Then came Kabir Khan’s sports drama “83,” which had stars like Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Pankaj Tripathi among many others and had a promising premise about the Indian cricket team’s World Cup victory in 1983. What could possibly go wrong with such a formula? Given that the movie was released over the Christmas holiday, the expectations for the box office were extremely high. Trade analysts were anticipating it to set records because of the overwhelmingly excellent reviews. Yet alas! Despite excellent word of mouth continued coming in, 83 fell short of expectations.
Instead, crowds flocked to the theatres to see Tom Holland’s “Spider Man: No Way Home,” Allu Arjun’s “Pushpa: The Rise,” Avatar2, RRR, and Quantara. Even Nani’s “Shyam Singha Roy” managed to maintain its box office dominance.
Looking at current box office numbers, it is clear that South Asian films are bringing in more audiences than Bollywood films. Even the laudatory director Karan Johar acknowledged that Telugu films have recently outperformed Hindi movies in terms of box office success. He used “Pushpa: The Rise” as an illustration to demonstrate the commercial endurance of Telugu films. “Allu Arjun’s “Pushpa,” which received no advertising whatsoever, was only launched with a few posters and the trailer. The movie made a lot of money at the box office even though Allu Arjun is not well-known in the north. Can you picture the situation? This is known as the “pan-India craze,” “added he.
The success of “Pushpa,” according to exhibitor Sanjay Ghai, further demonstrates that South dominance is a permanent trend. The Punjabi film industry believed that the Hindi version would not succeed, but “Pushpa” has nonetheless succeeded and has done well. Although the movie’s title was absolute zero, it managed to draw audiences into the theatres. And the reason the South’s films are succeeding is that they produce movies starring Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra, whereas our Hindi film industry has started to produce movies starring Sai Paranjpe.
Spider-Man: No Way Home, a movie from Marvel, had a solid start at the Indian box office and continued to hold strong even in later weeks. On Monday, the movie’s domestic take was Rs 179.31 crore, and it is already rapidly approaching the Rs 200 crore threshold. After reopening in theatres, Tom Holland’s superhero movie will soon surpass the largest Bollywood release, which had a lifetime gross of Rs 195.44 crore!
Should filmmakers rethink their approaches to making movies now that the public has made it very obvious what they prefer to watch in theatres?