Commando 3 film poster (Image: Twitter/@VidyutJammwal)
Next few weeks are quite interesting for Bollywood with three sequels set to arrive in a span of four Fridays. These are Commando 3 (November 29), Mardaani 2 (December 13) and Dabangg 3 (December 20).
What makes these sequels special is the fact that the central protagonists are uniformed officers. While commando Karanveer Singh Dogra (Vidyut Jammwal) from Indian Army's 9 Para returns in Commando 3, Inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji), an IPS officer, returns in Mardaani 2. Meanwhile, Inspector Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) from Uttar Pradesh Police is back with his shenanigans in Dabangg 3.
Of course, the biggest of them all is the Salman Khan franchise where the story is continuing. While Dabangg 2 was the sequel of Dabangg, Dabangg 3 is a prequel to Dabangg. However, it also goes ahead in time of Dabangg 2 too. Hence, it turns out to be a well-rounded affair.
On the other hand, Mardaani 2 and Commando 3 are more of instalments from the franchise that has been set. The former has Mukerji picking on the case of a mysterious rapist and murderer. As for the latter, it has Jammwal chasing the villain of the piece played by Gulshan Devaiah.
The targets for each of these films are already set and it has to be seen how it is eventually managed. Dabangg 3 needs to go one up over Dabangg and Dabangg 2 which did business of Rs 140 crore and Rs 156.5 crore, respectively, on release. Considering the fact that the Prabhu Deva directed film is releasing in the week which has Christmas falling intermittently (on Wednesday), the goal would be to go past the Rs 200 crore mark and then surpass the lifetime record of Salman Khan's last release Bharat.
As for Mardaani 2, it has the task cut for itself as the bare minimum target would be Rs 50 crore. On its release, Mardaani had netted Rs 35.8 crores at the box office, hence turning out to be a good success. The promo of this Yash Raj production promises yet another hard hitting drama with lot of thrills and an undercurrent of a dark theme in the offering.
Meanwhile, Commando 3 really needs to up the game from where it is resuming. Both of the earlier instalments were in the range of Rs 24-25 crore and though ideally a Rs 50 crore lifetime would be preferable for a franchise which is stepping into the third instalment, realistically speaking even a Rs 40 crore lifetime would be fair enough for the makers to begin work on the fourth.
No wonder, by the end of 2019 it would be known how far these three franchises would be carried by Bollywood in times to come.
Lifetime collections of the three franchises:Dabangg
– Rs 140 crore, Dabangg 2
– Rs 156.5 croreCommando
– Rs 24 crore, Commando 2
– Rs 25 crore
Mardaani – Rs 35.8 crore(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic. Views are personal)