Times have changed and so have our films. A not-so-typical commercial entertainer like ‘Gully Boy’ (2019) has set the box office on fire, at least in some parts of India. ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ (2019) meanwhile is refusing to stop. At first, Rs. 200 crore seemed like a distant dream but it crossed the coveted mark. And now trade and industry is hoping that it’ll reach at least till Rs. 240 crore! Again, ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ was not the usual entertainer and yet, audiences accepted it across the country.
However, watching a typical masala comic fare still has its charm. ‘Total Dhamaal’, that releases tomorrow, is one such film and despite the challenges, it has the potential to work big time. It is the third part of the ‘Dhamaal’ franchise. The first part (2007) was a big hit and a riot on television. The sequel – ‘Double Dhamaal’ (2011) – was a bit of an underperformer, but it opened very well which proved that the franchise has been loved. The recall value is still strong. And moreover, it has some other factors going in its favour. The Dhamaal regulars are there – Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh and Jaaved Jaaferi. Ashish Chowdhry unfortunately couldn’t make it this time and same goes for Sanjay Dutt. But in their place, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit have stepped in. Needless to say, such an excellent cast has added to the hype.
‘Total Dhamaal’ moreover is an adventure comedy. The trailer indicates that a lot of animals have been used for comic effects. The masses and younger kids enjoy such kind of humour and Bollywood hasn’t really made such a film in a long time. This is a big advantage for ‘Total Dhamaal’. It promises to be a complete family entertainer with a pan-India appeal.
The film also has some challenges though. A section of audiences have found the trailer nonsense. Many of these belong to the critics category and they are sure to slam the film in their reviews. However, if the film is good, then it won’t pose a problem. But since it’s a costly film, the film has to have a very positive word of mouth and if that doesn’t happen, it’ll prove detrimental. Despite being a kid-friendly film, it’s releasing just around the exam season. Ideally, a film like this should have come out in April or May, during the vacations. Songs haven’t worked and the VFX looks a bit tacky.
The opening for ‘Total Dhamaal’ surely would be strong. ‘Gully Boy’ is a competition but that won’t hamper much as it’s mainly an urban success. In the smaller centres, it’s ‘Total Dhamaal’ that’ll dominate single-handedly. The first day collections could be around Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 crore and might even go higher. A weekend of Rs. 50 crore would be ideal. As seen by the success of ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, ‘Andhadhun’ (2018), ‘Badhaai Ho’ (2018), and ‘Stree’ (2018), when the audience accepts a film with open arms, then it can go anywhere. The hope is that ‘Total Dhamaal’ should cross Rs. 100 crore. But if the response is extraordinary, even Rs. 200 crore is possible!
The idea of ‘Total Dhamaal’ is exciting and its success will prompt more filmmakers to make such films.