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Rediff.com  » Movies » Why the industry is cheering for Padmavati, Tiger Zinda Hai

Why the industry is cheering for Padmavati, Tiger Zinda Hai

November 16, 2017 16:21 IST

We saw Judwaa 2, Golmaal Again!!! and Secret Superstar drive box office collections. Now, watch out for Padmavati and Tiger Zinda Hai in December.

IMAGE: Padmavati.

It's largely been a tough year for Bollywood, with big stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn and even Salman Khan failing to deliver at the box office in the first nine months.

The last quarter of this calendar year, however, could turn out to be different.

It started on a good note with Judwaa 2, which released on the last Friday of September. It helped make up for the failure of the Saif Ali Khan-starrer, Chef.

While Judwaa 2 held the fort in the initial weeks in October, the Diwali releases -- Golmaal Again!!! and Secret Superstar -- opened to mostly positive reviews. Both films have done well commercially and are expected to continue doing well for at least a week more.

 

"While Golmaal Again!!! cashed in, and also delivered on, the franchise promise, Secret Superstar provided variety.

"Unlike other times, when two movies releasing together competed with each other, both (films) have occupied their own niches and played to their target audiences.

"As a result, the Diwali weekend saw close to Rs 110 crore in box office collections," says a trade analyst. 

IMAGE: Golmaal Again!!!

Golmaal Again!!!, the fourth in the Rohit Shetty-directed franchise, has made Rs 194 crore net after tax in the first 18 days, while Secret Superstar, which opened a day earlier, has made Rs 59 crore till a week ago.

The two movies are expected to recover their costs and book profits once their lifetime run is over at the box office.

Red Chillies and Dharma Productions' joint venture Ittefaq, starring Sonakshi Sinha, Akshaye Khanna and Sidharth Malhotra, has also opened to good reviews, with Rs 20 crore collections in the first four days. It is expected to make a profit as well.

IMAGE: Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.

"This quarter has definitely been the best this calendar year.

"The April quarter was a great one too because of Baahubali 2. But this time, more significantly, it's not because of one or two films that the audiences have flocked the theatres.

"Different content has resonated and been accepted, which is always good because it means longevity of healthy footfalls," says Devang Sampat, head of strategy for India operations, Cinepolis.

The Hindi-dubbed version of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion released on April 28 and grossed close to Rs 500 crore.

Other profitable releases this year include Hindi Medium (Rs 69 crore), Badrinath Ki Dulhania (Rs 116 crore), Jolly LLB 2 (Rs 117 crore), Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (Rs 134 crore) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (Rs 18 crore).

"However, only Baahubali 2 added significant amount to the box office topline," adds the analyst. 

This festive quarter has been much better compared to last year's, which was reeling from the immediate impact of demonetisation.

Exhibitors say the average occupancy rates this quarter are expected to be 15 per cent more than in the first nine months.

While October saw festival weekend releases, November has two big ticket Hollywood movies, both superhero franchises.

November 3 saw the release of Thor: Ragnarok. The third in the Thor franchise from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movie opened to positive reviews worldwide, including India, and has netted Rs 31.7 crore at the Indian box office till date.

It is expected to collect at least Rs 10 crore more over the next weekend.

In the third week of November, Warner Bros will be releasing their DC Extended Universe film Justice League, which is among the most anticipated films of the year.

"Hollywood films have done well in general and more so with superhero franchise films.

"I think the bigger picture is that content in this quarter has done well. Once you dub a Hollywood film, people come and see it, no matter who the star cast is. Similarly, with Bollywood films.

"The acceptance of Secret Superstar has once again proved that the star cast matters less and less every year," Sampat says.

IMAGE: Tiger Zinda Hai.

Distributors and exhibitors are optimistic about the December releases as well.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati hits the cinemas on December 1, followed by Yash Raj Films' Tiger Zinda Hai, the sequel to 2012's super hit Ek Tha Tiger, on the Christmas weekend.

Hollywood will also have a big release in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Urvi Malvania
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