The second month of the year is already over and Bollywood has done a pretty decent job in the last two months. There's a January spillover which took gallant strides this month, Akshay Kumar returned to the theatres again with his first feature this year and then there was a bromantic comedy which left everyone surprised at the box office. We are talking about Padmaavat, Pad Man and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Also, there's yet another superhero film doing super awesome things at the box office. Anything apart from these failed miserably. In fact, February sprung some really cool surprises and kept things alive at the box office. Here's how the month turned out to be...
We have to start with Padmaavat here. The film has managed to go from good to better with each passing day. Despite having big releases contesting for space at the theatre, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's masterpiece stayed put to earn so much that now films of the Khans look pale in comparison. The film has given the featured actors a lot of firsts. It is Shahid Kapoor's first Rs 100 crore film, Ranveer Singh's first Rs 200 crore film and Deepika Padukone's biggest hit ever. None of her films with Shah Rukh Khan could earn as much. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, too, got his biggest hit with the film. In fact, it is on its way to become the next Rs 300 crore film, after Tiger Zinda Hai. That's amazing for the industry because within days it managed yet another blockbuster.
Pad Man began Akshay's innings this year at the box office but couldn't really match up to his past releases. It has become a habit for his films to earn more than Rs 100 crore at the box office. But that doesn't mean Pad Man was a disappointment. It was made for a niche audience and it managed to please them. It is a film which talks about menstruation, which is treated as a taboo topic. Trust only Akshay Kumar to be brave enough to pick up a movie like that. It fulfilled its purpose and that's why Pad Man will always be an important case study for Bollywood.
Black Panther arrived and conquered the box office. It was supposed to be a hit because superhero movies always work in India. But the way it growled and roared at the box office was unbelievable. It became one of the highest--grossers this year and that too within a matter of days. And as for Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Luv Ranjan again managed to speak to the audience in a language they know. No wonder the film is only getting bigger at the box office by the day. (Also read: Padmaavat becomes seventh highest worldwide grosser of all time after Dangal and Baahubali )
Aiyaary turned out to be the biggest loser of the month. Neeraj Pandey couldn't manage to keep his audience hooked this time round. The filmmaker is known to make compelling dramas, with A Wednesday being a priceless example, but this time he faltered badly.
We are still trying to figure out why a film called Welcome To New York got made in the first place!
Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor continue to be the most discussed stars of the month. With Padmaavat doing amazing business at the box office, it is only obvious that people will talk about these actors and Bhansali. They are still the biggest performers at the box office. Akshay Kumar fell a bit short this time but for the sheer fact that he took up a film like Pad Man, he deserves a huge round of applause. We don't think any mainstream actor will ever do a film which speaks about menstruation. So it is definitely a triumph.
Rather than Chadwick Boseman, we feel it is the superhero genre which ticked at the Indian box office again. In recent times, hardly any film from this genre has failed at the box office. In fact, they have become bigger than local cinema. Black Panther crushed Aiyaary in the latter's home turf... that explains where we are going wrong. Hope filmmakers will take a hint here.
Now coming to Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, the applause is reserved for Luv Ranjan. Despite making a series like Pyaar Ka Punchnama which made sweeping generalisations about women in relationships, he has managed to create a fan following for himself. Thus SKTKS is running to packed theatres everywhere. You have to give it to the man for knowing the audience's pulse. The film is pretty ordinary but the punches are perfectly timed and are very colloquial, that means instant connect. The film's numbers will only get better in the coming months.
Biggest lesson of this month is if you know how to speak to the audience, you will be rewarded. SKTKS is a proof and so is Pad Man. The latter spoke about a subject which has always been addressed in hushed tones, so obviously many didn't feel the need to go the theatres to watch it. But the contrary is true in SKTKS' case which addressed the basic concept of bride vs best friend that everyone relates to. Voila...box office has been owned!
Marching ahead to March...
March doesn't show much promise except for Baaghi 2, Hichki, Pari and of course, Hate Story 4. The latter belongs to a series which has always made money for the element of mystery and sleaze. We are pretty sure that the fourth part won't be an exception. Thus, in all likelihood, HS4 will manage to pull in the crowds to the theatre. Hichki, again, is a film that will cater to a select audience. Pari belongs to the horror genre, which is yet to go wrong at the box office. So there is potential in all of them but we can't expect Rs 100-200 crore from any of these films. But then surprises are always welcome!
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