We recently did an article on how we’ve seen a 100-crore film in every month in 2018 so far. That itself is a testament to the fact that it’s been a phenomenal first half – with many hits and films that proved their mettle critically and box-office wise. Now just as we’ve entered July, we yet again speak to some industry insiders and have their opinion on how’s 2018 been so far. Also, they give us a sneak peek into what we can expect in the coming half. Take a look!

THE PADMAAVAT SAGA!

For the first time in the industry we saw that the movie got postponed due to a controversy surrounding it. The movie was banned by many states in the country and still after its release it broke many records. It created a high benchmark in terms of the quality of the cinema and took the box-office by a storm. It also became the first movie to enter the 100 cr mark this year and set a trend for other films to follow.

EVERY MONTH A 100cr+ FILM SO FAR!

Starting with PADMAAVAT in January, every month saw a 100cr film so far. This is for the first time that the industry has seen a 100cr+ film so far each month. Following PADMAAVAT was SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY in February, BAAGHI 2 in March. Avengers: Infinity War in April, RAAZI in May and RACE 3 in June and followed by SANJU which closed the first half of the year.

HOLLYWOOD DOING BIG IN INDIA THIS YEAR!

There has always been a craze for Hollywood films in India and especially since the last few years, with Hollywood films going on to do good numbers usually and specially with their franchise films. But this year, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s franchise, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR took to new heights. It earned over 200crs in India despite being released only in theaters which have 2k projections, to the least. That is exceptional business, if there had been more screens with 2k projections, it surely would’ve done even better. The other Hollywood films to do good this year are DEADPOOL, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM, INCREDIBLES 2 and another Marvel film ANTMAN AND THE WASP coming out next week can be expected to continue the trend as well.

CONTENT WINS

This has been observed since the past few years that people have slowly started to appreciate content and will come to the cinema halls if they are convinced the story is good by seeing the teasers and trailers. This year has been no different. There have been various genres of films already and no matter what genre, from historic to patriotic to mass entertainer, all the genres have worked. It is also to observe that no particular genre has been appreciated by the audiences, yes no doubt the ultimate reason is to be entertained but as long as the story is good, audiences will lap it up.

SANJU CREATES A STORM

The much awaited SANJU was finally released in the last week of June and not surprisingly it caused havoc at the ticket windows. The film also lived up to the expectations and the hype that was created around it. With the brilliant performances from the cast and the direction of Rajkumar Hirani which raised the standard of making biopics in Indian cinema. SANJU ended the month of June on a high note and carrying forward the trend in July and it is en route to break a lot of records and has already earned around 200 cr in just a week and has earned 100 cr+ in July as well and could easily go on to earn 200cr+ in July itself and with any luck earn more than 300cr.

EXPERT TALK!

Ramesh Taurani (Producer)
It’s been a great year so far and very good for the industry overall. Some great films and blockbusters have come in this period. We all feel happy about that. Many films have done great at the box-office like Raazi. Sanju is doing an extra-ordinary business. There was Padmaavat, Padman, Sonu Ke Titu… so some good content films have done well commercially at the box-office so it’s a good sign. We’re hoping even in the next few months, the industry will do well because everyone is concentrating on the content. A lot of good films are also coming up in the coming half of the year. Hope that trend continues, and we get a 100-crore film every month from here on!

Anil Sharma (Director-Producer)

The first half has gone really well, many films were hits, many nice movies were made and everything was wonderful so far and I am very happy that the industry is going very well and in the next six months also there are many nice movies going to be released and even my movie ‘Genius’ is going to come and many more films, so I think the next six months will also go very well. I am very happy how the first six months have gone so far and this proves that a good director and a good content always work.

Nandu Ahuja (Sr. VP India Theatrical Eros International)

The industry has seen success in the first half of 2018 as they have created and given some fabulous content with an interesting mix of cinema for the film lovers to enjoy. The film makers have adapted to the changing taste of the audiences who are exposed to world cinema today due to digitisation. The second half of the year looks promising with good entertaining and fresh story plots to keep the audiences engaged. We at Eros commenced this year with our highly appreciated Mukkabaaz, following it up with the release of the sequel, Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi, a comedy of errors starring Sonakshi Sinha, Abhay Deol and Diana Penty and hope to repeat the success of its predecessor. After successfully partnering for Mukkabaaz, we once again team up with Aanand L Rai and Anurag Kashyap for Manmarziyaan, an intense love story with Abhishek Bachchan, Tapsee Pannu and Vickey Kaushal in the lead.”

