The Weekend Leader - A mixed year

'Chennai Express' and its super-fast collection cheer Bollywood 2013

Uma Ramasubramanian   |   Mumbai


Vol 4 | Issue 51

This year, the Rs.100-crore ($16 million) club was overhauled and swamped, as "Chennai Express" did super-fast record collection of Rs.216 crore (approximately $35 million) at the box office.

In what trade experts called a mixed year for Bollywood, the estimated turnover so far has been Rs.2,633 crore (approximately $424 million), and "Dhoom 3" is expected to add to the gains.

Sharukh and Deepika starrer Chennai Express set the cash register ringing and made a record collection of Rs.216 crore (Photos: Indian Photo Agency)

Around 166 films released so far and the total collection of the year 2013 is already higher than last year's Rs.2,423 crore, but 2013 lags behind in number of blockbusters.

Last year, as many as nine films - "Agneepath", "Housefull 2", "Rowdy Rathore", "Ek Tha Tiger", "Barfi!", "Jab Tak Hai Jaan", "Son Of Sardaar", "Bol Bachchan" and "Dabangg 2" - joined the Rs.100 crore club.

In comparison, only five films - "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", "Chennai Express", "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", "Krrish 3" and "Ram-Leela" managed to surpass the Rs.100 crore collection mark this year.

Regardless of few bumper hits, Rajesh Thadani from Multimedia Combines defines it as "a decent" year. "2013 has been a decent year. In fact, it was a mixed year. There were a few big films and a few average films that did well," said Thadani.

Trade analyst Komal Nahta is on the same page and feels that the business has been "nice so far".

"We had some of the biggest films like 'Krrish 3' and 'Chennai Express' and several other films that did exceptionally well. It has been a mixed year with a variety of films in different genres. We had almost all kinds of films," said Nahta.

Though the number of films grossing Rs.100 crore was few, they set a new record.

Thadani said: "Last year we had nine films crossing the Rs.100 crore mark. We hardly have four or five films which crossed into Rs.100 crore club this year, but it has managed to compensate this with last year's collection."

"Chennai Express" collected Rs.216 crore, "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani" Rs.185 crore, "Krrish 3" close to Rs.200 crore, "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" Rs.109 crore and "Ram-Leela" Rs.110 crore", Thadani said and pointed out that "we didn't have Rs.175 or Rs.200 crore collection in 2012".

Komal Nahta said: "Total five films have crossed the Rs.100-crore mark and among them, two have even touched Rs.200 crore club, which is fantastic."

Manoj Desai, executive director of G7 multiplex and Maratha Mandir, says that "Ram-Leela" was a surprise entry into the Rs.100 crore bracket.

"I feel compared to 2012, the year 2013 is better. A lot of unexpected films turned out well and did well. We were not expecting 'Ram-Leela' to hit Rs.100 crore, but it did. It came as a surprise."

This year, though small budget films didn't do as good business as in 2012, the experts claim it was a decent year for small fries as well.

Abishek, Katrina and Aamir at a press meet to promote the film

Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, BIG Cinemas, said: "The year has been good, but 15 to 20 percent lesser compared to 2012. I will say it has been a mixed year. As far as small films are concerned, 'Aashiqui 2', 'ABCD - AnyBody Can Dance', 'Special 26' and 'Grand Masti' did wonderful business."

Thadani too feels that in the small budget films segment, the four films did "exceptionally well".

Sources said that "Aashiqui 2" collected about Rs.79 crore, "ABCD" makers pocketed Rs.36 crore, "Kai Po Che" earned Rs.49 crore, "Fukrey" took home Rs.32 crore, "Special 26" earned Rs.67 crore, "Chashme Buddoor" grossed Rs.42 crore, "Madras Cafe" Rs.40 crore and "Go Goa Gone" Rs. 25 crore.

The much-awaited "Dhoom 3" is coming out Dec 20 and with Aamir Khan in the film as a grey character, it has raised the expectations of the people and the trade guru feels it will be a game changer.

Nahta said: " 'Dhoom 3' will certainly be a game changer. It will break all the records and set a new record. A lot of craze and excitement is building up with 'Dhoom 3'."

Desai noted: "I am very sure it (Dhoom 3) will cross Rs.300 crore and will set a new record for 2014."

In a nutshell:

- Around 166 films have hit the screens so far.
- The estimated turnover of the industry so far has been Rs.2,633 crore.
- "Chennai Express" led the race with a collection of Rs.216 crore.
- As of now, five films have entered Bollywood's Rs.100 crore club in 2013.
- Unexpected films made it big.
- Trade experts believe it has been a mixed year overall.
- Small budget films did decent business, but not as much as last year.
- Hopes are high from Aamir Khan-starrer "Dhoom 3". - IANS

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