The Hindi film industry experienced a mix of happiness and sadness in the first half of 2023 says a report in The Indian Express.
The box office performance of Hindi movies in the first half of 2023 was disappointing according to film trade expert Taran Adarsh.
Several highly anticipated films starring big names, such as Selfiee, Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, Shehzada, Adipurush, and Bholaa, failed to attract audiences to the theatres.
At the beginning of 2023, film producer Anand Pandit emphasised the importance of not offering the same predictable content to the audience. However, Adarsh believes that filmmakers did not pay enough attention to this advice.
According to Adarsh, the filmmakers took the audience for granted and faced the consequences. He states that the audience can be ruthless, as demonstrated by the response to films like Adipurush. Adarsh urges filmmakers to deliver on their promises or not attempt them at all.
Aasmaan Bhardwaj's film Kuttey, starring Tabu, Arjun Kapoor, and Radhika Madan, had a disappointing start to the year with a collection of Rs 4.65 crore. However, everyone was thrilled when Shah Rukh Khan made his comeback after four years with Pathaan.
The film broke box office records and became the highest-grossing Hindi film, earning a total of Rs 543.05 crore. It also achieved the fastest Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore, and Rs 300 crore milestones at the box office.
However, soon after the initial euphoria, the film industry faced a string of setbacks.
Kartik Aaryan's Shehzada failed to perform well, contributing only Rs 32.20 crore to the total earnings. Akshay Kumar also disappointed his fans with Selfiee, which had a lifetime collection of Rs 16.85 crore.
Although Ranbir Kapoor's Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Rs 149.05 crore) and Rani Mukerji's Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway (Rs 21.67 crore) had decent footfall, subsequent films failed to attract audiences to theaters.
Despite delivering the hit Drishyam 2 last year, Ajay Devgn's Bholaa (Rs 82.04 crore) did not capture the audience's attention.
Salman Khan's Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Rs 110.53 crore) was also rejected by his fans this time. Smaller films like Zwigato, Bheed, Gumraah, and Afwaah struggled to even sell tickets.
Adarsh expressed disappointment over the failure of Adipurush, stating that the film had the potential to be a blockbuster due to its depiction of the Ramayan. However, the film was criticised for ignoring sentiments and taking cinematic liberties.
Despite a strong start at the box office, produced on a massive budget of Rs 500 crore, Adipurush ultimately ended with a disappointing collection of Rs 136.54 crore.
The Hindi film market experienced a significant drop in revenue in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.
In the first six months of 2019, the market generated around Rs 2,700 crore, whereas in 2022, it only reached around Rs 1,800-1,900 crore.
However, there was hope for a 10 per cent increase in 2023, but the numbers have remained the same as the previous year, with around Rs 1,900 crore being earned in the first half.
While popular actors like Akshay Kumar, Kartik Aaryan, Ajay Devgn, and Salman Khan failed to deliver successful films, Sudipto Sen's The Kerala Story (Rs 242.20 crore) and Laxman Utekar's Zara Hatke Zara Bachke (Rs 84.66 crore) surprisingly contributed to the overall box office collection debunking the belief that only big-scale films can succeed after the pandemic.
Additionally, the recently released "Satyaprem Ki Katha" has also been performing decently well, earning Rs 38.50 crore within the first weekend.
These movies have shown that there is still an audience for films with good storytelling and content. People are willing to watch movies in theatres, not just blockbusters. It is expected that these films will continue to thrive and maintain the momentum at the box office.
Looking ahead, film trade experts are still optimistic about the rest of the year and hopeful that upcoming releases will make up for the under-performing films of the first half.
Exciting releases to anticipate include Jawan and Dunki starring Shah Rukh Khan, Tiger 3 starring Salman Khan, Animal starring Ranbir Kapoor, and OMG 2 starring Akshay Kumar.
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