Box office report: Kabir Singh, Uri, Mission Mangal power Bollywood, gross earnings may cross ₹5000 cr
It goes without saying that 2019 started off on a blockbuster note with Uri: The Surgical Strike making it big at the box office. It was soon followed up by other big hits such as Gully Boy, Manikarnika, Luka Chuppi and Kesari. But take a closer look and you will find that the second half of the year kicked off with an even more renewed vigour, resulting in India (net) box office figures of nearly Rs1,100 crore. As per an estimate, Bollywood’s gross earnings in 2015, 2016 and 2017 were ₹3,780 crore, ₹3,808 crore and ₹4,096 crore respectively. Last year, the numbers were believed to be over ₹4,800 crore. This year, as per trade estimates, Hindi films have already made over ₹3,000 crore, and experts feel by the end of the year, the cumulative figures may touch ₹5,000 crore.
Over the last two-three months, back-to-back films such as Super 30 ( ₹146 cr), Batla House ( ₹98 cr; still running), Mission Mangal ( ₹200 cr; still running), Saaho ( ₹141 cr; still running), Chhichhore ( ₹94 cr; still running) and Dream Girl ( ₹52 cr; still running) have hit the bullseye at the box office. Even films such as Kabir Singh ( ₹278 cr) and Article 15 ( ₹63 cr) that released towards the end of June, showed their muscle power in the next month.
Experts feel such a “great box office show” goes on to “prove that it’s the content and quality entertainment that ultimately works”. Says trade analyst Taran Adarsh: “If you give the audiences what they really want, there’s no reason why a film won’t do well. What’s been all the more encouraging is the variety and different content that makers have been attempting. And it’s great that audiences too have been lapping up such films.”
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Actors, too, feel it’s an “exciting time” to be an artiste. As Chhichhore star, Varun Sharma puts it: “As an actor, I feel great that so many and, more importantly, such different films have worked. As for my film, the increasing numbers is an indication that more and more people are watching it, so I am kicked.”
For filmmaker Nikkhil Advani, who delivered a biggie with Batla House, “Everything works, and nothing works at the box office”.
“To put it simply, if audiences strike a connection with something, they will embrace it with all their might. For instance, Kabir Singh was panned by critics but look what happened at the box office,” he says.
Bollywood heads towards its most profitable year
High on the super success of consecutive films, trade world feels the second half of 2019 — as well as the year itself — could turn out to be one of the most profitable ever. The upcoming line-up will see biggies/interesting releases such as War, Housefull 4, Bala, Pagalpanti, Dil Bechara, Saand Ki Aankh, Made In China, Panipat, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Mardaani 2, Dabangg 3 and Good Newwz. “I will just say, ‘picture abhi baaki hai’. 2019 has been a fantastic year. Now, if all goes well, it could be one of the most profitable years in recent times,” says Adarsh.
At the end, Advani puts things in perspective. “For the past few years, there has been a lot of emphasis on first-day box office collections but now, the last day collection is of equal importance. And that happens only when audiences support you from the start,” he says.
Biggest box office hits of 2019
Kabir Singh: ₹278 crore
Uri: The Surgical Strike: ₹244 crore
Bharat: ₹209 crore
Mission Mangal: ₹200 crore plus
Kesari: ₹153 crore
(All India net figures are based on trade estimates)