By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: It’s been a terrific year for The Tiger.
Salman Khan had a blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger earlier this year during Eid. Now he’s all set to deliver a super-blockbuster at year-end. Early indications are that Dabangg 2 would not only exceed the box-office profits of Dabangg and Ek Tha Tiger, it would probably become one of the biggest hits of Salman’s career.
After opening on Friday, Dabangg 2 has already raked in more than Rs 60 crore in just three days.
Understandably, there is an air of heightened jubilation in the Khan household, more so since it’s Salman’s 47th birthday on 27 December.
One got to know from a source very close to Salman that a huge success party is being planned .
“On a scale never seen before in Salman’s family,” whispers a source close to his family.
Says the source, “The Khan parivar is in the mood for celebration.Salman’s had a terrific year.And though some ugly incidents from the past (the black-buck episode, the hit-and-run incident) were raised the family has never felt more unified and at peace with Salman’s success. Salman too is in a happy space. And it’s not just Salman. Arbaaz has proven myself as a director. He has let the world know there’s more to him than just being a star-brother. As a family the Khans would like to stand together for once and show the world what a wonderful year it has been for them.”
While details of the bash are being worked out, Arbaaz admitted there was a celebration on the anvil. “With Salman Bhai’s birthday around the corner and Dabangg 2 opening the way it has, it does seem like the right time to celebrate. See, everyone expected Dabangg 2 to open very well, what with the franchise still fresh in the audiences’ minds and the Christmas window open to us on our release. But I feel good when people tell me they’re enjoying Dabangg 2 even more than Dabangg. For me, that’s the real triumph. It proves I’ve been able to carry the brand forward on my own steam.”
Arbaaz admits for the first time that he had to undergo a long period of stress to move the Dabangg franchise forward. “I didn’t want people to say I messed up the Dabangg brand or that I didn’t add anything new to it. We spent around 6 months on the script. And then I shot the actual film for a 100 days which is far less than what other recent Salman films took to shoot. But I didn’t compromise in any way. The film doesn’t like a hurried cut-and-paste job.”
Abraaz has only one regret. “We should have taken Salman Bhai to more cities for promotion. He went to Hyderabad three days before release. And the box-office numbers there show that his visit made a difference.”
Without taking away from Abhinav Kashyap’s triumph in Dabangg, Arbaaz feels as the producer he had much to contribute to the first film. “I didn’t come to Dabangg 2 as a novice.I was an integral part of the filmmaking team in Dabangg. Salman and I worked really hard on bringing massy elements into the plot. Abhinav was against Salman doing lip-sync songs. But we insisted and to his credit, Abhinav saw our point of view and rewrote the scenes accordingly. Now in Dabangg 2 it’s those massy elements that I’ve carried forward.”
Meanwhile, one hears Salman may direct the next Dabangg film while Arbaaz may go on to direct another film altogether.
Says Arbaaz, “These are notions which we’re exploring. At the moment we’re focusing on enjoying the success of Dabangg 2. It was never about just adding a ‘2’ to Dabangg. And we’re definitely in the mood for celebration.”