Sanju, Veere Di Wedding, Raazi, Parmanu emerge as big winners: Half-yearly Bollywood box office report 2018
While Sanju and Race 3 emerged as the biggest hits of the first half of 2018, female-led films like Raazi and Veere Di Wedding were not far behind.
Note: All box office figures have been sourced from Bollywood Hungama.
After a drastically improved first quarter of 2018, as compared to the whole of 2017, Bollywood continued its impressive streak in the second quarter, leading to a financially healthy first half of 2018. While the first quarter witnessed both big and small films co-existing, the second quarter also showed a similar pattern.
The biggest hit of the second quarter, and now that of this year so far, is Rajkumar Hirani's Sanju, starring Ranbir Kapoor in the role of Sanjay Dutt in the latter's biopic. A smooth run was expected of a Hirani entertainer, given his track record of blockbusters like 3 Idiots and PK. But the dark horse in question was Ranbir, since Hirani's previous hits were carried on the shoulders of a bigger star in Aamir Khan. Also, Ranbir was not exactly in the best commercial phase of his career, since this was his first release since last year's gigantic letdown, Anurag Basu's action adventure comedy Jagga Jasoos, that the star also co-produced.
But with a lot of buzz around Dutt's controversial life and a stellar star cast in place, Sanju received tremendous word of mouth both pre-release and post-release. The film scored an opening of Rs 34.75 crore, the biggest of the year, surpassing that of Remo D'Souza's action thriller Race 3, with a bigger star in Salman Khan, that opened to Rs 28.50 crore. While the reviews criticised Sanju for being a propaganda film to clean up Dutt's image, it only piqued the audience's curiosity as they flocked to the theatres throughout the weekend in order to form their opinions. This led to an opening weekend collection of Rs 120.06. It became the first film after Ali Abbas Zafar's spy thriller from last year, Tiger Zinda Hai, to join the coveted Rs 100 crore club within its opening weekend.
After the superlative opening weekend run, there was no looking back for Sanju. Hirani's film went on to garner Rs 202.51 in its opening week, crossing the Rs 200 crore mark. And within two weeks of its release, it has now made it to the elite Rs 300 crore club. Its current collection, as on 15 July, stands at Rs 306.11 crore. Sanju has emerged as the biggest hit in Ranbir's career though it is yet to cross the milestones set by Hirani's past two films.
Two weeks prior to the release of Sanju, yet another Rs 100 crore film released in Race 3. The Salman-starrer released on his signature festival of Eid on 15 June and went on to earn an opening of Rs 28.50 crore. The collective might of the brands of Salman and Race helped further Race 3's box office run as the film collected Rs 103 crore during its opening weekend. The reviews were unanimously below average but the big budget extravaganza continued to glide undeterred by adding another Rs 37 crore in the next five days. However, Race 3 soon gave in and its run culminated at Rs 166.32 crore.
Race 3 was not even an inch of what Salman's past blockbusters have garnered at the box office. While it could not make it to the prized Rs 200 crore and Rs 300 crore clubs like many of his blockbusters, including his last hit Tiger Zinda Hai, it did manage to reinstate him as the go-to superstar for an Eid release. The film surpassed the collection of his last Eid release, Kabir Khan's Tubelight, that under-performed severely for a Salman Eid release. In fact, Tubelight was the only Rs 100 crore grosser during the second quarter of 2017, besides SS Rajamouli's multilingual magnum opus Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
As a refreshing change, the second quarter of 2018 recorded three Rs 100 crore grossers, in Sanju, Race 3 and a rare female-led film. Meghna Gulzar's spy thriller Raazi, starring Alia Bhatt, released on 11 May to an opening of Rs 7.53. The Friday collection was way high for a woman-led film, crossing the opening collections of other similar films like Rani Mukerji-starrer Hichki (Rs 3.30 crore) and Anushka Sharma's Pari (4.36 crore). This was only a humble start as the Karan Johar film garnered Rs 32.94 during the opening weekend.
