THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2017 DRIVEN BY STAR POWER

By: Hasti Doshi, Dhrishti Pandey & with inputs from Ankita R. Kanabar

The first quarter of 2017 started off well, with nearly four films crossing the 100-crore mark, but apart from that, one saw a lull at the box-office. Only films like ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, ‘Raees’, ‘Kaabil’ and ‘Jolly LLB’ hit the bull’s eye. Clearly then, the first quarter of the year was ruled by star power. All these films majorly did well because of the star cast, and its commercial value. Ironically, while last year it was content which proved to be the king. In a way, 2017 does give hopes with four biggies doing well at the box-office. This only seems to be continuing in the second quarter – with something as grand as ‘Bahubali 2’ and other big releases like ‘Tubelight’. Let’s see what industry insiders have to say about the first quarter of 2017. Here’s summarizing how January to March have been at the movies! We also look at what to expect from the next quarter.

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Rakesh Roshan – Film Maker 

“The first quarter was very good and all the films have done well. Most of the films like ‘Kaabil’, ‘Raees’, ‘Jolly LLB’ and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ have done well. So we had really a good beginning for 2017.See any films which are good, are going to run and you can’t hide a good film. IPL or anything else doesn’t matter if the film is good.” 

Rucha Pathak, Chief Creative Officer, Fox Star Studios

2017 started off  really well, because we had really different kind of films – like ‘Jolly LLB 2’, ‘Phillauri’, and ‘BadrinathkiDulhania’. ‘Phillauri’ did really well in Punjab while the rest did well everywhere. We managed to touch all the kinds of audience. We pretty much ruled theatres for two months. I think the trend for 2017 is going to be that, something different is something the audience is interested in. If it stands out from the ordinary, it’ll work and that’s the trend which we might see in 2017. 

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MANOJ DESAI – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, G7 MULTIPLEXES AND MARATHA MANDIR 

“The first quarter has not been good.  ‘BadrinathkiDulhania’ was a good movie but it didn’t work more than a week and other movies also didn’t do that great,  so the start of the year isn’t looking good enough.  IPL and vacation doesn’t matter much; what matters is if there’s a good movie, a content driven movie it will work…IPL, people will watch it for free and anything free is most acceptable.  The content of the film will bring in foot falls. ‘Begum Jaan’ having VidyaBalan in it will make an impact and I’m sure it will work. People will look forward to it.” 

RAJESH THADANI – DISTRIBUTOR

“It seems decent because there are couple of films which did 100cr after ‘Raees’, ‘Kaabil’, ‘Gazi Attack’ and now even ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ so it was pretty decent. Although few films didn’t do well, if they would had then I would say it would had a better quarter and a better year.I think ‘Bahubali 2’ is coming in second quarter and also in June ‘Tube light’ will be releasing so I think between these two, the second quarter looks very promising.” 

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SANJAY DALIA – THRIVE CONSULTING, FOUNDER & CEO 

“The first quarter opened with the spillover of ‘Dangal’ in its second week and it was doing fairly good in its sixth week of release as well. Though ‘Raees’, ‘Kaabil’, ‘Jolly LLB 2’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ pulled crowd in cinemas and did well at the box office but the first quarter was just average as few movies could not perform as they were expected to do. The impact of IPL this year may not be big on cinemas and summer vacations are good for film industry. Till the time good titles are releasing, the impact is minimum. Even if the evening slots are reserved for IPL, films can attract audiences in morning and matinee shows since there will be no competition at box office. There might not be any impact of IPL on ‘Baahubali 2’, instead IPL organisers fear that the tournament may get hit because of the epic film. ‘Tubelight’ will also fill the cash registers in June.” 

ARUN MEHRA – CEO, TALENTHOUSE INDIA 

The only movie which did well was only ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. ‘Raees’, ‘Jolly LLB 2’ were good too but not as much, coming from the exhibition point of view. I think what is happening now is that films are becoming more and more multiplex-oriented so single screens are facing problems, not that the multiplexes percentage are very high but having said that, between the two of them certain movies don’t work at all. I have a lot of expectation from the second quarter especially ‘Bahubali 2’ because that’s one movie I personally feel will do extremely well. And when I talk about films, I take into account both the audiences, multiplexes as well as single screens; so that is one movie which should do well in both. And in August we have Shah Rukh Khan’s film coming so even that should also do well. ‘Tubelight’ would probably be one of the best because it’s Salman Khan that could come as a welcome shower. Fortunately these 2 – 3 films are good in the second quarter and there are a couple of films in English also which will do reasonably well so I’m pretty sure the second quarter will be much better than the first quarter, because there are three to four biggies and they are suitable for both the audiences.

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GIRISH JOHAR – FILM AND TRADE BUSINESS EXPERT

“This year first quarter has done exceptionally well. We are handling almost four films doing 100cr at the box office which is very good. And specifically with the one which stands out is ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ which released in the traditional dull period. March is considered a very traditionally dull period with financial closing and people with examinations and no holidays. ‘Badrinath’ came in this period and did a century at the box office is something which we look up to now. I think this is the first film ever which did 100 crores in March.And if you see a cumulative box office compared to last year we are above 10 to 15 % above so the industry is quite optimistic going forward.We have mother of all films coming up which is ‘Bahubali 2’ and they are going to do fantastic business and the hype is so huge that unheard box-office numbers is coming up and new records are being made. I am expecting with ‘Bahubali 2’ leading in the front there will be record breaking collections for second quarter. And with obviously ‘Bahubali 2’ and ‘Tubelight’ both power-houses and Salman Khan it’s going to be a record-breaking second quarter.”

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