After average pickings in the first six months of the year, the line-up in the second half promises to ring in big numbers
we’re halfway through the year and it’s time to take stock of how the Hindi film industry has performed so far. Well, the roster has been choc-a-bloc with 109 releases in the period between January and June. The year kick-started with releases like OK Jaanu, Haramkhor, Kaabil and Raees, followed by Jolly LLB 2, Running Shaadi, The Ghazi Attack, Irada, Rangoon, Commando 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Aa Gaya Hero, Trapped, Machine, Phillauri, Naam Shabana, Mukti Bhawan, Begum Jaan, Noor, Maatr, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, Meri Pyaari Bindu, Sarkar 3, Half Girlfriend, Hindi Medium, Sachin: A Billion Dreams, A Death In The Gunj, Hanuman Da’ Damdaar, Dobaara: See Your Evil, Raabta, Behen Hogi Teri and Bank Chor. To top it all, Salman Khan’s Tubelight concluded the first half of the year.
Defined by a mix bag of films, especially with a Hindi dubbed version of Baahubali: The Conclusion raking in `500 crore at the box office, and content-based films with controlled budgets winning the box office race, the first half of 2017 depended mainly on content-rich films.
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. And, lest you forget, gunning for the second half are the superstars. Here’s the list:
In July, we will have Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s MOM; Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Kharbanda, Paresh Rawal and Tanvi Azmi’s Guest Iin London; Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif-starrer, Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos; Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar; Tiger Shroff and Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Munna Michael; Arjun Rampal’s Daddy; and Anees Bazmee’s Mubarakan featuring Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty.
August kicks off with Imtiaz Ali’s Jab Harry Met Sejal featuring none other than Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma; Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar’s Toilet-Ek Prem Katha; followed by Bareilly Ki Barfi; Newton; and Haseena Parkar. And, lastly, the month will wrap with Ayushmann Khurrana’s Shubh Mangal Saavadhan and Sidharth Malhotra’s A Gentleman.
September will start with Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Vidyut Jammwal, Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta and Sanjay Mishra-starrer, Milan Luthria’s Baadshaho. This will be followed by Sunny Deol, Shreyas Talpade and Bobby Deol’s Poster Boys. Next in line are Kangana Ranaut’s Simran directed by Hansal Mehta, Lucknow Central featuring Farhan Akhtar and Gippy Grewal; and Sanjay Dutt and Aditi Rao Hydari featuring in Omung Kumar’s Bhoomi. The month will end with David Dhawan’s film Judwaa 2 featuring Varun Dhawan, Taapsee Pannu and Jacqueline Fernandez.
The October releases are Saif Ali Khan’s Chef; Tigmanshu Dhulia’s directorial Yaara; Hate Story 4; Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn’s Golmaal Again; and Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar. November will see Irrfan’s Qareeb Qareeb Single; and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati featuring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Aditi Rao Hydari. December will host Vidya Balan’s Tumhari Sulu; Shoojit Sircar’s yet untitled; Fukrey Returns; and John Abraham’s Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran. Finally, we will be treated to Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s Christmas outing Tiger Zinda Hai.
We asked the industry to rate the first six months of the year and what they expect from the second half. Over to them:
Amrita Pandey, VP, Studios, Disney India
2017 has been a great year for us so far. Dangal’s performance in China and Taiwan and Baahubali: The Conclusion’s performance in the Hindi language really does tell us that great content will be rewarded, irrespective of language barriers. Dangal continues to win hearts and set phenomenal benchmarks through its dream run in theatres across China and Taiwan since its release in May, with several more non-traditional markets in the pipeline. Disney’s live-action Beauty And The Beast released earlier this year and was a huge success as well! It went on to become the highest grossing live action fairytale in India! Our Summer releases, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge came from beloved franchises and continued to woo audiences.
Our next, Disney and Pictureshuru Productions’ Jagga Jasoos (July 14), marks the much-awaited return of the Barfi team. We are thrilled by the fantastic buzz around the movie and cannot wait for the audience to embark on this adventurous ride with Jagga. This is also a massive first – given the genre of the film – and in itself is a remarkable feat. Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok (November 3), is our next Hollywood presentation, followed by Disney•Pixar’s Coco (November 24) – a heartwarming story which celebrates music and family. We end 2017 with the eight chapter from the Star Wars saga – LucasFilm Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15) yet another exciting inter-galactic adventure!
