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A robust first quarter of 2018 for Bollywood

Padmaavat saves the day, while Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is the perfect icing on the cake...

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A robust first quarter of 2018 for Bollywood
(Clockwise from top left) Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat; A still from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety; Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor in Pad Man; Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan in Tiger Zinda Hai
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The first quarter of 2018 is about to end on a favourable note. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s *Padmaavat will (most likely) touch the Rs 300 crore-mark (in Hindi only), thus making a hefty contribution to the cumulative earnings during this period. Meanwhile, Luv Ranjan’s *Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (SKTKS) has added significant numbers (Rs 98.26 crore and still playing) to the total tally so far. Not to forget, Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man (Rs  78.18 crore) and Ajay Devgn’s *Raid (Rs 79.61 crore and running in second week), too, ensured a steady flow of collections at the ticket counters.

In trade analyst Taran Adarsh’s opinion, the first three months have been better than that of 2017. He says, “Padmaavat did phenomenal business, while Pad Man and Raid did well, too. SKTKS has registered fabulous figures as well. Hate Story IV was a let down compared to the previous ones in the franchise, Aiyaary was a failure and Pari was average. Hichki opened to decent collections and Baaghi 2 is anticipated to rake in big numbers.”

Film producer-distributor NR Pachisia concedes that SLB’s opulent period drama, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has made a big difference to this quarter. “Padmaavat is a money spinner for the exhibition sector. Despite not releasing in four states (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh), the film has done fantastic business. And as far as return on investment is concerned, the new-age movie SKTKS has done fabulously.”

Interestingly, another movie that played a key part in the Jan-March 2018 figures is Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH). The Salman Khan-starrer, which released on December 22, continued to draw audiences to theatres even as releases like Saif Ali Khan’s Kaalakaandi failed to woo them.

Though Padmaavat was mired in controversies, its content saw the costume drama rake in huge numbers. Taran asserts, “At most, a controversy can help only for a day. After that, it’s the content that draws audiences to theatres. SLB is a master filmmaker and Padmaavat has got repeat audience, which is necessary for a big film to succeed.” He adds, “And, mind you, it didn’t release in four states in India. So, the producers lost about Rs 100 crore because of that.”

For distributors and exhibitors of the states where the film did not release, the first quarter hasn’t been too good. As Jaipur-based distributor Sunil Bansal says, “Though Padmaavat was the best in terms of content and box-office collections from the national perspective, it’s unfortunate that it didn’t release in four states, including Rajasthan. The high point was the carry-over business of TZH, which released last December. As for Pad Man and Raid, they are okay, at best. While Hichki has opened to decent numbers, we have great hopes from Baaghi 2. The buzz is good. And after last year’s TZH, the audience will get to see a mass-action film.”

In the same vein, a distributor, who is closely aligned to a big film studio, said that the first quarter has been reasonably okay. He observes, “While Padmaavat is a universal success and SKTKS had a dream run, Pad Man did decent business, and Raid is faring reasonably well. This may be decent for distribution, but it’s a warning sign for the exhibition sector as movies are doing well only in the metros and the next 25 towns below them. The television ratings of movies on satellite television are the biggest eye-openers for what kind of subjects work universally. Golmaal Again and Judwaa 2 continue to dominate the ratings. SKTKS was an eye-opener because no one expected it to rake in such figures. Now, Baaghi 2 is expected to register big opening numbers.”

THE ARCHITECTS OF Q1

Ali Abbas Zafar

As the holiday phase at the end of 2017 spilled over to the initial days of 2018, Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tiger Zinda Hai continued to make merry at the box office. The film kick-started the year by collecting Rs 17.50 crore on January 1 and maintained its momentum, leaving behind Sultan (2016), the director’s previous collaboration with Salman by a considerable margin.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Irrespective of the controversy surrounding Padmaavat, one couldn’t deny the fact that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film was a class apart. The filmmaker extracted brilliant performances from Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The historical ensured huge footfalls in cinemas and contributed to the Q1’s BO in a huge way.

Luv Ranjan

Best known as the maker of the Pyaar Ka Punchnama series, in his latest directorial, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Luv Ranjan pitted a guy’s best friend against his girlfriend. The idea resonated with the youth and yielded high returns on investment at the box office. The romcom also saw Kartik Aaryan consolidate his position with new-age romances.

TOP NUMBERS

Padmaavat: Rs 283.69 Cr

Pad Man: Rs 78.18 Cr

SKTKS: Rs 98.26 Cr

Raid: Rs 79.61 Cr

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES

1921: Rs 15.21 Cr

Kaalakaandi: Rs 4.78 Cr

Mukkabaaz: Rs 10.63 Cr

Aiyaary: Rs 17.47 Cr

Pari: Rs 27.38 Cr

Hate Story IV: Rs 16.78 Cr

Hichki: Rs 19.75 Cr

2017 OVERFLOW

Tiger Zinda Hai

Till December 31, 2017: Rs 254.50 Cr

Added in 2018: Rs 84.50 Cr

Final figure: Rs 339 Cr

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