A month ago, Chulbul Pandey marked his much-awaited return to the big screen with Dabangg 2. In spite of the filmmakers' promise that the sequel of the 2010 blockbuster will be both bigger and better, the film borrowed milieu, mood, costumes and action scenes — including the lead character's entry sequence — from the first installment of the franchise. This hardly comes in the way of the film's success, and director Arbaaz Khan unabashedly reveled in it. Dabangg collected Rs 166 crore in two weeks, setting an example for several other sequels that are scheduled to release in 2013.
The first sequel of this year, Race 2, comes close on the heels of Dabangg 2's release. Much like the Salman Khan-starrer, it looks like its predecessor — heavy with action sequences and with the theme of greed and deception running common. This will be followed by Murder 3, Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Again (OUATIMA) and the return of established blockbuster franchises, Krrish and Dhoom, both in their third installments.
Unlike Hollywood, which heavily uses sequels as a formula that almost always spells success, Bollywood is rather new to the concept. The most common reason prompting a sequel has been popularity of certain characters — as in superhero franchises and, closer home, Munnabhai and Chulbul Pandey. But filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia believes that often, it is the genre that strikes a chord with the audience. The director sticks to the zone as he takes the story of his lusty badland drama of 2011's Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster forward with additional characters in its sequel, which releases on March 8.
Milan Luthria insists that in the absence of a specific genre, the attributes that contribute to the popularity of the first part have to be repeated. "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai had a period element with a retro coolness factor even though it resided in a semi-realistic zone. The sequel maintains that," he says.