Come August, and Bollywood is expecting a downpour at the ticket counters. With the stars — Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and John Abraham — keeping their date with the box office on the four Fridays, fans are in for a treat throughout the month.
It might also be 2013’s most lucrative month, with over Rs. 400 crore (according to trade experts) riding on multiple big releases, including Chennai Express, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara, Satyagraha and Madras Café. In fact, Shah Rukh and Akshay’s films alone are worth around Rs. 175 crore (if you combine the budgets).
“August will be big simply because SRK and Akshay have a lot of money riding on their movies. This period can potentially start off a lucrative spell for the industry, with subsequent months also slated to see big films releasing,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta.
The only other month in 2013 with big movies is November (Krrish:3, Ram Leela, Bullett Raja and Rambo Rajkumar are slated for release). “But it looks like August will still be the costliest. Generally, after Ramadan, Bollywood sees a good spell. People’s willingness to spend also goes up during the month, thanks to Eid, Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day,” says trade expert Amod Mehra.
It’s believed that the August releases will also have an advantage since the last two weeks of July have seen several duds such as Bajatey Raho, Issaq, Ramaiya Vastavaiya and Love U Soniyo. “The last two weeks have been bad, with only Bhaag Milkha Bhaag doing well. Besides, only one Hollywood film, The Wolverine, has worked. So, the industry is banking on August,” says Girish Wankhede, head of marketing, Cinemax and PVR West.
Such is the excitement that industry insiders already expect revenues of more than Rs. 300 crore from just the four big films. “I expect the industry to rake in revenues of at least Rs. 320 crore, between the various sectors — production, distribution, exhibition, etc. We expect viewers to come to the theatres in large numbers as these four films belongs to diverse genres and cater to diverse audience bases,” says film exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi.
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone
Budget: Rs 90 crore
Stars: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri
Budget: Rs 35 crore
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara
Stars: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha
Budget: Rs 85 crore
Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor
Budget: Rs 75 crore