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With Rs 1,000cr in Q1CY19, Uri, Total Dhamaal, Kesari, Gully Boy set record for Bollywood

Year 2019 has been an exception with over half a dozen films turning out to be successes at the box office.

March 28, 2019 / 09:16 AM IST
Image: Twitter/@vickykaushal09

Image: Twitter/@vickykaushal09

Joginder Tuteja

A record has been created: Never before in the history of Bollywood has the first quarter of a calendar year resulted in collection of around Rs 1,000 crore at the Box Office.

While the first couple of weeks of January are considered to be a lull period due to post New Year time period, days leading to March are not lucrative enough either due to examination season. Due to this, filmmakers usually shy away from bringing big movies the first quarter of the year.

However, year 2019 has been an exception and it has paid off as well for majority with over half a dozen films turning out to be bona fide successes. As a result, the Rs 1,000 crore milestone has now been breached -- something that has never happened before, if one looks at the last few years.

Year 2018 had come close to this record when Padmaavat went past the Rs 300 crore mark and Baaghi 2 scored huge at Rs 166 crore. As a result, the first quarter total stood at Rs 914 crore.


Comparatively, year 2017 was far lesser at a mere Rs 650 crore with just Raees, Jolly LLB 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Kaabil going past the Rs 100 crore mark each. Year 2016 was not any better as Airlift was the only Rs 100 crore club film and the quarter total stood at Rs 550 crore.

Now in 2019, the films that have contributed to the Rs 1,000 crore haul are Uri - The Surgical Strike, Total Dhamaal, Kesari, Gully Boy, Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi, Luka Chuppi and Badla. Interestingly, barring Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi, all other films are still running in theatres which establishes how they have all enjoyed a sustained run.

The biggest of the lot is Uri - The Surgical Strike which has single-handedly contributed almost 25 percent of this moolah. With Rs 245 crore in its kitty, the film has emerged as an all-time blockbuster and is still bringing footfalls. Even though it started at Rs 8.20 crore, the Aditya Dhar directed film has multiplied its collections 30 times over, which has never happened before after a start like this.

The film which comes next is Total Dhamaal and the Indra Kumar directed affair has emerged as a superhit by crossing Rs 150 crore mark already. The multi-starrer led by Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit with the usual suspects Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffery was lapped up well by the audiences.

Another film that should make a dash towards the Rs 150 crore mark is current release Kesari which has entered the Rs 100 crore club now. In fact, the Akshay Kumar starrer has helped bridge the gap between Rs 900 crore to Rs 1,000 crore, hence giving Bollywood a good reason to celebrate. It should further add on to the Rs 1,000 crore haul of the first quarter before the end of month.

The good part about the current season is that films across different genres have been doing so well. Gully Boy was a largely niche affair and still it ended up collecting Rs 140 crore. Ranveer Singh was coming fresh out of the massy Simmba and still the risk paid off with the Zoya Akhtar directed affair turning out to be a clean hit.

On the other hand, Kangana Ranaut pretty much made sure that Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi emerged as a success. Even though there was so much negativity surrounding the film right through its making, she kept her chin up and as a result the film went past the Rs 90 crore mark.

Though the films that have enjoyed some of the best Return of Investment (ROI) in recent times are Luka Chuppi and Badla. Both had a budget of under Rs 30 crore and still the theatrical business has been manifold.

Kartik Aaryan was riding high on the success of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and he had an acid test ahead to score well with Luka Chuppi which was with a different team. With producer Dinesh Vijan ensuring that the production, marketing and release was apt and Kriti Sanon bringing her charm into play, Luka Chuppi has breached the Rs 90 crore mark.

As for Badla, it has grown from strength to strength. Films belonging to this genre (suspense thrillers with a single room setting sans any songs) are quite rare and yet Sujoy Ghosh had a conviction to pull it off. Add to that the support that came from Shah Rukh Khan and Sunir Kheterpal and the pair of Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu ended up delivering a biggie here. The film has gone well past the Rs 75 crore mark and is still counting.

While aforementioned films are the biggest contributors towards the Rs 1,000 crore haul, the ones that disappointed were Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, Why Cheat India and Sonchiriya. These three films had a collective business of less than Rs 40 crore when ideally it should have gone past at least Rs 100 crore.

Moreover, there were some other flops too in the form of Amavas, Photograph, Milan Talkies, Fraud Saiyaan, Rangeela Raja and Bombairiya, which hardly brought in any money.

Thankfully, there were some bonus numbers that came from the likes of Thackeray and The Accidental Prime Minister, both of which collectively brought in over Rs 60 crore -- making their small contribution to the record. Turning out to be coverage affairs, they kept the box office ticking in their opening week at least.

While the record created so far has been unprecedented, one waits to see if the second quarter of 2019 would turn out to be any better. With biggies like Bharat, Kalank, Student of the Year 2 and De De Pyaar De lined up for release, and many other interesting films like Romeo Akbar Walter, Arjun Patiala, Kabir Singh, India's Most Wanted, Mental Hai Kya, The Zoya Factor and Malaal gearing up to hit the screens as well, yet another Rs 1,000 crore haul would be huge indeed for Bollywood.

Biggest contributors to the Rs 1,000 crore haul in Q1 2019:

Uri - The Surgical Strike: Rs 245 crore
Total Dhamaal: Rs 152 crore
Gully Boy: Rs 140 crore
Kesari: Rs 100 crore (and counting)
Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi: Rs 92 crore
Luka Chuppi: Rs 90 crore (and counting)

Badla: Rs 77 crore (and counting)

(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic, and loves to talk and write about anything that is related to films. Views are personal)

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Joginder Tuteja
first published: Mar 28, 2019 09:15 am
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