superstar: Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Karan Johar's show?

Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Chaya Unnikrishnan (DNA; January 17, 2018)

Now that the release date for Padmaavat is out, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his actor trio — Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor — will be seen promoting the film in the next two weeks. Sources say that SLB and Ranveer Singh are slated to go on Karan Johar and Rohit Shetty’s show India’s Next Superstars. The shoot is slated for next week. Says a source, “The show is about scouting superstars among people who have no connections in the industry and Ranveer epitomises that. So, he has been invited and the makers are keen on having SLB, too, as it will be interesting to see him and KJo on the same platform.”

Karan, who was earlier rumoured to be miffed with SLB, has been praising his style and aesthetics of filmmaking, especially with regard to Padmaavat. When the first look of Deepika Padukone from the film was launched, Karan said, “She looks stunning. That’s one thing about Sanjay Leela Bhansali, his aesthetics are always beautiful and the best. His sense of visualisation, beauty is the best we have in the country.”

After Kangana Ranaut, who had differences with KJo appeared on the show, the makers are hoping for another reunion, this time between him and SLB. “Talks are on and it will be decided in two days,” adds the source.

Bigg Boss 11 over; Salman Khan to now shoot audition call promos for Dus Ka Dum?

Natasha Coutinho (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 17, 2018)

Soon after wrapping up the 11th season of his reality show, Bigg Boss, Salman Khan is gearing up to shoot the audition call promos for the third season of 10 Ka Dum. The 52-year-old actor will be shooting them in February, even though the show only kicks off mid-year.

A source reveals that as per the current plan, 10 Ka Dum will go on air by June. “The idea is to shoot in two separate schedules keeping in mind how busy Salman is. The first schedule is expected to commence in March and the second in June, after the show is launched,” informs the source, adding that like Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati, that ran for one-and-a-half months, this one too will have the same run-time with a half month extension, depending on the viewer response and Salman’s availability.”

An Indianised version of the popular international gameshow, Power of 10, which began in the US in 2007 with stand-up comedian Drew Carey as the host, and took off in India in 2008.

Meanwhile, Salman is currently filming the title track of his upcoming action multi-starrer, Race 3, with co-stars Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah and Freddy Daruwala.

Sajid Nadiadwala to launch this pretty woman now

Hitika is producer Vijay Galani’s daughter and a Kareena fan
Sanyukta Iter (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 17, 2018)

Sajid Nadiadwala who re-launched the career of Jacqueline Fernandez with the 2010 comedyfranchise Housefull and gave Bollywood two debutants in 2014 — Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon — with the Sabbir Khan-directed Heropanti, plans to launch two newcomers this year. While it has already been announced that Suniel Shetty’s son, Ahaan, will play the leading man in one of his upcoming projects, Sajid will also be launching producer Vijay Galani’s daughter, Hitika.

“I’ve know Sajid bhai since I was a kid. I practically grew up watching his films being made as my father and he are best friends and he has always treated me like his own daughter. Around five years ago, he joked that I’d become an actress and since then he’s ensured I was prepping up for the big launch, always asking me if I was going for dance and acting lessons regularly,” informs Hitika who graduated in Economics from a city college four months ago.

The 20-year-old has been grooming herself for the last year-and-half and confirms that the “vague conversations about her launch” have now translated into a more professional conversation now. Hitika is quick to add that it’s not the fourth instalment of the Housefull franchise. “This is another film,” she says shortly.

She’s trained in Kathak, learnt freestyle and hip-hop dance forms, and has also undergone several acting workshops alongside studies. “Sajid bhai is already treating me like a professional actor,” she beams, admitting that initially her producer-father who has made the Govinda-starrer Achanak, Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol-starrer Ajnabee and Salman Khan’s Veer, was hesitant about her decision since he knows the industry too well. “But eventually he gave in knowing it was inevitable and has been really supportive.”

Hitika is a die-hard Kareena Kapoor fan and has the 37-year-old actress in mind while grooming herself for a debut. “Growing up, I binged on all Kareena movies and even while I’ve been training I tried to think like she would because her journey has always had the biggest impact on my life,” Hitika signs off.

Images: Alia Bhatt, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan in Dabboo Ratnani's 2018 calendar

Hiren Kotwani (BOMBAY TIMES; January 17, 2018)

Like every year, there’s a lot of excitement and intrigue around Dabboo Ratnani’s annual calendar, which launches today. And, it looks like the ace photographer has captured some unique shots of our favourite stars this time around as well. He explains, “Every year, I try to attempt something new. When I look at a shot of mine, I think, ‘What can be better than this?’ It becomes a competition with my previous work. Normally, one thinks that a full-length picture or a wider shot won’t be seen on a desk calendar. But this time, I have quite a few full-length and wider pictures, a few mid-shots and close-ups. So, there’s a lot of variety. In terms of concepts, outdoor shots, props and the result, I feel that this is my best so far.”

The surprise addition to the calendar this year is Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar. “She is the only newcomer on this calendar, and she hasn’t done a shoot like this before,” he sums up. Here’s a glimpse into what Dabboo is offering this year...

“I wanted to give Alia a grunge kind of vibe. We’ve used a lot of sand and ambar powder. In the past, we’ve done very sweet and happy pictures with Alia; this year, the focus is more on mood and expression. The idea was to show her in a different light. The composition and the background are treated in such a way that it adds a little mystery and a fierce vibe to the photograph.”

A sneak-peek into Dabboo’s annual calendar

“Aishwarya photographs like a dream. This year, her picture has more to do with the gold dust kind of vibe. She was completely involved with the concept and gave a number of suggestions. We had a different kind of gold confetti and gold dust flying around. Talking about the picture, it’s more about her expressions — there’s a little bit of magic in the picture. We gave the studio a gold background and lit it up with candles. The idea was to lend the space a warm glow. Aishwarya has been a constant since my first calendar, and she is always keen to try new things.”

“With Mr Bachchan, I always try something crazy. Previously, I had shot with him at a barber shop, in an autorickshaw and even on a luggage trolley. For this calendar, I wanted him to be dressed up for a bike ride. It’s a quirky kind of shot. I wanted it to be something you cannot expect Mr Bachchan to do. He is always game for new ideas and, unlike many others, doesn’t check the pictures on the monitor. He has complete faith in me and says, ‘You come up with such different concepts; just tell me what you want me to do and I will do it’.”

“At first look, you’ll feel that he’s not looking into the camera, but then, you’ll see the reflection. So, he’s watching you, and yet it looks like he’s not. Hrithik is looking cool in this photograph; and with the waistcoat, it’s a classic look. Though it’s a black and white picture, it’s bright and a little close-up as well. We experimented with a lot of expressions. The shot may look simple, but it’s tricky when you’re working with the mirror — it captures everything, so shooting with one is always challenging. Hrithik is extremely good-looking with a great jawline; not everyone can pull off an angle like that.”