The top Hindi and English films released between January and September this year have collected about Rs 3,860 crore at the box office, according to industry data. This is 25 per cent more than box office collections in the same period last year.
The year began on a high note with Vicky Kaushal-starrer Uri: The Surgical Strike, which raked in Rs 244 crore. Made on a budget of Rs 25 crore, the RSVP Movies-produced film was a surprise hit, till it was pipped by Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh, which earned Rs 278 crore.
India’s official entry into the 92nd Academy Awards (Oscars) Zoya Akhtar-directed Gully Boy, which tells the story of an aspiring rapper from Mumbai’s Dharavi, collected about Rs 140 crore, impressing audiences and critics alike.
Made on a budget of Rs 34 crore, Gully Boy, released in February was a superhit. Two small-budget films released in March — Badla of Red Chillies Entertainment and Luka Chuppi of Maddock Films — also scored well at the box office. Badla’s budget was about Rs 10 crore. The crime thriller starred Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu, and raked in Rs 88 crore. Kartik Aryan-starrer comedy Luka Chuppi earned Rs 94 crore in the domestic box office.
Hollywood has also made merry in the good box office season, with some major releases crossing the Rs 300-crore mark. Films from Marvel Studies, which have a huge fan following, were released across 2,800 screens. The good run of films was reflected in the strong revenue numbers posted by multiplex chains.
At the end of the July-September quarter, multiplex chain operator PVR clocked a 37.8 per cent occupancy rate, up 320 basis points over the same quarter last year. It earned Rs 948 crore from the sale of movie tickets in the April to September period, up 25 per cent over the same period last year.
Kamal Gianchandani, chief executive officer of PVR Pictures, said there was a rise in collections in the first nine months of this calendar year over last year because more people have turned out to watch films.
“There has been an addition of screens as well, but the main reason for the higher box office is superior performance of films,” he said, adding ticket prices have fallen because of cuts in the goods and services tax rate.
Data shows that average ticket prices have fallen by 5 per cent in H1FY20, compared to the same period last year. The good news for the movie industry is that the festive season is not yet over, and major releases such as Housefull 4 are lined up for the Diwali weekend.
The industry expects 2019 to easily beat 2018’s domestic box office collection of Rs 4,248 crore. Last year, the major hits were Ranvir Singh’s Simmba, Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanju, and small-budget film Stree.