Despite competition from the Indian Premier League, Raazi went on to achieve an opening week box office collection of Rs 56.59 crore. It held its ground in the subsequent days, thanks to the commendable word of mouth. The film crossed Rs 100 crore slowly and surely, becoming only the second woman-led film to achieve the feat, after Aanand L Rai's 2015 romantic comedy Tanu Weds Manu Returns, starring Kangana Ranaut. Raazi's lifetime collection stands at Rs 123.78 crore.
Besides the three Rs 100 crore hits, quarter 2 was also populated with small films making it large throughout the three months. The first one was Shoojit Sircar's slice of life film October, starring Varun Dhawan and newcomer Banita Sandhu. Dhawan does not have a single flop in his career yet. However, he took a break from the Judwaas and the Badrinaths to do an unconventional romance like October. The film earned Rs Rs 4.25 on opening day, Rs 18.25 in opening weekend (owing to the good word of mouth) and Rs 26.55 crore in the opening week. The numbers are way lower than a commercial Dhawan entertainer but the film did manage to recover its estimated budget of Rs 40 crores through a lifetime run of Rs 39.06 crore.
While Raazi proved that an actress can ensure big numbers, Umesh Shukla's comedy 102 Not Out also ensured that the trade pundits do not write off actors past their prime. The father-son comedy, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor, recorded an opening of Rs 3.52 crore on 4 May. It appealed to arguably India's biggest film-watching section of family audiences as it went on to make Rs 16.65 crore during its opening weekend. After a splendid opening week run of Rs 27.70 crore, the film made sure that it remains put in cinema halls for weeks. After almost a month-long run, its box office stint culminated at a staggering Rs 52.04 crore. A small film, led by two senior actors, crossing the Rs 50 crore mark is rather unheard of.
John Abraham's period drama Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, directed by Abhishek Sharma, finally saw the light of the day on 25 May. It waded its way through incessant delays and an endless court battle with former co-producer KriArj Entertainment. Once the release date was locked in after the Bombay High Court verdict on 15 May, John and his team had only 10 days to educate their targeted audience of the youth about the technical jargon that dominates the film's dialogues. It seems like he managed to pull off the feat as the film opened to Rs 4.82 crore and then garnered Rs 20.78 crore by the end of the opening weekend. After making Rs 35.41 by the end of its opening week, Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, much like 102 Not Out, saw almost a month-long box office run, courtesy the word of mouth from all quarters. It collected Rs 65.79 crore in its lifetime business.
Arguably the most surprising hit arrived on 4 June in the form of Shashanka Ghosh's buddy film Veere Di Wedding, starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam K Ahuja, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania. The Ekta Kapoor film grabbed eyeballs both prior to and after the release for controversial reasons. Before the release, it was in the news for the heat it was getting for its cast's comments on feminism and their involvement in the Kathua rape controversy.
As they say, any publicity is good publicity. Veere Di Wedding opened to Rs 10.70 crore, unprecedented for a female-led film. The opening day collection was higher than other hits of the year starring A-list actors, like Akshay Kumar's Padman and Ajay Devgn-starrer Raid. It crossed Rs 36.52 crore in its opening weekend and Rs 56.96 in its opening week. Though its lifetime collection remained shy of Rs 100 crores unlike Raazi, it did manage to mint Rs 81.37 crore.
The above films may paint a rosy picture of the second quarter of 2018 but it certainly did not come without a string of duds, including Irrfan Khan-starrer Blackmail, Abhay Deol-starrer Nanu Ki Jaanu, Rajkummar Rao-starrer Omerta and Harshvardhan Kapoor-starrer Bhavesh Joshi Superhero. But the grass seems greener in the third quarter of 2018 that will see highly anticipated releases like Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-starrer Fanney Khan, Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar-starrer Karwaan, Akshay Kumar-starrer Gold, John Abraham-starrer Satyamev Jayate, the Deols' Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se, Kajol-starrer Helicopter Eela and Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma-starrer Sui Dhaaga: Made in India.
All images from YouTube.
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