The silver lining!

The silver lining!

Some of us still remember 2017 a depressing box office year when big names failed and the decline of some of our ruling superstars started 2019 seems...

Some of us still remember 2017 a depressing box office year when big names failed and the decline of some of our ruling superstars started. 2019 seems to be an exact opposite year to that attitude. Almost anything and everything is working at the box office. Sample this in the first three months of the year and the third month has just about started four movies put together have collected a mind-boggling Rs 923 crore. No, it does not end here these movies are still running in theatres to packed shows. The awesome foursome so far is – ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, ‘Total Dhamaal’, ‘Gully Boy’ and ‘Manikarnika’. Given the way these four movies are speeding at the box office by the time you read these article chances are Rs 1,000 crore would have been breached.

Now add the point to all that you read above that ‘Luka Chuppi’ released last week has almost collected an unimaginable Rs 60 crore for a Kartik Aryan movie. Kriti Sanon is fast becoming the lady dark horse in process at the box office. She has some big rocking hits under her belt while most had almost written her career obituary after the totally forgettable ‘Raabta’, which came in 2017. Given the way ‘Luka Chuppi’ is galloping it might cross Rs 100 crore soon.

The numbers could go beyond your wild imagination if the hype and buzz that is around the two upcoming biggies like ‘Kesari’ and ‘Badla’ transform into the same kind of box office numbers. In short, the samosa seller at the multiplexes across India would be beaming with happiness. Imagine the three months collections of box office crossing Rs 1,500 crore if ‘Kesari’ and ‘Badla’ hit the jackpot and ‘Luka Chuppi’ remains strong too.

There is one more point to note here. Contrary to the popular perception of what the critics like the audience loves and what the critics love the audience dumps – this year while the first half of the perception remains true, the second half is being turned in favour of the box office. The box office numbers of ‘Gully Boy’ and critic stars are matching exactly. The producers of ‘Zero’ might want to release the movie again in 2019 maybe.

All of this makes you wonder if this is the year of good fortune and Bollywood booming? So far it looks like that. ‘Total Dhamaal’s box office numbers are the biggest pointers to this theory. Any other year or occasion this movie might not have collected so much. What makes the numbers of ‘Total Dhamaal’ even more interesting is the fact that this is a family movie and most families would have stayed indoors this being the exam season. Yet, the families have come in droves for all these movies.

Is there also an undercurrent, which we are failing to realise? Over the last couple of years, there has been a deluge of reviewers. Almost by the time, a movie has its first show over a whole army of digital judges is either trashing it or praising it to skies. Bollywood complained big time about this in 2018. The filmmakers said social media spirals are killing their movies unfairly. We can discuss the pros and cons, but the audiences were taking such comments seriously. Big movies crashed in 2018 due to social media first-day audience reactions.

This trend seems to be changing in 2019. People are still reading reviews online and are still looking at audience reactions but are now taking their own call on what to watch and what to ignore. The audiences have decided to be their own judge in this year. At least this is what the ticket window is saying. This could be a fad too which will soon disappear and a balance between audience instinct and reviewer’s opinion will take place. Till then Bollywood is happily counting its cash.

2019 has also underlined one more theory which took shape in 2018. No one seems to be missing the Khans so far and content is the new superstar. The new challengers like Ranveer Singh or Kartik Aryan or Vicky Kaushal seem to have risen to the challenge. Look at the content of all four movies, which have blazed away at the box office each one has a different content and a different presentation to show. Luckily the audiences in 2019 seem to be hungry for just about anything.

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