After a disappointing 2016, what are the trade’s expectations from this year?
Even though Dangal wrapped 2016 on a high note, the year did not live up to the expectations of the trade. But we can look forward to an exciting mix of films lined up for release in 2017. And it’s not only Hindi films; there are many Hollywood and regional offerings that promise to keep the cash registers ringing, making 2017 a potentially dream year for distributors and exhibitors.
In a series of stories that we kicked off in the last month of 2016, industrywallahs shared what 2016 was like for the trade at large. This week, with our first issue of 2017, we spoke to exhibitors and distributors and asked them what expectations they have from this year’s releases. Over to them:
2016 was not a good year for the industry. There were many high-profile films that did not do well at the box office but there were a lot of other films that exceeded expectations, which is a pretty good sign. My expectations for 2017 are very positive. The year started very well and we are already into the third week of Dangal, which is still performing brilliantly.
We have a very good line-up of films, English, Hindi and regional, with a good mixture of genres. Many top box-office stars have multiple films releasing this year and, on the other hand, Hollywood claims that 2017 will be their biggest year ever. From a cinema-goers point of view, 2017 could be a very special year.
As for the industry, obviously good content is great but coupled with that, there is the hope that finally GST (Goods and Services Tax) will be rolled out and the film exhibition industry will get a big fillip in terms of keeping a lot more of the revenue that it earns through a more transparent tax regime.
The year started with a big bang, with great weekend collections from Dangal, in its second week. The Bollywood line-up looks great, with Kaabil and Raees kick-starting January. We have Jolly LLB 2 and Rangoon in February, while March will see Commando 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Begum Jaan and Sarkar 3. On paper, this is the strongest Q1 in recent years, when we club Hollywood and regional content
We will also see two big movies releasing every month from April to December. Jagga Jasoos, Half Girlfriend, Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Tubelight, Shah Rukh Khan-Anushka Sharma’s next, Baadshaho, Judwaa 2, Ankhen 2, Robot 2 , Golmaal Again, Padmavati and Tiger Zinda Hai. Let’s not forget that all eyes are also on Bahubali 2.
Even Hollywood will release new instalments of some of their biggest franchises like Pirates Of The Caribbean, Spiderman, XXX, Thor, Transformers, Baywatch, Annabelle 2 and Smurfs, among others.
I believe that 2017 will be the biggest year ever for multiplexes, and with growth in the number of screens and ticket prices, I expect collections for 2017 to be 25 per cent more than in 2016.
Due to demonetisation, the last quarter took a hit in terms of footfalls but Dangal has brought the audience back to cinemas and will run successfully for at least two more weeks. Like last year, there was Airlift in January to break the jinx; this year, we have two of the biggest Bollywood films – Raees and Kaabil – and Deepika Padukone’s Hollywood debut film XXX: Return of Xander Cage as well. It looks like we’re going to be in for an even bigger year in 2017.
There is a great mix of Bollywood, Hollywood and regional cinema this year. We will have tons of sequels, original stories and event films including Jolly LLB 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Sarkar 3, Bahubali: The Conclusion, Tubelight, Rangoon, Jagga Jasoos, Badshaho, Golmal Again, Sanjay Dutt’s biopic, Bhoomi, Imtiaz Ali’s next, Naam Shabana, Reload, Judwaa 2, Padmavati, Tiger Zinda Hai and Secret Superstar, Aamir Khan’s next film.
From Hollywood, we have Logan, Fifty Shades Darker, LEGO Batman, Baywatch, Wonder Woman, The Mummy, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War For The Planet Of The Apes and Justice League, among others. I am sure that 2017 will be a record-breaking year in movie history.
The year 2016 was a mixed year for Bollywood, although Hollywood and regional movies performed well. The new year looks promising, starting with Dangal, which is in its second week and is doing exceptionally well. We have Raees and Kaabil in January and Jolly LLB 2, Rangoon, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Phullauri in February and March. We are looking forward to Bahubali: The Conclusion, Tubelight, Tiger Zinda Hai, Golmaal Again, Imtiaz Ali’s next with Shah Rukh Khan, 2.0 (Robot 2), Crack, Padmavati, Secret Superstar, Judwaa 2, Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Jagga Jasoos, Mubarakan and the Sanjay Dutt biopic by Rajkumar Hirani in 2017.
The Hollywood slate also looks very promising. Watch out for the following Hollywood movies releasing in 2017: XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage, The Great Wall, Wolverine 2, Kong: Skull Island, Fast & Furious 8, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, Baywatch, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Wonder Woman, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, Spiderman Homecoming, Despicable Me 3, The War Of The Planet Of The Apes, Beauty & The Beast, The Lego Batman Movie and Justice League. Besides Bollywood and Hollywood, the regional slate is also looking good. We are expecting 2017 to be better than 2016 for the industry.
We are very bullish about 2017. The dust of demonetisation has almost settled and the New Year has begun with high hopes and immense promise as Dangal is holding rock steady even in its second week.
