Seven local box-office hits released over the last few months have brought much-needed relief to the Hindi film industry of Mumbai.
Raj Kanwar's Andaaz, Ken Ghosh's Ishq Vishk, Aziz Mirza's Chalte Chalte, Ram Gopal Varma's Bhoot, Tigmanshu Dhulia's Haasil, Sujoy Ghosh's Jhankaar Beats and Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon have all been successful at the Indian box office.
Rajshri Productions' latest contemporary love story, $25m Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, released on 300 prints on June 27 reached the number one spot at the Indian Box office with 100% full-houses reported from major Indian cities.
The film starring Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan, has grossed $672,000 from 60 screens in the US.
Jhanker Beats, released on June 20 is the first Hindi Film distribution venture of Twentieth Century Fox.
Part of the Pritish Nandy Communications-Fox strategic venture that began two years ago with Bollywood Calling, the film grossed $200,000 in its first week on its release in India.
But the biggest hit of this summer so far is Shah Rukh Khan-Rani Mukherjee-starrer Chalte Chalte.
The film, which opened on 13 June, grossed $400, 000 in Delhi and Mumbai in the first week of its release.
Even in areas like East Punjab, which is considered a weak territory for the star, it has done exceptional well.
During the first week, all-India ticket sale percentages ranged from 90% in Mumbai, 86% in Delhi, 85% in Ahmedabad, 90% in Kolkata, 92% in Hyderabad, 70% in Jodhpur and 84% in Lucknow. Many Indian cinemas are also reported to be hiking their ticket prices for the film.
The producers - Shah Rukh Khan's Dreamz Unlimited and Ronnie Screwvalas UTV are currently negotiating satellite TV rights of the movie in India for US$500,000. Music sales of the soundtrack have been reported at 700,000 units. It has already grossed $827,000 in the USA.
The Indian Box office suffered in the first half of this year due to the World Cup Cricket matches and an industry producer/ distributor argument which slowed film releases to a trickle.
But while seven Hindi films have performed well, 34 other films have flopped at the box office so far this year.
The total losses for the entire Hindi film industry are reported to be in the region of US$ 25m.
The industry is now eagerly awaiting the release of J P Dutta's US$ 8m war epic, Line Of Control, Rakesh Roshan's US$ 7m Koi Mil Gaya, Fox and PNC's next venture, Mumbai Matinee and Mukta Arts first Hinglish (English & Hindi) film, Joggers' Park, a love story set in urban India.
The US$ 1m Joggers' Park, was directed by Anant Balani and stars Victor Banerjee (A Passage To India), Perizaad Zorabian and Divya Dutta.
It revolves around a young and single woman who falls in love with a man old enough to be her grandfather. For Producer Subhash Ghai, Joggers' Park is an attempt to take Indian cinema to international standards. Ghai told Screen Daily "It's imperative for me to make movies of all genres and make better movies to take Indian cinema to a global level in excellence,"
Fox also plans to hold multiple premiere shows of its first venture into Hindi Film production Ek Hasina Thi in August. The film, co-produced with Ram Gopal Verma Corporation, stars Saif Ali Khan and Urmila Matondker.
Ek Hasina Thi will premiere in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Fox will also fly in Sean Connery into Mumbai for the Indian Premiere of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman in September. The film co-stars Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo.