Box Office in Pandemic Times in Hindi Belts: 9 films together struggle to earn a total of Rs 80 crore
Box Office Analysis in Covid 19: Roohi at the top of the table, followed by Godzilla vs Kong, Mumbai Saga and Wonder Woman. A case study of why Hindi film audience is not ready to visit the cinema halls yet.
After a complete shut down for over 6 months, the domestic box-office finally kicked-off in Diwali last year with Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari. The Diljit Dosanjh, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Manoj Bajpayee starrer, earned approximately Rs 4.5 crore, thereby being literally the first film to provide content to the cinema halls in the country. The approximate footfalls of Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari were in the range if 2.5 to 3 lakh, which means that around 3 lakh people stepped out to watch this comic caper in the midst of pandemic.
The Hindi film was followed by Tenet in the month of December, which went a notch above the Hindi release as it collected approximately Rs 10 crore at the box-office across India, of which around 3.5 crore came from the South Indian states. The contribution from the Hindi states was in the range of Rs 6.5 crore, which meant an approx. growth of 30% over Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari. Then came the much-awaited superhero film, Wonder Woman during the Christmas weekend, and this was yet another upward swing as compared to the previous two releases, as the Gal Gadot starrer raked in Rs 17 crore in India, of which 8 crores came in from the Hindi speaking markets or what we call the conventional territories for Hindi films.
The baby steps were taken with these 3 releases, and one expected announcements to come our way for January and February as the cases were falling down, however, there was a sudden silence in the film industry. Though there were some negligible releases like Indoo Ki Jawaani, Madam CM in the span of December and January, but the combined business of the two films was under 2 crore. The show-biz finally reopened in March with Roohi, which surprised with a fairly good opening given the circumstances and a reasonable trend at the box-office by raking in Rs 23 crore in it’s lifetime runin the Hindi. The Janhvi Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao fronted horror comedy to date is the highest grossing film in the Hindi film belts in the pandemic times.
Just when the trade saw the business and trend of as a positive sign, there was a sudden surge in the Covid cases, hampering the on-ground scenario. A week after Roohi came Mumbai Saga, which opened to below par response at the box-office. While no one has been able to give a conclusive evidence for the not to good opening, we believe, it was a culmination of unimpressive pre-release buzz and the bad on ground scenario as the film saw a no show even in interiors, where the covid cases were under control. It missing HIT song and the just about decent theatrical trailer probably kept the masses away from the film. The John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi starrer is looking to end it’s run at the box-office with collections in the range of Rs 15 crore, which is a direct step down from Roohi, which arrived a week before Mumbai Saga.
A week after Saga came the Hollywood monster action thriller, Godzilla vs Kong, which is rocking at the box-office. Holistically, it will end up earning upward of Rs 40 crore across India in all languages – English, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, but a close glimpse at the figure’s spells bad news for Bollywood. Of the total expected lifetime biz of Rs 40 crore, nearly 60% has come from the South Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Nizam, Kerala and Karnataka. Basically, the key contributors for Bollywood films raked in merely Rs 16 crore for this film, which has been genuinely appreciated by the audience and critics alike. The numbers actually spell danger as it suggests that while the South has slowly gotten back to the normal scenario, the Bollywood audience is far off from visiting the cinema halls. The rising covid cases, the fear and the curfew scenario in some places is the probable reason, and we are probably another month or two away from recultivating the cinema consumption habit on the big screen.
It would probably need a Salman Khan or an Akshay Kumar actioner to analyze the behaviour of audience as the message right now is loud and clear – small films don’t have enough takers in the market as compared to the pre-pandemic times. We could pass a concrete judgement on the exact change in consumption of audience post the release of Sooryavanshi (if it releases on April 30, though there is a strong chatter of it getting postponed) or Radhe (Eid). While the numbers will be lower than the pre-pandemic times, we would get to know the exact impact based on the opening day of these films, as in the pre-pandemic times, they were sure to take bumper opening across the country.
Meanwhile, it has been a no show for Parineeti Chopra starrer Saina as well, as the film will end it’s run at the box-office under the Rs 1 crore mark. Of the total biz, Roohi dominated with 29% contribution to the NBOC whereas Mumbai Saga and Godzilla vs Kong have individually 20% each. The three films in total have collected 70% of the total biz post pandemic in Bollywood film business states. The real value of this total biz of Rs 80 crore in Hindi belts in an ideal non-covid world would have probably been anywhere in the range of Rs 150 to 170 crore, or probably even higher, which means that the recovery to cosume cinema on the big screen again in Hindi states is a lot slower than what it is down south. But well, we hope curve changes in the months to come, with two mega A-List superstar fronted action films, Sooryavanshi, Radhe and one franchise actioner, Satyameva Jayate 2.
Top Grossers in Pandemic Times (Hindi States):
- Roohi: Rs 23 crore
- Godzilla vs Kong: Rs 16 crore (expected)
- Mumbai Saga: Rs 15 crore (expected)
- Wonder Woman 1984: Rs 8 crore
- Tenet: Rs 6.5 crore
- Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari: Rs 4.5 crore
- Vijay: The Master: Rs 3 crore
- Indoo Ki Jawaani: Rs 1.25 crore
- Saina: Rs 80 Lakh
- Total Rs 78.05 crore
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