As many as five major offerings are scheduled for a release during the fourth quarter.
2018 is turning out to be one of the best years for the film industry and it looks like the closing three months have more to add to it. Considered as one of the most lucrative periods for the sector, the fourth quarter looks promising with a strong line-up of films.
According to film trade analyst Joginder Tuteja, what makes this quarter so lucrative is the number of holidays during this time. “In the fourth quarter, we are looking at Gandhi Jayanti, Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas and Guru Nanak Jayanti. These are the five major holidays in this quarter. And, it is the festive mood amid the audiences that makes the period so bankable.”
Tapping into this opportunity are filmmakers who come out with big-ticket items. As many as five major offerings are scheduled for a release during the fourth quarter. “There are filmmakers that put out their biggest investment during this season. One, because the season is lucrative and audiences are enticed so it’s a 360-degree circle. Two, because people are typically in the festive mood,” Tuteja said.
According to trade pundits, with the rise in the number of films releasing every year, prominent holidays like Eid, Diwali and Christmas have become more crucial. These festivals have become crucial, especially for launching big-budget films, or films released by big studios. This trend gathered steam post the success of Aamir Khan-starrer Ghajini in 2008, with the film exceeding the Rs 100 crore mark.
Film trade analysts are of the opinion that these holidays boost revenues by around Rs 10-15 crore. Consequentially, industry players want to benefit out of this to get maximum screen, maximum footfall and undivided attention of the audience.
Tuteja, however, points out that although the timing of the release is important it is not the sole reason for a film’s success; quality content is. “We saw earlier this year that Sanju came in on a non-holiday, Stree too. So, the holiday factor works, but the most important factor is that it ultimately needs to be a good movie. We can have best of the days but we also need to have a movie that is worth it,” Tuteja added.
In the last 10 months, Bollywood has delivered as many as nine movies worth Rs 100 crore and more. Around 13 films have turned out profitable this year.
2018 has also surpassed the earnings of the last three quarters of the last year. Around Rs 2,000 crore has already been generated in the first three quarters of 2018. Compared with the last three quarters of the year gone by (2017) – it was Rs 1,600- Rs 1,700 crore,” Tuteja added.
The good news doesn’t end here. Five big-ticket films in the coming months are going to give the industry more reasons to cheer. According to Tuteja, “Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero, Ajay Devgn’s Total Dhamaal, Akshay Kumar’s 2.0 and Ranveer Singh-starrer Simbaa are expected to bring more than Rs 1,200 crore which will make the quarter the biggest that we have seen in the history of Bollywood.”
Over the last few years, Indian film industry has been struggling to add to its collections, with Bollywood particularly lagging. After a weak 2016, 2017 had a dry run too. But, 2018 has seen a sea of change.
This year, Hindi movies in total reported a revenue of Rs 1,103 crore, a 42 percent jump in growth over the first quarter of 2017. The industry also scored more in the first half of 2018 in comparison to the first half of the previous two years.
“This year around Rs 3,300 crore are already in. Plus, there are other 10-15 films that will bring Rs 200-300 crore,” Tuteja said.
What makes this year remarkable is not just performance of big budget films but the box office run of medium and small-budget films. The list includes names like Stree, Raazi, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, among others. Rajkumar Rao-starrer Stree is still running in theatres and getting traction in its sixth week – a rare feat for a small budget film.
In fact, experts believe that limited budget is the key to sustenance of films and the industry through the year.Times are exciting not just for movie-goers but also for the film industry. Tuteja says “2018 is the best already. Last year was the biggest with Rs 3,000 crore but 2018 is already on course to surpass this target.”