Excel Entertainment to release ‘Fukrey 3’ on 24 November

Excel Entertainment will release Fukrey 3, a sequel to comedies Fukrey and Fukrey Returns, in cinemas on 24 November. The film stars Pankaj Tripathi, Richa Chadha, Varun Sharma and Pulkit Samrat.

Bollywood has been betting big on sequels and franchise films in the past few months to cash in on the success of titles such as Bhool Bhulaiya, Heropanti and Ek Villain, among others.

While Kartik Aaryan was seen in horror-comedy Bhool Bhulaiya 2 last May, the second parts to period drama KGF and Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti had arrived in April. Ekta Kapoor also built on her Ek Villain series with an instalment in July while Zee Studios is planning a sequel to Gadar with Sunny Deol.

Critics and trade experts said the formula may generate some curiosity given the success of previous films but the poor response to recent titles like Bunty Aur Babli 2 suggest forcing a story forward may not work. The other challenge is that Hindi cinema does not have the grandeur and special effects of Hollywood superhero franchises, which such sequels are inspired by.

However, a ‘spiritual successor,’ or a film with a completely different plot or set of actors and only belonging to the same genre as the original, such as a thriller or comedy, has been tough to sell and disappointing to audiences in the past few years, say trade experts. For example, Vidya Balan’s Kahaani 2 could not build on the success of the first instalment even though it featured the same lead actor.

Hollywood sequels and franchise films are usually superhero tales that create large-scale worlds to take the same story forward. The Avengers and Star Wars films are examples. The story has to evoke a sense of continuity. In India, however, filmmakers only tend to bank upon stars. The problem is, there has been a technological and generational shift of late and such films are unlikely to appeal to the youth. In a post covid world, where people are accustomed to binge viewing series on video streaming platforms, it could be a challenge for filmmakers to bring them to cinemas for such films.

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Updated: 18 May 2023, 10:29 AM IST

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