WITH AT LEAST ONE FILM REACHING THE 100-CRORE MARK EVERY MONTH, 2018 HAS BEEN A GREAT YEAR SO FAR…

Let’s just say, it’s been a landmark year so far at the movies. Since January to now June 2018, every month there’s been a movie which has crossed the hundred crore mark, and that’s not something we’ve seen earlier. There was ‘Padmaavat’ in January, ‘Sonu KeTitu Ki Sweety’ in ‘February’, ‘Baaghi’ in March, April had a hit in the form of ‘Avengers Infinity War’, ‘Raazi’ which released in May hit that mark and now ‘Race 3’ is minting money. It’s been a solid year that way, and we speak to some industry insiders to get their insights on this. Take a look!

Amit Khanna (Producer)

It’s just the question of circumstances firstly because in last two years 1500 screens has been added and secondly it has happened because 6 to 7 films has done especially well. But the fact is that we are still not doing great business as much as we should be able to do. We are still much below than our potential. I don’t think 100 crore is a big target for a big film it should be at least 500 crore according to me otherwise it’s a fail film for me. In china the film business is 3,000 crore and in Hollywood they earn 5,000crore and here we get all happy about 100 crore’s. I feel Hindi cinema is underestimating their potentials.

MilapZaveri (Writer, Director)

2018 is a big winner because we have made fi lms for audiences. Film honest to their genre from ‘BAAGHI 2’ to a PARMANU each fi lm has worked which has won hearts.

Manoj Desai (G7 Owner- Exhibitor)

There has been no change in content people like to see action in films,else there is nothing new, there are some English dubbed films that came, our own Bollywood movies came which had action in it and people like it and so far overall the year 2018 has been a good year for the industry.

Ritesh Shah (Writer)

I hope it’s not a flux and its part of a continuing trend and one of the reason that has contributed is that all the hit fi lms are not very similar in nature, they are very different from each other in terms of both genre and stories, so I think the audience has warmed up to different ideas and if the same trend continuous it’s going to be fantastic because it’s not that one kind of fi lm has worked I mean PADMAAVAT is a period piece, then SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY is a modern sort of comedy and RAAZI is a real life based female protagonist driven fi lm, RACE 3 is a complete masala entertainer, so I think because this fi lms are not similar in nature each 100 crore film has kind of attracted its own audience some of it which is conventional and some of it should have not normally done that business like I don’t think a spy genre film would have got so many people but RAAZI with its strong emotional core it has managed to get even that audience which could not have been seen in that kind of genre earlier. So I think it’s different stories, a lot of the audience warming up towards watching stories and is coming back to the cinemas compared to 2017 for sure, so it’s just a great trend which I hope continuous year after year.

Nikhil Diwedi (Producer-Actor)

The films this year so far have crossed 100 crore, is because of good content and hence this year so far has been such a big winner.

Ashiwini Chaudhary (Director)

This important thing in 2018 so far for me that has happened is that it’s not about 100 crore and the kind of money it has made it’s a good thing but more importantly is which films have worked that is a very healthy thing that has happened in 2018. The first film was PADMAAVAT and it making so much money at box –office was very important as it has to face a long struggle and fight which the makers has to face to release that film and after many years there was an attack on freedom of speech and expression but the audiences came and showed faith in the film and it became a huge hit and it proved that audiences at large are much more secular, much more open minded, so it was a very important message to society at large.

So this was one very positive note and it started on a very healthy note. Then there was SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY, a film without big star cast, without big names, a film entertained, it connected with youth, with family, good music , story and even not a lot of money was put into promotions and all, still the film did wonders at the box- office. That again proved that if the content is good, it doesn’t matter whether it has big stars or not it will work. Then there was BAAGHI 2 and it is a sequel, lot of buzz was created, it had good action and good fan following of Tiger it worked very well. Then came RAID and it was just on content of course it had Ajay Devgn but for me the hero of the fi lm was Ritesh Shah the writer of the fi lm and the fi lm again proved that it is fi nally the content. Then came VEERE DI WEDDING and I think that film broke number of barriers, a film entirely on the shoulders of women and that too adult film in terms of content, so the taboos which were there that such a film won’t work I think that taboos changed.

Producers like Ekta and others broke those barriers that this type of cinema will also work which connected not only with women but overall and it again underline the fact that content will work and RAZZI also proved that, so it’s films like RAAZI, RAID they proved that film is at the end of the day also a writers medium and it is not only star driven. RAAZI is such a fantastic script and again on the shoulders of only Alia Bhatt and coming from a women director such a sensible and great film again doing 100 crore. So I think this is some new change is taking place in cinema and then there were some other films which did not make to 100 crore but they were great films like OCTOBER, HICHKI, PADMAN not body would a thought a star like Akshay Kumar will come do a film like PADMAN and VarunDhawan who is a big star today will do a film like OCTOBER, so I think this year so far has been a great year for Hindi cinema, just not in terms of economics but also in terms of content. Of course RACE 3 has also made 100 crore in just three days but it is a star driven film not a content driven film and the word of mouth has not been good so even big star now have to rethink that they have to look at content now only star power can’t bring people anymore and I think it is a good sign, so even the stars if they can double it up with great content it is good for cinema and audiences. I think in six months the message that people has given is that it is finally the content which is going to work.

