Box office report card: Sanju, Gold, Padmaavat make 2018 one of Bollywood’s best years
On Monday (August 27), when Gold entered the Rs 100-crore club at the box office, the Akshay Kumar-starrer became the eighth Hindi film to join the much-coveted group this year. Other films that made over Rs 100 crore at the Indian box office in 2018 include Padmaavat, Sanju (both the movies made over Rs 300 crore each), Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Raid, Baaghi 2, Raazi and Race 3. With the year’s eight months over, we bring you Bollywood’s box office report card.
Apart from the films mentioned above, a number of other Hindi films, too, hit the bull’s eye at the box office. The list includes Hichki, Veere Di Wedding, Pad Man, October, Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, Dhadak and Satyameva Jayate. It’s interesting to note that 2018 still has four months to go – which is traditionally considered the most profitable time span for Hindi films.
In fact, September-December will also see some of the biggest potential blockbusters, such as Zero, Thugs of Hindostan, Simmba and 2.0, hitting the big screen. So, the question is: can 2018 turn out to be Bollywood’s most profitable one at the box office in recent times? “Absolutely! To sum things up: till now, this year has been an eye-opener as well as a fascinating one,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Content is king
Experts feel it’s “heartening” to see audiences making their way to cinema halls in such big numbers. “In 2018, non-theatrical revenues have shot up but what’s more significant is that theatrical earnings have increased, which means people have returned to theatres,” says Adarsh, adding that “people have connected with films again” in a big way. “When that happens, you have won more than half the battle,” he says.
Producer Bhushan Kumar, who backed films such as Raid, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Satyameva Jayate, concurs. “In 2018, audiences have made it crystal clear that they will back good and entertaining content. And as a producer, it’s heartening to know that I can fearlessly back different kinds of films, knowing that people are willing to watch a variety of stories in theatres.”
Bhushan and Adarsh have a point, considering films belonging to different genres — historical (Padmaavat), female-oriented (Veere Di Wedding and Raazi), action thrillers (Baaghi 2, Race 3 and Satyameva Jayate), romcoms (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Dhadak), biopics/real life inspired films (Sanju and Parmanu) as well as socially relevant movies (Hichki and Pad Man) have made their mark at the box office.
While experts agree that it all “ultimately boils down to the quality of content”, movies have to be worked out in a commercially-viable manner as well. “This year, business wise, what has also worked in a big way are cost-effective and sensibly-priced films. Be it our films (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety , Raid or Satyameva Jayate), or even Raazi, they made absolute sense vis-à-vis return on investment,” explains Bhushan.
But how have the tables turned in such a profitable manner? Says trade expert Komal Nahta: “2018 has been a sort of ground-breaking year. Actually, the last three to four years didn’t turn out to be good for Bollywood at all. In such a case, everyone – actors, directors as well as writers – gets worried and then, they have no option but to pull up their socks. That’s exactly what has happened.”
Here are the top Bollywood box office earners of the year:
Sanju : Rs 340 cr
Padmaavat: Rs 300 cr
Race 3: Rs 170 cr
Baaghi 2: Rs 165 cr
Raazi: Rs 125 cr
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety : Rs 110 cr
Raid: Rs 100 cr
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(All the India nett. figures are based on trade estimates)
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