The five releases, one after the other, are all hits; and more are expected, say production houses.
It’s bonanza time at the box office. The five movies released so far in July — Delhi Belly, Bbuddha Hoga Terra Baap (BHTB), Murder 2, Chillar Party and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) — have all been declared hits.
According to film trade analysts, the month so far has seen investments of around Rs 110 crore and collections over Rs 140 crore from these movies. Hollywood flicks like Harry Pottter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon have also kept the cash counters buzzing.
“This has been a tremendous period for Bollywood, one of the best the industry has witnessed, with these continuous hits. This is going to continue with a strong pipe line of movies,” said Kamal Jain, Group CFO of Eros International, which released ZNMD, starring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akthar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif. The movie collected around Rs 32 crore till Monday — Friday, Rs 8 crore; Saturday, Rs 9.25 crore; Sunday, Rs 11 crore, and Monday, Rs 4.75-5 crore. Reportedly, Eros bought the film for Rs 60 crore.
Produced by Mukesh Bhatt, Murder 2, starring Emran Hashmi, grossed Rs 34.9 crore and is supposed to be the second blockbuster of 2011. The movie was made at a budget of Rs 12-14 crore. Chillar Party, released alongside, also recovered its small-budget cost.
Delhi Belly (July 1), produced by Aamir Khan Productions, had clocked Rs 50.52 crore so far. Its budget was Rs 24 crore, while Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’ BHTB has grossed Rs 14.59 crore. AB Corp said the latter film, made with a budget of Rs 10 crore, had already recovered money through non-theatrical avenues, with the satellite rights fetching the producers Rs 13.5 crore.
Harry Potter and Transformers 3 have so far collected Rs 15 crore and Rs 19 crore, respectively. Both movies were released with 600 prints in 2D and 3D formats and released in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
“Although it’s raining hits, all these movies have been of diverse genres, with good content. It has also been a triumph of craft,” said Taran Adarsh, film trade analyst.
All these movies’ release were backed by innovative marketing strategies, with catchy promos, outdoor advertising and songs. Delhi Belly started its marketing with the Bhaag D K Bose song. For BHTB, Amitabh Bachchan recorded the promo in five languages. The entire star cast and producers of ZNMD went on a road trip to Delhi, stopping at various places. The film had tied up with Mountain Dew, Land Rover and ING Life Insurance. Even the Hollywood movies were not behind, with Warner Brothers holding a movie marathon and a Harry Potter film festival.
Most multiplex officials and trade analysts believe the heavy rush of Hindi films that are releasing could dent the earnings of the previous movie. For instance, after the release of ZNMD, there was a strong dip in occupancy for Murder 2, from around 80 per cent to 15-20 per cent.
“Singham, starring Ajay Devgn, which releases this Friday, may erode earnings of these movies. With one film cannibalising the other's business, neither may be able to maximise its box office potential,” said a multiplex official.
The recent bull run was badly needed. With the earlier cricket fever taking a heavy toll on box collections, the last six months saw Hindi film industry releases with Rs 350 crore of investment, with overall collections of Rs 200-220 crore.