If we look at all the box office trends that have worked in the past couple of years, there are some very safe ones bound to get you success at the theatres. For starters, there are period dramas mounted on a big scale like Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. Then there are well-made light-hearted entertainers with or without a social message like most of Akshay Kumar's movies, or Stree, Badhaai Ho etc. Or, masala films like a Tiger Zinda Hai or Simmba. And then finally movies that are sports biopics or scream nationalism. Varun Dhawan’s October, Sohum Shah’s Tumbbad, Alia Bhatt’s Raazi – 13 Bollywood Movies That Impressed the Hell Out of Us in 2018, Ranked!
Above all, all these movies should have a tremendous amount of buzz and at least be made sure that the initial reviews are in favour of the film. It may also help if a market-friendly producer, like a Karan Johar or a Sajid Nadiadwala, is involved who would help promote your movie in a big movie. Say what you want about 2.0, but it would not have done such a huge business in Northern circuits of India without a little nudge from KJo, which also goes for Simmba.
As for the stars, currently, it is Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Tiger Shroff, Varun Dhawan, Ayushmann Khurrana who are having a great popularity streak. Bigger superstars like Aamir Khan and, especially Shah Rukh Khan, have taken a huge hit in their popularity stakes. Salman Khan also didn't have a great year in 2018, but I would look that as a little bump on the road, since Race 3 was just too bad that even his die-hard fans couldn't digest. Make another decent entertainer with Bhai and he would rise back to the top! Not Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor or Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff is The Real Box Office Superstar of 2018 - Here's Why.
So looking at what has worked in favour of films in the last months and what is buzzing, here're what we feel the 10 potential blockbusters we will see in 2019 and what's it about them that will bring in the audiences.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Box Office Attractors: Historical Period Dramas, Nationalism, Kangana Ranaut, Republic Day release.
Kangana Ranaut's historical drama has already created a huge buzz thanks to its epic trailer. While there is little chance that Manikarnika could beat the box office records of other period films like Baahubali 2 and Padmaavat, there is a high chance that it could be the highest grossing female-led film beating Alia Bhatt's Raazi.
Box Office Attractors: Comedy, Franchise, Cast
Indra Kumar's market as a director may be on a slump, but the demand for light-hearted entertainers are on a high. It also helps that Total Dhamaal is a part of a hit franchise and has a good cast in Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Ajay Devgn, Jaaved Jaaferi, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh and Sanjay Mishra.
Box Office Attractors: Akshay Kumar, period drama, nationalism, Karan Johar
A historical war drama that stars the very bankable Akshay Kumar and bankrolled by Karan Johar? This has sure-shot blockbuster written all over it. Also helps that the movie is releasing on the festival of Holi. Will definitely work in the North circuit.
Box Office Attractors: Multi-starrer cast, Dharma Productions, Period Dramas.
Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kiara Advani, Kunal Kemmu... what a cast Abhishek Varman has roped in for his period drama! And it is backed by Karan Johar once again!
Student of the Year 2
Box Office Attractors: Tiger Shroff, Curisioty for the debutants, Dharma Movie, Franchise
Baaghi 2 showed us that Tiger Shroff has in him to pull the audiences in the theatres, after the movie did Rs 150 crore plus business. With Student of the Year 2, Tiger also has the advantage of being in a frothy but successful franchise backed by Karan Johar. The movie also benefits from the curiosity of its two newcomers, Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday.
Box Office Attractors: Salman Khan, Ali Abbas Zafar, Eid release
Salman Khan's last film, Race 3, may be seen as a disappointment and yet it made more than Rs 150 crore at the box office. It also helps that Bharat, another Eid release, is made by Ali Abbas Zafar, who has never given a flop till now, while he also owns the credit of giving Bhai his biggest blockbuster in Tiger Zinda Hai.
Hrithik vs Tiger
Box Office Attractors: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Action Entertainer, YRF Product
Yash Raj Films may have got a huge shock with the debacle of Thugs of Hindostan, but it is silly to write off one of the biggest studios in the country after one flop. This action entertainer (that is yet to get a name) could bring back box office glory to YRF, riding on the firm shoulders of the movie's lead stars Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff.
Box Office Attractors: Post-Baahubali Prabhas, Grand Scale, Special Effects
Prabhas has been hot property even in Bollywood after the mega success of Baahubali 2. Which is why the producers are willing to splurge enough money into his next, the multi-lingual Saaho, a sci-fi futuristic thriller. The movie is definitely going to get a grand opening in the South, and can take a more-than-decent opening in other parts of India too.
Box Office Attractors: Akshay Kumar, the multi-starrer cast, Comedy genre, Franchise
The last Housefull film barely scraped through the Rs 100 crore mark. However, the latest instalment has been in the news ever since it has been announced. Sure, two of those reasons have been unsavoury, they being the exclusion of its director Sajid Khan (replaced by Farhad) and actor Nana Patekar (replaced by Rana Daggubati) thanks to the sexual harassment allegations against them. But as has been the trend in Bollywood, any news is good buzz for the film. Also there is Akshay Kumar!
Taanaji - The Unsung Warrior
Box Office Attractors: Historical drama, Epic Scale, Ajay Devgn, Marathi Appeal
There is no doubt that Taanaji will be a winner, especially in the Maharashtra circuit. We are sure the makers will capitalise on the Maratha pride factor, in eulogising the great warrior hero who was key in expanding Shivaji Maharaj's kingdom. Also, Ajay Devgn is having a great run at the box office.
Box Office Attractors: Ranbir Kapoor-Ayan Mukerji combo, Alia Bhatt, Fantasy as a Genre, Dharma film
Ranbir Kapoor is on a high after the Rs 300 crore success of Sanju, and his next, Brahmastra, is his biggest film to date There is also the factor that the movie is directed by his close friend, Ayan, who has never given him a single flop till now. Also, the pairing with his real-life girlfriend, Alia Bhatt, a hot box office property herself will make their fan clubs flock for this one. Last but not the least, the movie has Dharma Productions tag attached to it.
Honourable Mention -
Box Office Attractors: Akshay Kumar, Rohit Shetty, Action Entertainer, Nationalism, Simmba effect
The reason why we are not putting Sooryavanshi in the above list is that we are not yet sure if the movie will release in 2019. Although they teased a little glimpse of Akshay's character at the end of Simmba, Rohit Shetty himself confirmed that the scripting for the film is not yet done. Knowing Akshay and his love for national holidays, I believe the makers will be aiming to release during Republic Day next year.