Big surprises, biggest shocks: first half of Indian cinema 2022
Lots of shocks and a few surprises – that pretty much sums up the 2022 half-year report. After braving two years of Covid, all eyes were on whether people were ready to venture out of their homes and to visit theatres.
It all started with Gangubai Kathiawadi, and this team of actor Alia Bhatt and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has done wonders. And then came the surprise blockbuster of the year – The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Agnihotri. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, RRR, KGF 2 also brought back happy days for the film industry. The heavily promoted family drama, JuggJugg Jeeyo has connected with multiplex audiences.
Business analyst Taran Adarsh agrees and says it’s a mixed bag. “Gangubai was no surprise, but Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 was. He exceeded everyone’s expectations with the kind of business he did. Of course KGF 2 was there too, it was dubbed in Hindi,” he says.
Agnihotri says the first half was extraordinary. He says: “The theaters have been revived. When all the big Bollywood producers and directors started saying OTT was the way to go, I never agreed. We had great offers to sell the film directly to OTT, but we declined. We have remained true to our belief that audiences crave good cinema. This year proved that theater is the future, not OTT.
The box office collection was mainly driven by regional content in the first half, said Vishal Sawhney, director and CEO of Carnival Cinemas. “The Hindi-dubbed version of Southern films is taking an increasingly large share of the box office collection. 60-70% of the total activity in terms of ticket sales was driven by regional content. It proves that the script and the content of the story are the kings of cinemas,” he tells us.
Just when the industry was rejoicing after Gangubai…, Radhe Shyam with Prabhas fell short of expectations. Trade expert Atul Mohan is quick to mention the other shocks – John Abraham’s Attack, Akshay Kumar’s Samrat Prithviraj, Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey, Ranveer Singh’s Jayeshbhai Jordaar – which failed to live up to the hype that awaited them.
Exhibitor Akshaye Rathi says the first half of 2022 has been one with a lot of learnings. “These unusual audience behavior patterns are not just the script of movies, but everywhere. We didn’t expect Bhool Bhylaiyaa 2 to the extent that it did, similarly no one expected Samrat Prithviraj or track 34 to end the way they did,” he said. he thinks.
Bachchhan Pandey, with Akshay Kumar in the lead, didn’t find many takers either.
It may have delivered a big hit in the form of BB2, but director Anees Bazmee says the non-execution of any film is saddening in the current scenario when theaters are getting back on their feet. “Khushi iss baat ki hai ki meri direct ki gayi film aaj bhi theaters mein chal rahi hai. People call me and tell me what a great movie we made. A silver lining is visible with the undertaking of this film,” he shares.
He also declares that today a film is either a big success or a flop, there is no in-between. “Previously, there were super hits, semi-hits, averages and flops. The intermediate category is now over. Ya toh log bauahut pyaar denge, ya bilkul nahi denge. It’s shocking, the business of certain films. This is something we need to think about,” he adds.
BOX OFFICE REPORT SHEET
BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2- 184.32cr
THE KASHMIR FILES – 252.90cr
KGF 2- 434.70cr