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Bollywood Directors’ guide for sure-shot success: 10 tips!

When we have a look at the movies which released in 2013, most of them were an unexpected colossal disasters at the Box-Office. So we as movie enthusiasts couldn’t help, but sit and wonder what makes a movie a success?, This is when we decided to set things right and pen down ’10 things’ that must be followed by each and every filmmaker. Now we won’t say that it’s a sure-shot formula for success, but if rightly applied, it certainly does increase the chances of movie being a success at the Box Office. But this can certainly used if not by anyone else, atleast by directors as a handbook ‘Bollywood Directors’ guide’

Bollywood flicks are not a work of ‘ART’

Now we are well aware that filmmaker’s (if not all, at least most of ’em) don’t make films to fulfill their creative hunger. ‘We’re in the business of entertaining the audiences, that’s what the audiences come in for and you better provide it to them. If you want to make a ‘work of art on celluloid’, then invest your own money and join the French cinema.’ were the words spoken by one of the filmmaker. Making films for festivals is a completely different ball game altogether where people of a certain mindset enter the theater to watch ‘Art’.

Smart Budgeting

A penny less spent is a penny in the kitty, this is a simple age-old formula that every successful filmmaker in Bollywood follow. A controlled and a well planned out budget is a must for any project. Because things can go out of control so easily and the producers end up paying double of what they had actually planned for. A controlled and sensible ‘Cost of Production’ and appropriate ‘Print and Publicity’ budget will take the film a long way. The Bhatt’s have successfully followed this formula for years now and have managed to give consistent hits at the BO.

First Promo Test

This is, to be frank, the most difficult test to pass. The first promo and the poster is the first thing which the people see and judge the movie based on that. It’s almost like the audience can sense the movie based on the first looks.

Star Power and Good Genre

One can easily say that Star power can predict a movies collections. If a star of Shahrukh Khan’s status is acting even in the most senseless movie, the producers can be assured to at least get back the money they pumped into the movie. This might not be the case every time. It’s a relationship that each star has built with the audience. Most stars these days are trying to balance their output by doing the so-called “masala” films along with a completely different unexpected subject (Akshay balances a Rowdy Rathore with a Special 26 and an OMG Oh My God!). Sometimes it works; sometimes it fails… but it is surely pushing to the limit.


It’s been proven time and again that his songs have a lasting impression on the film’s performance at the Box-Office. Bollywood is the only biggest source of music for the Indian audience and good music helps attract good number of audience to the theaters. Aashiqui 2 is the biggest example of this year to prove this point. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani too proved it once again.

Who’s the actress?

We have often heard this discussion between the audiences of single screens. It’s a general fact that a good actress will act as a magnet when it comes to pulling crowd into the theater. If the Hero and Heroine lack a sizzling chemistry, there are higher chances of a film getting rejected (Ranbir’s Wake Up Sid, Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year and Besharam seem to share that problem in common). In present times, few actresses like Katrina, Deepika, Priyanka and Vidya have take long strides and have established a huge fan base for themselves.


Now, no movie can do good or spread like a fire unless there is a proper marketing strategy established even before the making of the film is complete. It would be a blunder to say that a movie can work its magic solely based on the merits of the content of the film and nothing else. In today’s day and age, when there are at least 3 movies releasing every week, not to forget other content that people get exposed to on television and internet, getting people’s attention to your movie is a herculean task. Every film needs a marketing breakthrough in both traditional and digital/new media to grab the target audience’s attention.

PR and Media

Media blitzkrieg works like crazy when it comes to attracting audiences to the theaters. There is not term called ‘over-publicity’ and Shahrukh Khan, the king of Bollywood has proven it more than once. And just for the sake of clarity, PR and Marketing is not the same thing.

Release Date and Strategy

This can be considered easily as one of the most crucial factors for a movie to be hit or flop. The timing has to be perfect, Period! If the movie is coming out with 2 or more flicks, then the movie is bound to lose some audience to the other movies. Also the number of screens in which the movie is releasing has a greater impact on the movie. Consider the movie ‘Besharam’ where the movie was released in over 3500 screens. The movie got a solid opening but faded eventually because the audience couldn’t connect with the movie. The release date which the producers decide can be the make or break factor for the film’s fate. Chennai Express made the most from the Eid holiday with the movie hungry audiences checking into the theaters in huge numbers. We are expecting the same with Akshay Kumar’s Boss as the audience haven’t got a good movie to see for almost 2-3 weeks now.

Indian audience aren’t Stupid

If the filmmakers believe that they can win over audience with any ‘ghisa-pita’ script, I’m afraid that they are wrong. Indian audience have a wide variety of taste. It’s up to the filmmaker to decide on what segment they want to target and also make a genuine script based on that. Bollywood audiences want an engaging and to certain extent an entertaining movie. If a film manages to engage with the audience and entertain them as well, then the film is bound to get success. Good content very rarely gets rejected by the audience(unless the movie is ahead of it’s time). But if you underestimate your audience, you’re in for some serious trouble. People are not idiots. They are the very same people who pushed Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Grand Masti into the 100 crore club. The sole reason behind the success was that both the films managed to deliver what it had promised.

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