Amod Mehra (Trade Analyst)

It’s been the most fantastic first half of Indian Cinema. People are not aware about it and saying its after years, it’s not after years; it’s for the first time in the history of cinema that so many films have done well and right from the film PADMAAVAT till date we are having hits. Through RACE3 eventually might not do great business but it has got the biggest opening of the day of 100 crore. We have seen the best period ever in Hindi cinema as far as films are concerned. The variety of films right from small films to big films has done well. RAZZI proving to be such a big hit; also women oriented film doing well. There’s no trend, so far the only trend is that we see is only good cinema has been working and there is definitely audience for it and we have also created history by having a 200 crore club for a Hollywood film AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, now we can hope the second half to be as good as the first half or even better because we have many films lined up for the upcoming months. It has been a variety of fi lms there’s been comedy, historical, spy fi lms; mainly the content has been good.

Jay Shewakramani (Producer)

At the risk of quoting the cliché “Content is King” I guess that’s what has ruled 2018 till now, mixed bags of films with or without great star cast have done great business. So its pretty evident that if your trailer is exciting people come out and watch the film irrespective of who is in it, there was a fear that with online platforms coming in people won’t go to theaters that I guess has been proved wrong as well.

Vishesh Bhatt (Director)

We have entered a time when a generational shift is taking place towards new stories and storytellers and their audiences. The audience is casting its vote in this direction in 2018 and it’s time now up to the trade to embrace this change wholeheartedly.

MURLI CHHATWANI (MANAGING PARTNERPANORAMA STUDIOS DISTRIBUTION LLP)

This is been a cliché that we hear saying people work for the content but the second thing is that there have been many genre’s that has been produced and released in this first six months. there’s biography, two patriotic films, there is film like ‘Raid’, there is ‘ SonukaTitukiSweety which was great in terms of a bromance film. and some amazing music, some really good stories thus the audience are accepting it with both hands. There have been films which has not hit 100 crore but still have been appreciated a lot; films like ‘Hichki’, ‘ Parmanu’,’ Padman’. And I think 2018 is going to be the best year like how 2013 was in Hindi cinema, 2018 would be like that or probably more than that because we have six more months and the movies which we see in the pipe-line are either equally good or even better. And even the bigger ones are planned for Diwali, Christmas, and this year we will see for the first time that Christmas will have two releases simultaneously in two different weeks with ‘Simba’ and ‘Zero’ which has not happened in so many years. We are cashing in each and every week and the releases are so sorted and it seems like there are no big clashes happening. We are here to see more 100 crore films of course but I am expecting a 300-350 crore also this year. With ‘Sanju’ we will prove once again and even Hollywood is supporting us. I hope this year will give everyone a good respite for surviving the next two three years.

Varun Gupta (Founder-Director: Max Marketing)

First of all this very clearly shows one thing that finally the makers have grown beyond actors and stars but focused on content because all the films that have worked you will see were good films that have worked, when we say 100 crore it means those many people have actually walked out and gone and seen that films whether its PADMAAVAT, RAID, SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY what is also interesting to look is while few films have done 100 crores we are taking them as success,

There were other films like 102 NOT OUT, HICHKI, OCTOBER which were again very different and niche in their content and still have done good numbers, so not only these 100 crore films but films like HICHKI, 102 NOT OUT, OCTOBER or PARMANU recently released all of these are not 100 crore but are success in their own way which talks about the acceptability of good content in Indian audiences. Initially sometimes there was a phase where Indian audiences themselves were not going to theatres and watching good content, then there was a phase were makers were not making that good content, this year has very clearly proved that nothing but only good content is been churning out in Bollywood and audiences are going in large numbers in theatres and watching it. So this is what I feel on this very clearly that if we continue understanding what the audiences want which is good content as I said even a SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY or a RAID they are very different so there is no said formula that if you make a HOUSEFULL type movie then it works, to me a RAID has also worked, a SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY has also worked or PADMAN has also worked, who would have thought of a film on menstrual hygiene would have done that, a historic film has also worked, so what is interesting to see is that different genre films worked, so for me that is something that has been the most important thing that has happened.

Mayank Shekhar (Film Critic)

Well firstly of the 100 crore plus films every month you have to remember that one of the biggest one under this is AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR which simply tells you the sort of inroads that Hollywood has made into the local market, they are not just competing but betting local productions which is something that used to be anomaly many years ago but it is almost a rule now.

So your big ticket films are also coming from Hollywood, your biggest ticket film this year was moved to this year but it was actually a 2017 release film PADMAAVAT and then you have a film which had all the integrants of a Bollywood film in all its grandness that audience will never go away and then you have a film like RACE 3 which was trashed upon it release but it has the superstar at the centre of it who has captive audience and he is who always delivers a particular number regardless of the quality of the fi lm, so I think there are quite a few lessons to learn, one is the inroad of Hollywood which is also generating revenues alongside the local produced films and then I think also besides the superstar driven film, I think the bigger lesson also so far is how filmmakers have really up their game because they could also see a lot more competition coming in from various other platforms outside of the theatrical release and they have been a lot more careful then they have been in past in terms of the variety of content that have been produced for a theatrical audience. So you are not just competing with a particular film, you are also competing with what’s on internet, on the various OTT platforms like Amazon or a Netflix and you were always competing with Television anyway, so I see it’s a great sign and I hope that this boom continuous because there is a charm of theatre that should not go away and I hope that this great run continuous because we don’t have a choice and any slip on the theatrical front will mean that cinemagoers are going down. So it’s great news and great news comes from the fact that everyone realizes that there is no formula.

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