We’re almost at the end of the first quarter of 2014, and though the box office results are much like last year in terms of turnover, content — and not big banners — seem to be ruling this time around. Experts say that hits came from unsuspecting corners, and not all big-budget films managed to impress the box office.
Film distributor Girish Johar of Sahara Movie Studios says that while the first quarter of 2013 saw a Rs. 530cr turnover at the box office, this year, it has been around Rs. 475cr so far, with three more releases to go. “Films like Yariyaan, Jai Ho, Hasee Toh Phasee, Gunday and Queen did quite well. Ragini MMS 2, too, is gradually picking up business. Shaadi Ke Side Effects, Highway and Bewakoofiyaan all fared below average, and probably have just been able to break even,” says Johar.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan feels that in terms of content, Quarter 1 has been dominated by a good balance of youth, music and sex. “The major cinema-going crowd today is young, so the films with a fresh overall packaging did well, while run-of-the-mill stuff didn’t quite impress audiences,” says Mohan.
With films such as Dedh Ishqiya and Gulaab Gang, women-oriented themes were the highlight of this quarter. However, film critic Komal Nahta feels that these, too, haven’t been able to boost much of the box office revenue. “Apart from Queen, most of them failed to impress,” he says. Agrees Mohan, saying, “The content (of the women-oriented films) were too dry, and some were badly made. Queen is the only successful one.” The industry is upbeat about the lineup for the next three quarters. “There is a great list ahead. The third quarter, in fact, will be very good,” says Nahta. It has releases such as Deepika Padukone’s Finding Fanny Fernandes, Rani Mukerji’s Mardaani, Salman Khan’s Kick, Akshay Kumar’s It’s Entertainment, Ajay Devgn’s Singham 2, Ranveer Singh’s Kill Dil, Shahid Kapoor’s Haider, Ranbir Kapoor’s Roy and Anushka Sharma’s NH10.
Top: Gunday, Yaariyan, Queen; Bottom: Jai Ho, Hasee Toh Phasee, Ragini MMS 2
The ones that rocked
Ragini MMS 2
Hasee Toh Phasee
The ones that didn’t work
Shaadi Ke Side Effects
Mr Joe B. Carvalho
Karle Pyaar Karle
Paranthe Wali Gali
One By Two
Gang of Ghosts