Of the 80 Hindi films released in the first six months of 2010, only UTV’s Rajneeti can be declared a hit.

The Hindi film industry is going to find it hard to recover from the debacle of the first half of 2010. Close to 80 Hindi films have released in the first six months of the year. Of these UTV’s Rajneeti is the only one to be declared a hit. Housefull, Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge, Love Sex Aur Dhokha, My Name is Khan and Badmaash Company are considered above-average films. The rest have failed to make profits. Industry experts peg losses to Bollywood at approximately Rs 10 billion (US$97 million) with Reliance Big Pictures toting up the two biggest disappointments of the year – Kites and Raavan.

In a star actor driven industry like Bollywood, even the biggest marquee names could not raise box office fortunes. Films starring Shah Rukh Khan (My Name is Khan, Fox Star Studios), Salman Khan (Veer, Eros International) and Hrithik Roshan (Kites, Big Pictures) struggled or failed to make profits. Trade analyst Amod Mehra suggests this dismal show is the result of “confusion in the minds of the makers. They are experimenting with art house themes (like in Kites and Raavan) in a commercial set up with big budgets. Big Pictures will lose about Rs 1 billion on these two films alone.” However executive editor of Box Office India, Vajir Singh, disagrees. “Actually only three big budget movies announced post-recession released in the first half of the year – Housefull, Veer and My Name is Khan. Kites and Raavan were pre-recession films and a long time in the making. With hardly any big movies made last year, you cannot blame Bollywood for the poor showing as mostly small — independent and low budget — films were released.”

Besides Reliance Big Pictures, the distributors who have taken the brunt of the poor show are Eros International (Veer, Karthik Calling Karthik, Pankh, The Great Indian Butterfly, Paathshaala) and Studio 18 (Striker, Road, Movie, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, Hum, Tum Aur Ghost).

Hopes are now pinned on the coming half year. Some of the forthcoming tent-pole releases are I Hate LUV Storys, Khatta Meetha, Golmaal 3, Dabangg, Tees Maar Khan, Anjaana Anjaani, We Are Family, Guzaarish and Action Replayy.