Six months of the new year have passed by in a jiffy and Bollywood doled out innumerable films in these months. Some fared well, others didn't! No, correction...only six films, of all the releases, have managed to create box office history while the rest went down without a whimper. It is clearly not a good time for Bollywood because if Salman Khan doesn't work at the ticket windows, there is no guarantee what will. Yes, it has happened! Tubelight has left everyone shell shocked. Honestly, such reaction is expected because these aren't numbers that you expect from Salman's film. Had it been someone else's film, nobody would have questioned it as much. So, apart from a few pleasant surprises, it has been a more or less shocking and terrible first half of the year.
Funnily, you can count the winners on your fingers because there are only a handful. We will begin with Shah Rukh Khan's Raees and Hrithik Roshan's Kaabil. Despite clashing with each other at the box office, both of them flourished, one a bit more than the other. Next came Jolly LLB 2 and since Akshay Kumar believes in making Rs 100 crore and more with every film, this sequel, too, became one. Next up was Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt's Badrinath Ki Dulhania, which did brilliant business at the box office. This jodi is officially one of the most profitable ones at the box office. This was followed by the giant of a film called Baahubali 2, which stormed the box office. The film came up with numbers that Indian Cinema has never seen before. The Hindi dubbed version alone earned Rs 500 crore, which is the biggest achievement of this year. The first film to earn Rs 1000 crore, Baahubali 2 only got bigger and bigger. Thanks to this SS Rajamouli gem, Bollywood survived the first half.
Also read: Despite poor performance, Tubelight is Salman Khan's 11th Rs 100 crore film
But the most interesting development of the first half is Dangal's resounding and miraculous success in China. The country always loved Aamir Khan's films but with his wrestling drama, they just went crazy. It created history by earning Rs 1000 crore in China alone and became the highest-grossing Indian film ever with Rs 2000 crore in its pocket! Whoa!
Sachin: A Billion Dreams, too, made people sit up and take notice, that if done well, even a docu-drama can pull crowds to the theatres. Of course, it is Sachin Tendulkar who got people to the cinemas but the numbers speak volumes about what the film did. Then there was Hindi Medium, which turned out to be the only superhit after Baahubali 2.
There were so many losers that despite a Baahubali 2 and Dangal, the first six months of 2017 left a bitter taste at the end. OK Jaanu's debacle followed by Rangoon's dismal performance has hurt the balance sheet of Bollywood tremendously. Then there's the lackluster response shown to Meri Pyaari Bindu, Sarkar 3 and others. But what happened to Tubelight, will singe Bollywood for years to come.
Half yearly trends
Despite such a low number of successes, there are certain things which left everyone pretty amused in the first half of the year. Many of them are nothing short of lessons. Say for example Raees and Kaabil clash proved that two big films can co-exist. Yes, one will definitely earn more than the other but if the content is fine, they can survive and excel as well. Akshay Kumar has turned into a formula himself...take him in your film, and it will at least make Rs 100 crore if not more. For a film, which is made at a budget of Rs 40-45 crore, earning that much means you have made a killing at the box office. Badrinath Ki Dulhania's success proves that young urban stories will always find a place in people's hearts if said right. And Baahubali 2 made everyone realise that language isn't a barrier when you know how to make a film. It also showed that inspiration for a film can be found in our own mythology, so it's high time we stop remaking Hollywood films.
However, Hindi Medium's stupendous success made it evident that employ all the gimmicks you want, but if the film doesn't have merit, it will never find a place in people's favourite film list. This Irrfan Khan-starrer was so loved by the audience that it continued to earn good money for a long time after its release. And as for Dangal, well China has never loved an Indian man more than Aamir. PERIOD.
Also read: Dangal box office collection China: Aamir Khan starrer becomes the first film in the history of Indian cinema to earn Rs 2000 crore globally
Hrithik Roshan's blind guy act had many clapping for him. He was so good with his mannerisms that Kaabil became a success mostly because of that. Shah Rukh Khan's return as the don saw people cheering for him in Raees, while Akshay Kumar made a point with Jolly LLB 2. Prabhas and Rana Daggubati became the newest man-crush for ladies, thanks to Baahubali 2 and Irrfan Khan proved again as to how lucky we are to have an actor like him in India.
Dangal returned in 2017 to make India a big thing in China. Aamir Khan is the most loved Indian actor in that country thanks to his film. Nobody thought a Hindi film could make such inroads in the Chinese market and even become bigger than the many Hollywood release there. So Aamir Khan, slow claps for you!
Second half of 2017 looks really promising! There's Shah Rukh Khan coming to the theatres once more with Jab Harry Met Sejal, Akshay Kumar's Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Deepika Padukone's Padmavati and Salman Khan's big bonanza, Tiger Zinda Hai! Hopefully they will all be winners and 2017 won't end up being another dismal year for Bollywood.
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