Satwik Lele, COO, Mukta A2 Cinemas
Our expectations for the second half are relatively high, as Baahubali: The Conclusion was much appreciated by the audiences, and performed remarkably well at the box office in the first half. Also, the movie has raised the bar rather high for the upcoming films this year. Many multi-star cast movies like Jab Harry Met Sejal, Padmavati, Tiger Zinda Hai etc are lined up in the second half, and the audiences surely have something to look forward to with great performances coming ahead. The first half of the year, has been excellent with blockbusters like Baahubali: The Conclusion and films like Hindi Medium, a small budget film, which was also well received by the audiences. Today the audiences demand good content, irrespective of any big stars, so if the content of the upcoming film is good then it will surely be a game changer for us in the second half of the year. Looking at the kind of releases we have lined up, we anticipate a very good second half.
Tinku Singh, Group President & CSO, SRS
Bollywood has come a long way, from formulaic films to cutting-edge movies with impactful stories. Every year, the content of movies and the quality of screenplay and cinematography get better. Undoubtedly, it is a very good time for Indian cinema, where there is no dearth of actors, interesting story lines and talented young directors who are intent on doing good work.
The initial half of the year was good, with movies like Raaes and Badrinath Ki Dulhania setting the pace. Magnum opus Baahubali: The Conclusion brought in great traction in terms of revenue and the second half of the year is gearing up for another hoorah, as movies like Toilet- Ek Prem Katha, Jab Harry Met Sejal, Padmavati, Tiger Zinda Hai and MOM are raring to set screens on fire.
Devang Sampat, Director, India Strategic Initiatives, Cinepolis
It has been one of the best first six months for Cinepolis in the last ten years. All the content, including regional, Bollywood and Hollywood movies, has contributed to this success. Thanks to Baahubali: The Conclusion, the month of May was unstoppable and made a big impact on the first half of the year. Overall, our company has experienced 36 per cent revenue growth (thanks to new cinemas opening).
The second half of the year is usually bigger than the first half and 2017 will be no different as we have an exciting line-up. Even if the second round matches the first half of the year, we will be very happy.
Dina Mukherjee, CMO, Carnival Cinemas
Footfalls in theaters are directly proportional to the quality of content. Though the first two quarters haven’t been very favorable for Bollywood, but third and fourth quarters look promising as they have interesting line-up of films like Jab Harry Met Sejal, Toilet-Ek Prem Katha, Padmavati, Judwaa 2, Secret Superstar, Tiger Zinda Hai, Golmaal Again etc; plus good regional cinema. 100 additional Carnival screens will be functional in next 4 months as a part of our expansion plan of having 1000 screens by 2018. We will be entering into states like Jharkhand, Odisha, Goa, AP and Himachal for the very first time in this period. Our one of a kind Cinema Subscription Service – MoviEcard is also gradually catching pace with every passing day. Our EBITDA has been in two digits now and we are maintaining this growth.
Amit Sharma, MD, Miraj Group
The first half of the year was excellent for the industry after a bad last quarter of the previous year, thanks to the quality of content and demonetisation. We have seen great numbers from Dangal, magnum opus Baahubali: The Conclusion, also Raees, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Kaabil. We have also opened 17 screens this year, so far, taking our tally to 80 screens. We have 24 more screens coming up in the next six months, to cross the 100-screen mark this year.
The next six months look very promising, with movies such as Golmaal Again, Tiger Zinda Hai, Jab Harry Met Sejal, Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Dawn of Justice, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Munna Micheal lined up. We are hoping to capitalise on the upcoming season.
Thomas D’Souza, Programming Head, PVR Cinemas
The first six months were consistent with the nature of the business… you win some, you lose some. The year began with a bang, with Raees and Kaabil, and we witnessed two back-to-back, 100-crore films with Jolly in February and Badrinath Ki Dulhania in March. We all knew that Baahubali: The Conclusion would be a special film, but that it would go on to become the biggest grosser in the history of Indian films was way beyond anyone’s imagination. In a way, this film has redefined the business.
As far as the next six months are concerned, we are very excited to see that Bollywood will match Hollywood in terms of variety in content. After Tubelight, we have an exciting and varied line-up, starting with Mom, Jagga Jasoos, Diwali with Golmaal Again, Secret Superstar and Christmas with Tiger Zinda Hai.
Alongside the biggies, we will see little gems like Newton, Lucknow Central and youngsters making their mark in A Gentleman, Sunder, Susheel, Risky; Judwaa 2; Mubarakan; and Munna Michael. A special mention to the ladies, with Padmavati, Simran, Indu Sarkar Lipstick Under My Burkha and Bareilly Ki Barfi. All in all, it’s going to be an action-packed six months ahead.
Manish Talwar, Owner, IP Cinemas
In the first half of the year, Baahubali: The Conclusion did exceptional business at our property and Tubelight is also doing well. I don’t think there is any other film worth mentioning. But the second half seems interesting. With the introduction of GST, ticket prices will increase and earnings will go up as well. I have high expectations from Baadshaho, Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar.