We’re six months down in 2017, and the first half of the year has been quite a mixed bag. While some films managed to strike gold at the box-office, few disappointed and some surprised the audience. Here’s analyzing how the first half of the year has been!

The Baahubali saga continues and dominates!

The much awaited ‘Baahubali : The Conclusion’ released and not surprisingly, broke all the records at the box-office. It raked in over 1000 croresnett from the Indian box-office – all the four languages combined. Not only has the film broken box-office records but also set a high benchmark as far as the quality of cinema is concerned. Not to mention, some films just become a part of the culture, with the kind of impact that they create.‘Baahubali’ is one such film. The costumes, the dialogues, the music, has all become a part of the popular culture. Clearly, it ruled the first half of the year and we think that won’t change, even as the year will end.

Content-driven, not star-driven!

While Hindi cinema has been star-driven for years, especially when it’s a film starring Salman Khan or Shah Rukh Khan, this year, we’ve seen a slight shift. For example, ‘Tubelight’ failed to create the kind of impact, which usually a Salman Khan starrerEid release has. Of course, the content was also different this time around, but evidently now, the audience chooses to watch a film, based on what suits their taste and what they think is good content, irrespective of a star’s presence. Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raees’ though crossed the 100-crore mark, the impact wasn’t as roaring. On the other hand, a film like ‘Hindi Medium’ did so well, based on positive word of mouth.

Smaller films surprise yet again

Again, we’ve seen some gems this year, which nobody quite expected to do well. For example, ‘Hindi Medium’ has done exceptionally well, in terms of critical and box-office acclaim both. Another film, ‘Anarkali of Aarah’ also shined.

Entertainment works!

We’ve seen a phase where, serious, impactful cinema has worked. Even last year, films like ‘Airlift’, ‘Neerja’, ‘Pink’ worked. This year though, largely, only entertaining films have been received well. Be it ‘Baahubali’, ‘Raees’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, or a dark comedy like ‘Hindi Medium’. The audience seems to now again be clinging towards the quintessential Hindi cinema flavor and seeking entertainment! Or be it a Hollywood release like ‘The Fate Of the Furious’. Also, we need something bigger, with immense grandeur to pull the audience to the theatres. Fair enough! Now let’s take a look at what some industry insiders have to say about the first half of 2017!

INDUSTRY OPINION

MADHUR BHANDARKAR (PRODUCER & DIRECTOR)

First half has been absolutely great and good and films have done well, ‘Baahubali 2’ has set a bench mark.‘Baahubali 2’ was the best fi lm till now for me. It has completely set new tone and the North- South connect is huge as it has gone overseas.It will be good combination of content driven cinema and commercial cinema, so I am sure second half will be great and it will be beneficial for the film makers.

MILAP ZAVERI (WRITER, DIRECTOR)

The first half had very good films a few of our Hindi films have done great business like ‘Raees’ ‘Jolly LLB 2’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ which was super hit, ‘Hindi Medium’, ‘Sachin’ and I think the crowning glory was ‘Baahubali 2’ which really rocked and did just an unimaginable business; so I think ‘Baahubali 2’ has given us a great half year because it has done more business than most of our Hindi films. And what was interesting and exciting was ‘Hindi Medium’ which was a concept film and not with a very high budget and he did so well. I think it’s been a decent half year till now totally powered by ‘Baahubali 2’ ‘Baahubali 2’ is the best film for me of the decade, I think from the last decade for me and it is a perfect example for a Hindi cinema should be because if a Tamil, south films can do 500 cores in Hindi so that just shows that cinema has no language.I have great expectations because there are some great films like ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ it looks outstanding and it has the best promo I have seen, then interesting seems ‘Mubarakan’ , ‘ Jab Harry Met Sejal’, ‘Baadshaho’ it looks terrific having Ajay Devgn and Imraan again. Then we have ‘Tiger ZindaHai’ and I think it’s going to be a very big hit and people will rush to watch it. So we have films from the Khans to the Kumar’s which will get a great year. Overall the next half will even be better.

TARUN TONDON (DISTRIBUTOR)

I feel it was quite a mixed baggage , a few films were decent and few of them disappointed so I think first half films like ‘Raees’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, ‘ Hindi Meduim’ , ‘Baahubali 2’ did pretty well. First it use to be completely content driven but now it’s nomore; like ‘Hindi Medium’ has done exceptionally well and it managed to do well at the box-office also. According to me best film was ‘Baahubali 2’and it doesn’t stay for just half yearly but throughout the decade I feel. It will be difficult to break that record easily, we have to wait and watch for that time.Coming half is pretty exciting I believe ‘Jagga Jasoos’ is nice and even its songs are good and even ‘Munna Michael’ looks great to me and then ‘ Mubarakan’ , Jab Harry Met Sejal’ , ‘Toilet: EkPrem Katha’, so I feel the next two months are quite promising. And I’m hoping that the second half will be much better than the first half.

SANJAY DALIA (THRIVE CONSULTING – FOUNDER & CEO)

First half was mixed bag. Some big films like ‘Raees’, ‘Kaabil’, ‘Rangoon’, ‘Tubelight’ did not perform to their hype. While others like ‘Jolly LLB2’, ‘BadrinathkiDulhania’, ‘Hindi Medium’, ‘Sachin’, ‘Karsandas’ did well. Without doubt the best performing film of the year till now was ‘Baahubali 2’. Second half looks very promising with big titles due for release like ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, ‘Toilet: EkPrem Katha’ , ‘Baadshaho’, ‘Judwaa 2’, ‘Golmaal 4’, ‘Secret Superstar’, ‘Thor’, ‘Padmavati’, ‘Justice League 1’ and‘Tiger ZindaHai’.

VISHAL PANDYA (DIRECTOR)

I don’t think much of the films have worked this time, the only thing which has worked is the content which always work with the right budget. I don’t remember after ‘Dangal’ which was last year release any of the big films have covered their money or have done good at the box-office. But film like ‘Hindi Medium’ has done good business so I think the only think producer should understand are actors doing work these days that’s for sure and the example is ‘Tubelight’. And id one tries to also it should be in a right budget so that they earn money. And w e can’t compare ‘Bahubali 2’ because it’s a totally different cinema altogether; Tollywood is at one side and Bollywood at the other and ‘Bahubali 2’ has its own production and having the special effects and study and it’s because of the effects it has earned so much and the credit goes to the people who have done the special effects. Best film I would say is ‘Baahubali 2’ because of its special effects.
I feel the second half will have similar kind of films coming up like the first half had with big budget films and big actors but I can see more of commercial films in the second half so hopefully the second half will be better than first half.

GIRISH JOHAR (FILM & TRADE BUSUNESS EXPERT)

First half of the year was pretty much decent except for ‘Baahubali’. I don’t think apart from ‘Baahubali’, ‘Jolly LLB 2’ and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ anyone did that well and no major films were there at box office.‘Raees’ and ‘Kaabil’ did well but for me I think ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ stood out. Because the film came out in Examination period and during the Holi festival period which is March end and all these three factors are traditionally dull factors within the fraternity. So keeping all three on shot and still coming out as a bang on with good box office number and entertainment it really did well in the first half according to me.Second half has always been huge for the industry. This year too we have big films ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, ‘Tiger ZindaHai’, ‘Golmaal’ and also Diwali release is ‘2.0’, ‘Jagga Jasoos’ and many such. Second half always brings us more close to our old box office numbers.

AVINASH DAS (DIRECTOR)

I think first half was full of content and different subjects were covered by the cinema through stories. Big films have worked well at the box office but if we consider ‘Hindi Medium’, it has done really good business being a small film. People are all ready in India for this different kind of cinema which is flourishing, films like ‘AnarkaliofAarah’ did well. Also if we see ‘Bahubali 2’ it feels that now our cinema is reaching heights in all different dimensions. I am upset with a small thing that is as our cinema is doing really great by covering stories for women and other issues at the other hand the system connected to it is not encouraging it and instead creating problem for such good stories, e.g.- ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. According to me ‘Jolly LLB 2’ was best one in first half.Lot more surprising films are yet to come in second half like Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Mukkabaz’, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ and I am excited for more.

ARFI LAMBA (PRODUCER)

First half has not been great for me compared to last year. I personally feel that lot things are changing may be because of platforms changing and content is also changing. Now people have digital background to compete with so it’s getting difficult.For me good films are yet to come like ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ and ‘Toilet – EkPrem Katha’ and I am waiting. But this first half I did like ‘Death in Gunj’. Second half of the year should be good as there is couple of lining of films. I feel mid 2017 till mid 2018 is going to be huge rising factor in the bubble of stars.

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