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Bollywood Report Card: 2020 fades even without cv-19

By JOGINDER TUTEJA
March 24, 2020 12:38 IST
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With no new movie releases coming up on the last Friday of March, the first quarter of the year comes to a close.

One look at the box office numbers, and the situation isn't rosy at all.

A comparison with the first quarter of 2019 indicates loud and clear that even without the coronavirus situation, the box office moolah would have lagged in comparison.

Joginder Tuteja brings up the quarterly BO report.

 

Box office at a glance

The first three months of 2019 saw close to Rs 1,100 crore at the box office.

This year, there's just Rs 750 crore coming in.

Even if the Baaghi 3 run had continued, if Angrezi Medium hadn't been hit by coronavirus and Sooryavanshi had released on schedule, this gap of Rs 350 crore may not have been covered.

Lesser films making an impression

The first quarter of 2019 had seen the arrival of 14 notable films with seven major grossers -- Uri: The Surgical Strike, Kesari, Total Dhamaal, Gully Boy, Luka Chuppi, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and Badla -- making their presence count.

This year could not really catch up with that score at all, what with just 11 notable releases and only five turning out to be plus affairs -- Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, Baaghi 3, Street Dancer 3D, Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan and Malang.

A blockbuster helps the first quarter soar

In 2019, Uri: The Surgical Strike turned out to be an all-time blockbuster. It had netted a huge Rs 244.20 crore at the box office.

2020 goes one up in that aspect as Tanhaji - The Unsung Warrior turned out to be even bigger at Rs 279 crore.

Needless to say, the Ajay Devgn blockbuster helped the cause for 2020.

Superhits went missing

2019 would be remembered for the fact that two relatively smaller films went on to do well at the box office.

March releases Luka Chuppi and Badla deserved to be Rs 100 crore club superhits, but they arrived so close to each other that the audience was divided.

Still, Luka Chuppi hit Rs 95 crore while Badla earned Rs 87.99 crore.

In comparison, there hasn't been a single such superhit for Bollywood in 2020 so far.

No hits either

Now this is where 2020 has been hurt the most because while all-time blockbusters and superhits are difficult to come by, one expects hits to be a regular feature.

We saw that in 2019 when there were three major hits in the first three months -- Kesari (Rs 154.41 crore), Total Dhamaal (Rs 154.23 crore) and Gully Boy (Rs 140 crore).

In 2020, there has been none.

But there has been one semi-hit...

2019 as well as 2020 have seen a semi-hit each, and they could well have been hits if varied factors had not hurt their prospects.

In 2019, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi had to battle the controversy around the directorial credit and fell short of the Rs 100 crore mark by stopping at Rs 92.19 crore.

On the other hand, Baaghi 3 was making easy progress towards the Rs 100 crore mark and would have gone beyond.

But the coronavirus outbreak hit it and it closed at Rs 95 crore.

Average grossers save the day

Though there haven't been hits and superhits, certain average/below average grossers have saved the day for Bollywood in 2020.

Street Dancer 3D (Rs 75 crore) and Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan (Rs 63 crore) were expected to do a lot better, but they managed to cover some distance.

Malang (Rs 59 crore) did better than expected.

In comparison, below average affairs in 2019 hardly made much, as seen with Thackeray (Rs 38 crore) and The Accidental Prime Minister (Rs 22.65 crore).

Flops and under-performers

More films have either been flops or under-performers in 2020.

Love Aaj Kal (Rs 36.50 crore) was a big ticket offering but could not sustain after a good opening.

Chhapaak (Rs 34 crore), Thappad (Rs 33 crore) and Panga (Rs 29 crore) were female-centric films led by Deepika Padukone, Taapsee Pannu and Kangana Ranaut respectively. While they were appreciated, theatrically they stopped short, though Thappad did do better due to word-of-mouth.

Angrezi Medium (Rs 10 crore) could have got into the average category but its release coinciding with shutting down of theaters and that killed its chances.

In comparison, last year's Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (Rs 22.70 crore) was a clear flop while Why Cheat India (Rs 8.66 crore), Sonchiriya (Rs 6.60 crore) and Notebook (Rs 3.72 crore) were disasters.

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