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Old or new? Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut

Experts say that fresh pairs and hit jodis will keep Bollywood’s cash register ringing this season

A flurry of Bollywood films with never-seen-before lead pairs will release in the next two months, while the festive season will see a bunch of big-budget films with tried and tested pairs on screen.

And experts feel that the mix will help the box office garner big revenue.

The fresh pairs include Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif, who will be seen in Kabir Khan’s next, Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan as well as John Abraham and Shruti Haasan in the sequel of the hit film Welcome (2007).

Among the existing hit jodis, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in Tamasha, Ranveer Singh and Deepika in Bajirao Mastani and Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale, will be back on celluloid to recreate magic.

Talking about how a fresh pair helps a film, trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “The audience today wants everything to be new – be it scripts, storyline or the actors. A new pair creates extra interest that translates into more business.”

Trade analyst Komal Nahta adds, “The audience wants an entire package, only the hero and heroine can’t pull off a film. However, during the festive season when big budget films release, a tried and tested pair works better.”

Filmmaker Sabbir Khan, who has worked with both newcomers and hit pairs, says: “Obviously, both have their pros and cons but I get excited when a film with a fresh pair releases. However, I don’t mind watching SRK and Kajol together.”

Shashank Khaitan, who directed Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), cast actors Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan after their first hit Student of the Year (2012), says, “If a hit pair doesn’t suit the script, it can backfire. Actors are moving out of their comfort zones and there will only be more experiments now.”

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