- In the first half of 2023, about 52 films were released at the Bollywood Box Office, although just three were financially successful
- The box office performance of blockbuster projects like Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, Akshay Kumar’s Selfiee, Ajay Devgn’s Bholaa, and Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada was failed to deliver
- As many as four films per day were released on March 24, May 5, May 19, and June 23 in the first half
The year got off to a slow start (Rs 4.65 cr) with the release of Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s Kuttey, starring Tabu, Arjun Kapoor, and Radhika Madan. However, Bollywood Box Office and the industry celebrated Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback to the big screen with Pathaan after a four-year hiatus. New box office records were set as a result of the crowds that flocked to the theatres to see SRK on the big screen. With total revenue of Rs 543.05 cr, the Siddharth Anand-directed movie became one of the highest-grossing Hindi movie ever. A saving grace in thist Half Yearly Report 2023. It also set records for the quickest Hindi film to gross Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore, and Rs 300 crore.
When business analysts and insiders in the film industry were celebrating this improvement, Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada bombed at the box office and could only add Rs 32.20 cr to the industry’s overall revenues. Akshay Kumar let his fans down after Kartik, and they didn’t like his movie Selfiee. The total lifetime revenue was Rs 16.85 cr. Even while Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar by Ranbir Kapoor (Rs 149.05 cr) and Mrs Chatterjee Vs. Norway by Rani Mukerji (Rs 21.67 cr) attracted a respectable amount of viewers. The Kerala Story released on May 5 took the box office by storm and provided some relief. The films that came after failed to compel viewers to leave their comfort of homes in scorching summer and torrential rains.
The regrettable fact that the promfinent big star cast films failed and the smaller ones has stood out. On the curious case of Big Budget failures, Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh thinks it was a shocker with the list of Films like Selfiee by Akshay Kumar, Bholaa by Ajay Devgn, Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan by Salman Khan, Shehzada by Kartik Aaryan and Prabhas Starrer Adipurush.
Film experts are of the opinion that the first half was distinguished by a lack of coordination in the industry from a more strategic perspective where Films must be released on a consistent schedule. But there were no big celebrity releases during the crucial months of May and June, which coincided with the summer vacations. Thirteen films were released in theatres at that time, representing one-fourth of all films released between January and June. A significant window of opportunity was passed up.
In the first half, films were released in groups of up to four on each of the following dates: March 24, May 5, May 19, and June 23. “You’re putting yourself at risk. The strain that will now be present in the second half is entirely of one’s own doing”, according to Girish Johar (Trade expert). Too many releases on the same weekend divide the audience, which will only reduce the potential box office take. Film Producer Anand Pandit, had previously told indianexpress.com that the Hindi film business had learned its lesson from the huge failure of 2022: “Don’t take the audience for granted by offering the same, predictable fare day in and day out.”
Optimism is the key in situations like this. Zara Bachke, Zara Hatke has done decent business and Satyaprem ki Katha is also performing well. More hopes are pinned on Ranveer Singh’s Rocky Aur Rani ki Prem Kahani, Akshay Kumar’s OMG 2, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan, and Salman Khan’s Tiger 3. However, a smaller film like the Kerala Story, which was a huge hit (net receipts of Rs 242 crore domestically and another Rs 16 crore internationally) affirms that audience is and content is king that merits consideration.