Starting with January, all the way to August, the release calendar is choc-a-bloc. Chiranjeevi is back with Khaidi No 150 in January, along with Deepika Padukone’s XXX, followed by Vijay’s Bairavaa, which are set to storm the Telugu, Hollywood and Tamil box office in the first half of January. Kaabil, Raees and Suriya’s Singham 3 will round off January.
February is set with Jolly LLB 2 as well as the Oscar films like Hidden Figures and Lion taking centre stage with Vishal Bharadwaj’s much awaited Rangoon. March is action packed with Commando 2 and Logan, and Kong: Skull Island, Sarkar 3 and Phillauri bringing in some drama. Balancing our need for thrills, we have Naam Shabana to wrap up the financial year.
From April onwards, we have almost all the big summer titles from Hollywood, including Fast 8, Smurfs: The Lost World, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Bad Boys 3 along with The Mummy Reboot starring Tom Cruise, Wonder Woman, The Justice League and an exciting reboot of Spider-Man with some help from Tony Stark. Shah Rukh Khan with Raees and Imtiaz Ali’s next, Salman Khan with Tubelight and Tiger Zinda Hain, Rajinikanth with Shankar’s 2.0, and Rajmouli’s Bahubali. Yet the list is not complete.
The year 2016 was full of ups and downs. With the emergence of demonetisation, many individuals and industries were affected. Many people were focusing on fulfilling their basic necessities rather than enjoying luxury time by watching movies and munching popcorn. This was an unexpected challenge for every industry player.
In 2017, we have high expectations from both Bollywood and Hollywood, as they both have adopted high-quality content and good marketing strategies. It is also expected that collections will grow more compared to last year and, most importantly, many Bollywood movies have raised box-office expectations, like Shah Rukh-starrer Raees, Kaabil, Jaggaa Jasoos, Sarkar 3, Bahubali etc, and even Hollywood movies like Priyanka Chopra-starrer Baywatch and XXX, series like X-Men, Alien, Fast and Furious, Resident Evil, The Mummy, Annabel, Insidious and Despicable Me3.
With this, there has been an increase in the use of debit/credit cards, mobile wallets and online transactions to book tickets. Digital payments are meant to make payment solutions easy. It is expected that the masses will get acquainted with these modes of payments and once again we will be bombarded with great box-office collections.
This year seems much brighter than 2016 as we expect business from Hollywood to increase by leaps and bounds with a series of blockbusters throughout the year. On the other hand, Bollywood too has two movies each from Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan; one from Hrithik Roshan; two from Ajay Devgn; four from Akshay Kumar; and two from Varun Dhawan.
However, we should not forget the most-awaited Bahubali and Robot 2.0. Unfortunately, movie piracy will remain a major concern till policy makers come forward and take steps to kill this evil.
To start with, in the Bollywood line-up, Salman Khan will have two movies releasing – Tubelight and Tiger Zinda Hai vis-à-vis one in the previous year, Sultan. The combined collections of these two movies alone will give the box office
Rs 600-700 crore NBOC. Adding more spice to the Bollywood curry, Shah Rukh Khan will come out two movies too, with Raees and Imtiaz Ali’s next with SRK-Anushka Sharma.
The year will also see off-beat tittles with unorthodox star cast and showcasing interesting storylines to the silver screen. Some of these are: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Phillauri, PadMan, Crack, Badshaho, Chanda Mama Door Ke, Secret Superstar, Hindi Medium and Half Girlfriend. Some promising sequels are also awaited such as Jolly LLB 2, Atithi In London, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Golmaal Again, Judwaa 2, Naam Shabana, Sarkar 3, Commando 2 and Fukrey Returns.
Hollywood content has been a saviour for the Indian box office in the last few years. When times are dull and Hindi producers shy away from releasing films, it is Hollywood content that saves the day. Deadpool and The Jungle Book are unique examples from the previous year. These two movies racked up better collections in the dubbed markets.
This year looks more promising for Hollywood content in India, where humongous titles are coming up and will surely ring in big bucks at the box office. The biggest of the lot will be Fast 8, where the previous instalment entered the Rs 100-club in the Indian market. Fast 8 looks even more promising. The other high-octane Hollywood products which are sure-shot winners this year are Justice League Part 1, Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 , Thor, Wolverine 3, XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage, Transformers 5 and Kong: Skull Island.
Coming to the South region space, two movies which will impact the Indian box office will be S S Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Conclusion (Telugu) and Shankar’s 2.0 (Tamil). These two movies dubbed in multiple languages will be worldwide phenomena and will make historic at the Indian box office. There will be many other surprise packages in regional languages like Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Malayalam and Kannada.
I am looking forward to two big films, one is Salman Khan-starrer Tubelight and the other is Bahubali: The Conclusion. Bahubali is a big franchise and has already gained much attention, while Tubelight will work because Salman is starring in the film. In remote areas, the star cast makes a film work so Tubelight is a winner. There are a lot of biggies this year and a lot of big actors coming out with releases, so in every way, 2017 is going to be bigger and better than 2016.