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Will Kahaani 2 break sequel jinx at box-office this weekend?

As Vidya Balan prepares to reprise the role of the mysterious woman in Sujoy Ghosh's thriller, Kahaani 2, she faces the risk of a box-office that is stubbornly resisting the lure of sequels.

Shriram Iyengar

In a recent interview with Mumbai Mirror, Vidya Balan said, "I think every film has its own fate. It's very unfortunate that Rock On 2 and other films happened on that week during demonetisation. But what to do, it was destiny. Just like every person has a destiny to live, so do films." Although studied, the statement reveals a certain apprehension over the performance of Sujoy Ghosh's sequel at the box-office. 

The last three weeks have seen three consecutive sequel releases in Rock On 2, Tum Bin 2, and Force 2. While Rock On 2 faced the double barrelled threat of demonetisation and raised expectations, its performance was well below par. Made on a budget of Rs45 crore, the Farhan Akhtar-Shraddha Kapoor-Arjun Rampal musical made a paltry Rs10 crore as nett earnings, having begun at Rs6.90 on the opening weekend. The film was the sequel to the cult hit, Rock On(2008), and carried the story forward with a majority of the original cast. 

Rock On 2's disappointment was followed by the failure of another sequel, Tum Bin 2 at the box-office. The film, a sequel to the surprise sleeper hit Tum Bin(2001) was released 15 years after the first film. Unlike its predecessor, Tum Bin 2 earned Rs3.50 crore on its opening weekend before fizzling off completely. Another sequel releasing on the same day, John Abraham's Force 2, saw a better performance. The Abhinay Deo film managed to climb from its opening weekend collection of Rs18.50 crore to make a lifetime collection of Rs41 crore. It is still a loss making performance for a film with major stars like John Abraham and Sonakshi Sinha, which was made on a budget of Rs45 crore.

Force 2 failed to make the mark despite its star powered action.

This trend is reflective of the sequels which have released in the year 2016. Films like Ghayal Once Again, Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive, Kya Kool Hain Hum 3, 1920: London, Great Grand Masti, bombed at the box-office. Even Emraan Hashmi's return could not save Raaz Reboot, which flopped after making Rs24 crore at the box-office. 

The only sequel to have fared better this year was Housefull 3. Made on a budget of Rs97 crore, Farhad-Sajid's film managed to collect Rs108 crore at the box office. Although the profit margin isn't much. 

Housefull 3 was the only successful sequel of the year

By these measures, Kahaani 2 is up against it. Additionally, the film might be burdened by the expectations of Ghosh's earlier, Kahaani (2012). The sequel is built around the allure of the mystery of Vidya Balan's Durga Rani Singh, and her backstory. Arjun Rampal is the only other familiar face, and seeks to replace the powerhouse talents of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Parambrata Chatterjee from the earlier film. Speaking about the film, Balan had promised, "This story is completely new, so the mysterious element is different." For now, the only mystery remains its performance on its D-day.