It’s not Bollywood films, it’s the superstars that people seem to be tired of
- PVR and Inox have gained in footfalls due to the success of South movies, but Bollywood is their bread and butter.
- In the two quarters, only three Bollywood films delivered a strong show bringing down the share in hit movies to a mere 10% from 40% earlier.
- As Bollywood continues to disappoint, multiplex ad revenue will be hit badly.
AdvertisementAny other pre-pandemic year, a movie from A-list Bollywood stars like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar or Ajay Devgn would have meant a decent opening at the theatres. But there is no such assurance for screen owners like Inox and PVR which have just received a go ahead for their merger.
“In the past, big stars have been able to attract audiences to theatres en masse, given their strong legacy. However, changing preferences of audiences have now resulted in content being the primary focus. These highly touted superstars are no longer able to attract audiences based on just their brand names,” said a report by Emkay Research on media and entertainment.
Two movies of new-age star Ranveer Singh - 83 and Jayeshbhai Jordaar too failed at the box office, in addition to Akshay Kumar’s Prithviraaj and Bacchan Pandey.
Multiplexes need Bollywood - can’t bank on the South
In spite of the good performance of South movies, the box office collections of theatres bank on Bollywood. It contributes to around 60% of total collections. Bollywood movies were also
the highest-grossing movies in 11 of the 16 pre-Covid quarters. But the last two quarters changed this dynamic.
Only three films delivered a strong show, which means Bollywood share in hit movies went down from 40% earlier to a mere 10%. As Bollywood continues to disappoint, multiplex ad revenue will be hit badly.
The last two quarters saw a stellar performance by two regional films - RRR and KGF Chapter 2. Their respective strong collections could be attributed to S S Rajamouli’s fame after Bahubali and the success of the first part of the movie. But a deeper change seems to be afoot.
“The performance of movies like Pushpa in the Hindi hinterland indicates that customer preferences are evolving. We believe that a turnaround in Bollywood’s fortunes is critical for sustaining box-office collection growth, as performance of regional movies – South and non-South - beyond their core markets is generally sporadic in nature,” Emkay says.
PVR and Inox have gained in footfalls due to the success of South movies, but Bollywood is their bread and butter.
“The importance of Bollywood for large multiplex chains like PVR and Inox is even higher, as the South market is dominated by single screens. South Indian movies’ continued success in the Hindi-speaking market will be difficult,” Emkay noted.
AdvertisementThe Hindi cinema industry is well aware of the shifting trend and migration of audiences to south movies, which have larger-than-life characters of the lead cast that is widely accepted by audiences. Famous Indian filmmaker Karan Johar feels that Bollywood is not given enough leeway to make such movies.
“When I read the reviews of KGF, I’m like if we made this, we would be lynched. But here, everybody is like ‘Oh it was a celebration, a party’ and it was. It’s working both ways. I feel we are also not given any kind of leeway and then we are trying to be somebody else. So, we are all over the place. We are living a dual existence and we have to stop,” he said.
Gross box office collections show that non-Bollywood movies are taking over
|Gross box office collection||2021|
|Hindi (Bollywood)||6.7 billion|
Content, social media and other factors affecting Bollywood
Not all Bollywood movies were rejected. The success of films like The Kashmir Files and Bhool Bhulaiya 2 indicates that audiences are up for only quality content. The third movie which had the multiplex cash registers ringing was Suryavanshi, in the post-Covid era.
“Most movies released in the last 2-3 quarters have gotten mixed to negative critic reviews, indicating that weak content is the primary factor for the poor performance,” said the report.
AdvertisementSocial media trends like Boycott Bollywood are not helping either. From nepotism to religious sentiments - various factors are triggering social media campaigns - which are strong enough to have an effect on their box office collections. So much so, some such targeted movies have not made it past a week in the theatres.
“The low percentage of collections of films after the first week is also a testimony to the lower quality of content that the industry has churned out in the last couple of quarters,” the report said.
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