The share of the new brigade in 2018 grew 48 percent as compared to 23 percent of the old stars.
When the box office performance of the Khans of Bollywood dwindles, it does become a matter of concern for the film industry. But in 2018, the new crop of stars were the silver lining.
According to a Kotak Institutional Equities (KIE) report, contributions of the four biggies of Bollywood — Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Akshay Kumar — dropped to 23 percent of top 25 movies’ NBOC (Net Box Office Collection) from 45-50 percent (2012-2016).
KIE data suggests that the new breed of stars like Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Tiger Shroff, Ayushman Khurana, Rajkummar Rao and Alia Bhatt more than compensated for weak box office performances by the three Khans.
The share of the new brigade in 2018 grew 48 percent. The newer stars more than doubled their share in 2018 box office collection of the top 25 movies from 23 percent in 2016. Their share stood at 22 percent in 2017.
On the other hand, old stars had dominated the box office space in 2016 and 2017 as their contributions in net box office collection of top 25 films were 52 and 36 percent, respectively.
For many years, the net domestic box office collection (NBOC) of the top 25 movies was led by the top five movies. However, the scenario changed in 2018 as the revenue from the top five movies stood at Rs 1,203.3 crore versus Rs 1,772.6 crore of the top 6-25 movies.
This means that top 25 movies grew 15 percent in 2018, which was driven by movies in the 6-25 ranking which grew 37 percent year-on-year. However, the growth was partly offset by an 8 percent decline reported by the top five movies, according to the KIE data.
Last year, the film bucket of top 6-25 showed solid growth after a few stagnant years.
The top five film bucket in 2018 includes movies like Sanju, Padmaavat, Simmba, 2.0 and Race 3. In the 6-25 bucket, Baaghi 2, Baadhai Ho, Raazi, Stree made it to the list.
Last year, when films like Zero, Thugs of Hindostan and Race 3 couldn’t stand strong at the box office, it signaled to a trend that while star power is still relevant, it is not the only criteria for a successful film.
Save a few exceptions, cohesive story-telling is taking precedence over mindless cinema. In the last few years, the focus is more on hinterland to contextualise stories in tier-2, tier-3 towns such as Varanasi, Lucknow, and Bareilly to add depth and familiarity to the script and characters to reflect the lives of the majority of the middle-class audiences who unarguably enjoyed, but could never really connect to glitz and glamour of big cities.2018 could very well be the year that set the trend for times to come with cinema not driven solely by stars but as much by relatable and real content.