Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bollywood Box Office Report for First Quarter of 2015: Hits & Misses

Contributed By: Charu A. Mahesh

The first quarter of 2015 is already over. That was fast, isn't it? From exams and financial year closing to World Cup frenzy - all the hullaballoo seems to have settled by now. Which reminds us that Bollywood box office can now expect some wonders as the first quarter turned out to be a disappointing one with no blockbusters, and a majority of debacles.

          Varun Dhawan in Badlapur poster

Out of a total of 30 films that released in the first three months, only four films managed to win audience's heart. Now, that's a pretty bad score! What went wrong? Let's find out.

With lack of Khan films and with just one Akshay 'Khiladi' Kumar film, Baby, the first quarter didn't have much to offer to the masses. Imagine not even a single 100 crore film yet and just small fries like 'NH 10' and 'Badlapur', which managed make some profit, but since these films didn't have a mass appeal, the first quarter can be called just average.

      Baby Poster

"It has not been a great period. The first quarter has not been fruitful, especially when you compare it with the previous year, it has been quite bad. We had a major release like 'Jai Ho' last year. This year, there was no such major film," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

The four movies that managed to swift through the lull include Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Akshay Kumar's Baby, Varun Dhawan starrer Badlapur and Anushka Sharma's NH 10.

            Anushka Sharma in NH10 poster

Blaming it to the quality of content produced rather than events, Komal Nahta, another film trade expert, said, "I would say the first quarter has not been good at all, and that doesn't mean any film that deserves to do well, has flopped. All the films that have flopped, deserved to flop. It has been a below average year."

         Dum Laga Ke Haisha poster

Box Office Report: Talking about business, Neeraj Pandey's Baby collected close to Rs.80 crore, Sharat Katariya's Dum Laga Ke Haisha collected around Rs.27 crore and still seems to be going steady at the box office. Sriram Raghavan's Badlapur managed Rs.50 crore, and Anushka Sharma's debut production NH10 drew crowds and garnered around Rs.27 crore so far.

So what was it that went wrong? Analysing what went wrong this year, Adarsh said: "The examination period, and most importantly, the Cricket World Cup (which began February 14) was going on. I do feel all these factors have affected the business drastically. We also need to pull up our socks in terms of content."

      Dolly ki Doli

The fact that movies like Tevar, which starred Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu starrer Alone, Sonam Kapoor's Dolly Ki Doli, Ayushmann Khurrana's Hawaiizada, Roy starring Ranbir Kapoor and above all Amitabh Bachchan starrer Shamitabh failed to make a mark at the Box Office proves that audiences expect more from a movie than just star power.

Other films that tanked without a trace included, Mumbai Can Dance Sala, Crazy Cukkad Family,  Dirty Politics,  Hey Bro,  Khamoshiyaan, Rahasya and Ab Tak Chappan 2 to name a few.

Even experimenting with genres couldn't pull the audiences to the theatre as the genre was not exploited fully. For instance, Alone and Khamoshiyan failed to scare the audiences, while an inspiring film like Hawaaizada tanked as it lost the plot in between and focused more on love story. Similarily, so called comedies like Crazy Cukkad Family, Hey Bro and Dilli Wali Zaalim Girlfriend failed to make us laugh as they piggy backed on run on the mill jokes and slapstick comedy.

           Roy Poster

Rajasthan-based distributor Sunil Bansal says this year has put distributors in loss and it was small budget films that managed to work.

"Small budget films have done fairly well this year, but their performance has not been exceptionally great. Many distributors have faced a huge loss this year as shows were going empty and we had to pull down many shows. However, these four films (mentioned earlier) have been saviours."

            Gabbar Is Back Poster

Will the second quarter of 2015 manage to bring fizz back in Bollywood? Will cash registers ring again? Answers Nahta, "There aren't too many promising films on the horizon. Good times will begin from June and July. Having said that, there is a film like 'Gabbar Is Back' which could do well. It's not that we are flooded with promising films."

"Do you wanna know, which are the must-watch films in the next quarter of 2015? Watch this space to find out.

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(With inputs from IANS)

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