As we enter the last lap of 2016, we take stock of the films that ruled the box office this year in terms of footfalls
We always talk about which film earned how much money and broke records but the more the footfalls, the better the collections. In these competitive times, every film is chasing collections. This year saw a mixed bag of releases. The highlights were films like Airlift, Neerja, Kapoor & Sons, Ki & Ka, Baaghi, Housefull 3, Sultan, Dishoom, Rustom, Pink, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Shivaay, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Dear Zindagi and Kahaani 2. With only two weeks to go before we ring down the curtain on the year 2016, we’re pulling out the report cards for the year. Last week, we analysed business according to producers and corporate houses in the film industry, and assessed how the top films performed this year. This week, the spotlight is on the exhibition space – cinema halls – which is vital to the profits a film brings in. The exhibitors are the closest link we have to the audience as they are the ones who know what movie-goers want and expect from our films.
This year, Hollywood releases and regional films too had their share of success and many of their films emerged as winners at the ticket window. The year 2016 will conclude with this week’s release, Befikre, and Aamir Khan’s Dangal, which has huge expectations attached to it.
The multiplex business is under the scanner for the year of 2016. Cinema owners tell us which films enjoyed the longest run and drew the maximum number of footfalls at their respective properties. Over to them:
Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts
Sultan and The Jungle Book (Hindi 3D) drew maximum footfalls, enjoying the longest run in the first quarter of the year. They were followed by Fan and M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story. Surprisingly Sairat also did pretty well, despite being a Marathi film. Overall, this financial year started pretty well and we are looking forward to December releases like Befikre and Dangal, and are expecting a good response for these releases. The three films with the max collections at our properties were Sultan with around `2 crore; followed by The Jungle Book (Hindi 3D), which collected around `1 crore; and M.S. Dhoni… with collections of `80 lakh.
Devang Sampat, Director, India Strategic Initiatives, Cinépolis
Clearly, The Jungle Book was a worthy winner this year, with 13 lakh footfall thanks to Disney’s bold decisions and releasing the movie one week before its world release. As Salman Khan does every year, the second-best movie was Yash Raj Films’ Sultan, with 12 lakh admits. And M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story was the third-best movie at Cinépolis, in terms of footfalls, with 7.2 lakh admits. We see an opportunity in Befikre and Dangal, to take one of the above positions.
Rajender Singh,VP – Programming & Distribution, Inox Leisure
Last Year, Rangi Taranga (Kannada) enjoyed the longest run at INOX. The film released on July 3, 2015, and it ran for 53 weeks. This year too, regional films like Bastu-Shaap (Bengali), Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu (Kannada), Happy Wedding (Malayalam) and Jacobinte Swargarajyam (Malayalam) ran for more than 15 weeks. In Bollywood, Airlift ran for 9 weeks whereas from among Hollywood movies, The Jungle Book takes top billing with for 11 weeks at INOX.
The Top 3 movies at INOX are Sultan, The Jungle Book and Airlift for the period from January 2016 till November 2016. Both Sultan and The Jungle Book had over 26 lakh footfalls and a gross box office of over `53 crore and `48 crore, respectively, whereas Airlift drew over 15 lakh footfalls and a gross box office over `28 crore at our Inox properties.
Thomas D’Souza, Programming Head, PVR Cinemas
The Top 3 films in terms of footfalls so far have been Sultan, The Jungle Book and a tie between Airlift, Rustom and M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story. We expect Befikre and Dangal to join the party. This year, quite a few films beat the 5-week shelf life, starting with The Jungle Book, which had the longest run owing to the immense India connect, and while Pink still had the proverbial legs, its theatrical run was cut short by a premature TV premiere. Strong and relatable content always wins – Kapoor & Sons, Neerja, Pink, The Jungle Book, Sairat, Airlift and so on.
Sanjay Dalia, President, Carnival Cinemas
Although the maximum number of footfalls and collections have been enjoyed by Sultan (collected Rs.25 crore net, 20 lakh admits), The Jungle Book (collected Rs. 19 Cr net, 17 lakh admits), Airlift (collected
Rs. 13 crore net, 12 lakh admits), and Marathi films Sairat (collected `10 crore net, 10 lakh admits) and Natasamrat (collected Rs. 5 crore net, 5 lakh admits) enjoyed the longest run of 15 weeks at Carnival Cinemas.
Malayalam film Oppam completed 100 days recently at one of our Mumbai properties (MovieStar, Goregaon) and there are more examples like this in regional films. Regional and Hollywood films have fared very well at the Indian box office this year. Some big Hindi films did not perform as expected and, post-Diwali, demonetisation has hit the film industry in a major way, especially single screens. The year 2015 was a little better than this year in terms of content, admits and collections but we, at Carnival Cinemas, are confident that December releases Befikre, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Dangal will compensate for all the shortfalls of the year.
Amit Sharma, Managing Director, Miraj Entertainment
The Top 3 films which garnered the greatest number of admits at our cinemas were Salman Khan’s Sultan, Hollywood flick The Jungle Book and Akshay Kumar’s Housefull 3. The highest number of footfalls were recorded by Sultan, which ran for seven weeks and had 4,31,074 viewers. The Jungle Book saw footfalls of 3,24,962 in its seven-week run, whereas Housefull 3 saw 2,06,375 footfalls. Sultan collected Rs. 5 crore, The Julge Book collected Rs. 3 crore and Housefull 3 Rs. 1.95 crore NBOC at our properties. We expect a lot from Dangal as well and expect it to shatter all the records for box-office collections as well as footfalls.
Tinku Singh, Group President and Chief Strategy Officer, SRS Group
This year, Salman Khan-starrer Sultan enjoyed maximum attention from the audience. The movie ran for 5 weeks with 5 lakh footfalls at SRS Cinemas. Next was Akshay Kumar’s Airlift, which was up for more than 3 weeks and drew 3 lakh footfalls. Another player in the limelight was Housefull 3, which also ran for 5 weeks and had footfalls of nearly 3 lakh people. The total collections from these three movies was approximately Rs. 17 crore.
Manoj Desai, Executive Director, G7 Multiplex, Maratha Mandir Cinema
Sultan was the biggest hit this year, the second-best being Shivaay. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil didn’t work as expected. I have high hopes from Dangal and Befikre next. Unfortunately, the currency crisis has hit the collections of films.