After a near-drought in the first half of 2015, the second half might just have‘blockbuster’ written all over it
In a few days from now, we will be halfway through the year, and it’s time to gauge how the Hindi film industry has performed so far. Well, the roster has been choc-a-bloc with 111 releases in the period between January and June. The year kick-started with releases like Tevar, Baby, Hawaizaada and Shamitabh, followed by Roy, Badlapur, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, NH10, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, Ek Paheli Leela, Dharam Sankat Mein, Mr X, Gabbar Is Back, Piku, Bombay Velvet, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Welcome 2 Karachi, Dil Dhadakne Do and Hamari Adhuri Kahani. To top it all, ABCD 2 concluded the first half of the year on a high note since the film opened to a roaring response at the box office.
There were many misses too at the ticket window, with many films that did not meet expectations. The first half of the year depended mainly on content-rich films and the industry had no complaints as these films fared well at the box office too. However, the industry hopes to see some really big numbers during the second half of the year as there is a strong arsenal of biggies lined up for release.
Gunning for the second half are the superstars. Here’s the list: Salman Khan’s Eid delight Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Ajay Devgn’s Drishyam, Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra’s Brothers, Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Phantom, Shahid Kapoor-Alia Bhatt’s Shandaar, Kangna Ranaut-Imran Khan’s Katti Batti, debutante Sooraj Pancholi-Athiya Shetty’s Hero, Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Wazir, Akhay Kumar’s Singh Is Bliing, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-Irrfan’s Jazbaa, Salman Khan’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Sunny Deol’s Ghayal Returns, Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone’s Tamasha, Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol-Varun Dhawan’s Dilwale and finally Ranvir Singh-Deepika Padukone-Priyanka Chopra’s Bajirao Mastani.
Let’s see how the industry rates the first six months of the year and assess their expectations from the second half.
The first half of 2015 has been a learning experience for the industry. Good content held its own and authentic, rooted stories have become the new cool. Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, NH10 and Badlapur have proved that a film with heart will be discovered, owned and endorsed by audiences. The industry is moving away from traditional mediums of promotion and the digital media has become more significant. The current reality has made all of us review budgets and our content bank. Our creative partnership with Dharma Films is a very significant step forward for the industry as we tackle the challenges of upping the quality of content and in the way films are marketed and distributed, going forward.
It has been a great first half of the year for us at the Studio. For the industry too there have been movies which have performed exceedingly well, as an industry we need more such high performers in the second half of the year. A remarkable trend was that Hollywood movies fared exceptionally well at the cinemas, with two of the biggest Hollywood grossers releasing in the first half of the year. For us at Disney, we had Cinderella, which released in March and fared well, this was followed by one of our biggest franchise films-Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which took the box office by storm and became the second highest grossing Hollywood film of all times in India. It also did well in the regional markets and enjoyed a glorious run at the box office. We marketed the film like we would for any Hindi big ticket film. We promoted the superhero figurines across the country in key cities, which was a first for any Hollywood film’s promotions. With the phenomenal response to our latest release- Disney’s ABCD 2, the first half of the year ends on a high note. The film has broken several records and has become the highest one day grosser for any Hindi film in India for 2015 and highest week one for the year.
Additionally, in sync with common industry trend, where the big ticket films are lined up for release in the latter half of the year, we have some really good films lined up. As part of our Hindi movies lineup we have Phantom, Katti Batti and Tamasha due for release. On the Hollywood front, we just released Disney Pixar’s Inside Out and the film has been widely appreciated. Then we have Marvel’s Ant-Man, Disney Pixar’s Good Dinosaur and Lucas Film’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens lined up over the next few months. With this varied slate, audiences have much to look forward to.
We saw distinguished films, content-driven films, which gave the Hindi film audience a platter full of mixed cinema. We did a mixed bag of films like Baby, which was the first hit of the year; followed by Roy, which did good business; then Ek Paheli Leela, which was also a profitable film for us. The industry also saw different types of cinema, were content-driven films did good business at the box office, like Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Dil Dhadkane Do, ABCD 2 and many others. The industry is set to have another successful second half of 2015. We have a strong set of films releasing which are different from one another. For us, too, we have a family drama like All Is Well and revenge thriller Hate Story 3. Let’s hope the Hindi film industry grows to give our audiences
First half hasn’t grown over last year, by the end of June 2015 it will be 9-10 per cent lower than 2014. Start of this year wasn’t very encouraging, but second quarter covered lot of ground – most collections came in May and June still first half of this year will end up with no growth compared to last year and overall number will be lower.
Though only one 100 crore films so far, looking at trajectory ABCD 2 should be the second but Interesting part is domination of content lead films, they have collected significantly well at box office – NH10, Badlapur, Piku and Tanu Weds Manu Returns Etc.
Point to notice is low dependency on opening weekend in first half this year, films showed exceptional hold on weekday and consecutive weeks. May was the best month so far, probably the biggest ever May – thanks to three back to back successful films – Gabbar Is Back, Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Piku.
Also, first time ever Hollywood film came close to 100 crores box office net in India – Fast & Furious 7, Avengers: Age Of Ultron improved part 1 number by 50 per cent, followed by Jurassic World which is smashing records world over. The Hollywood franchises have shown tremendous potential this year, with studios investing more these will continue to grow in India.
Second half is looking very promising and is full of tent poles. Every month has one or to big ones- July will see Bajranji Bhaijaan, August has Brothers and Mission Impossible 4 (which should extend Hollywood’s good run at Indian box office). This year we will also see return of Rajshri and Sooraj Barjatya. And the year will close with the biggest film – Dilwale! So a promising action packed year, second half should easily top first half by a significant margin but challenge will be coming close to 2014 level or maintaining growth!
The most-loved films in the first six months of 2015 were those with original scripts, deft direction and some incredible performances, whether Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha or Aanand L Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu Returns. All these films were dark horses that struck gold at the box office. The year started on a quiet note, with several films underperforming, but these films have made sure that audiences come back to cinemas.
There has been some conversation on how Indian theatrical numbers have seen a slowdown. While this is true, the box-office numbers for good family entertainers have bucked this trend. As we get into the second half of 2015, our film Bajrangi Bhaijaan starring Salman Khan releases on Eid, drew praise from audiences and the trade alike since the first teaser was launched. And after the launch of the first song Selfie le le and the trailer, the film is now the most awaited movie of the year. Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a masala entertainer with a solid script that will reach out to Salman’s huge fan base across India and overseas, and we hope it will set new box-office benchmarks.
The first three months of the year were average but for Eros International, it started on a good note as we had Badlapur and NH10 as back-to-back hits. Then Tanu Weds Manu Returns was our next hit, which became the biggest hit of the year so far as it earned ` 150 crore. So the year for Eros has been fantastic. Badlapur, which was made on a budget of ` 25 crore along with P&A, did a business of ` 52 crore in India and ` 10 crore overseas. NH 10 was made on a budget of ` 13 crore including P&A, and the film earned ` 32 crore in India and ` 7 crore overseas. Tanu Weds Manu Returns, which is the biggest hit of the year so far, was made with a budget of ` 30 crore including P&A and the film has collected ` 143 crore in India and we are still counting. Overseas, the film has done business of ` 46 crore. The first half of 2015 has been wonderful for us and it has proved that content has stood out.
About the second half… we have Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which will be an Eid treat for Salman Khan fans. This will be followed by Hero, which releases on September 25, and Bajirao Mastani during Christmas. So there is a lot to look forward to in the second half of 2015 as all the big releases are lined up for the festive holidays. On another front, we also have regional cinema lined up. So, this week, we are releasing Bengali film Bela Sheshe, in pan India metro cities which is doing phenomenal business in West Bengal.
The first half of 2015 has been like a roller-coaster ride for all of us and it did not get the box office ringing. But the second quarter raised the bar with a lot of hits like Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Gabbar Is Back, ABCD 2 and others. There were many big-ticket movies that did not do well at the box office, which indirectly resulted in major producer losses. However, the audience is increasingly giving the thumbs up to content even if it’s not a big-budget movie. This is a clear signal for the box office, making the second half of 2015 very promising with bigger stars releasing
The first half of 2015 has been mixed. The box office struggled during the first quarter. There were no films that did good business, except a few, and the content was pretty average as well. But the box office has been rocking since April and we have seen a good variety of content being lapped up by the public, whether Hollywood or Hindi films. Fast & Furious 7, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Dil Dhadakne Do, Gabbar Is Back, ABCD 2 and Jurassic World have all delivered strong business. I believe that this is the way the next half of the year will also go, with more good big films in the pipeline, especially Bajrangi Bhaijaan which looks like being a real record-breaker.
The first half of the year was once again ruled by content-oriented films. Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Piku were fantastic films. They were both, in a way, woman-centric films and they both soared at the box office. But this year, it was just not Hindi films but even Hollywood films like Fast & Furious 7, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and the recently released Jurassic World that did mind-blowing business at the ticket counter. These movies gave Hindi films tough competition. Even this month’s ABCD 2 is doing great business. With the second half of the year just around the corner, it’s time for the biggies to unleash their magic.