BlockbusterMajor hits make 2006 year of blockbuster for Bollywood
Some of the decade's biggest blockbusters were witnessed this year with film revenue touching unprecedented heights. The Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai film from the Yashraj stable "Dhoom 2" reportedly earned Rs 110 crore within the first three weeks of its release.
The new year, however, looks equally exciting for the industry with Ashutosh Gowariker's magnum opus "Akbar Jodha", again starring Hrithik and Aishwarya Rai, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's much awaited "Saanwariya" that will see the debut of Ranbir Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor's son) and Sonam (Anil Kapoor's daughter).
The past year also witnessed sequels and remakes. New versions of hits of yesteryears "Umrao Jaan" and "Don" saw the light of theatres while more such ventures, including Ram Gopal Verma's "Sholay", were announced.
The business of sequels made sense for the film industry, with second editions of "Dhoom" (Dhoom 2), "Koi Mil Gaya" (Krissh) and "Munnabhai MBBS" (Lage Raho Munnabhai) finding great favour with audiences.
"'Dhoom 2' was the year's biggest grosser but then most Yashraj films, including 'Salaam Namaste', 'Fanaa' and 'Kabul Express' have not really been flops because of their aggressive marketing strategy," Adarsh says.
"Krissh", the tale of a desi superhero and "Lage Raho Munnabhai", which took Mahatma Gandhi's teachings to a different level for the new generation, were the other big grossers of the year.
"Omkara", Vishal Bharadwaj's take on Othello set in rural India, was well received as was Nagesh Kukunoor's "Dor" and Karan Johar's tale of extra marital strife, "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna".
The film industry also lost some of its stalwarts including music director Naushad, filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee and actress Nadira.
But it was not just movies that Bollywood made news for. From actor Sanjay Dutt's conviction for illegal possession of arms in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case to Aishwarya Rai getting in trouble with the customs department for a mystery packet containing 23,000 euros, film personalities made news off screen as well.
Dutt was convicted under the Arms Act and not the draconian TADA, while Rai found herself fending off allegations not only about the mystery packet but also reports about her relationship with Abhishek Bachchan.
The media tracked the couple's every move including their visit to temples in Varanasi, reportedly to seek blessings before tying the knot.
While 2006 was an action-packed year for the film industry, the coming year promises even better things and film goers can sit back and enjoy a roller coaster ride in the magical world of Hindi films.