Vivek Krishnai (Managing Director Sony Pictures)

This year has been fantastic for the industry compared to last year, if you look at Bollywood we have seen a 22% growth compare to last year despite of Baahubali in the first half of the year. This year we have seen a 22% growth because every week there has been a film that has done well and almost 6-7 films have already done 100 crore plus this year, every month there has been a 100 crore plus film that is a very good sign for the industry. There is focus on content, that has led people into theatres this year. Again if you see Hollywood also, compared to last year, Hollywood has also grown 36%, I think that is also kind of a good sign as that also shows that there is a huge appeal for content irrespective of language, people are coming into theatres purely for the content and content is the king, the queen, everything because it is bringing people back into theatres and the year ahead looks exciting as well, it looks very promising as we go ahead.

Jayantilal Gada (Producer)

It shows that all content-driven films do well. Raking in Rs 100 Crore at the India box-office is not cumbersome for films anymore. The market has grown and people are open to embrace new, off-beat content. I’m sure we will soon reach a point when a hit film would do the business of Rs 500 crore, and I won’t be surprised if that starts happening this year itself.

Milap Zaveri (Writer- Director)

The year has been damn good, I think a 100 crore blockbuster every month and fi lms of all genre have worked, right from a PADMAVAT to a BAAGHI2 to a HICHKI to a PARMANU to a RAAZI to a SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY to now SANJU, it’s been, I think, terrifi c content as well as mass cinema; both have worked and I think fi lms which are honest to their genre, whether it’s a mass genre like a Baaghi 2 or it’s a patriotic fi lm like PARAMANU, the fi lms that are honest to their scripts and genre have worked damn well and I am looking forward to the rest of the year, there are some big fi lms coming on 15th August, there is my own SATYAMEV JAYATE and GOLD, then there is THUGS OF HINDOSTAN, SIMBAA, ZERO, TOTAL DHAMAAL, DHADAK, there are a lot of big fi lms coming and I think it is already one of the best years in the last decade for the industry and I am fully confi dent that the next 6 months will also be mind-blowing.

Amod Mehra (Trade Analyst)

It is historic. So many good hits have never come in the first half of the year in the history of Hindi cinema. It’s an earth-shattering success story for the film industry and I only hope the momentum remains. There are some big films lined up in the second half. We have an Aamir Khan film, a Shah Rukh Khan film, Akshay Kumar coming up. So, many films are coming up in the second half as well. So, I feel, this will be a golden year in a century. Also, interestingly, this year there is no trend. All kinds of films have done well.
There’s a biographical fi lm like SANJU, fi lms like RACE 3, BAAGHI 2, HICHKI and we’ve had a bouquet of different fi lms which have been hits. So, I feel this is the most prominent fi rst half in the history of Hindi cinema.

Rahul Dholakia (Director)

I think it’s exceptional that all these films did so well and 100 crore and 200 crore are all numbers but as long as people go to the cinema halls to see the film they will make money for producers. It’s great because you get more films, a good film means at least four-five more films will be made which means a lot of employment to a lot of people and the good thing is that there are lot of different subjects being excepted, appreciated, artists of different kind are being appreciated which is a very positive sign, I think the next six months will also do very good.

Ritesh Shah (Writer)

I think the ratio was in the favor of most movies doing well and unfortunately only few didn’t do well. If we had to compare to just one half of the year, we had maximum number of hits compare to both 2016 and 2017, 2016 was a better year it also had a hit in almost every month but this time in one month there has been 2-3 hits, Raid and Hichki released in the same month both are hits, 102 Not out is a hit, Parmanu is a hit, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is a hit, Raazi is a huge hit, Baaghi 2 is a huge hit, PADMAAVAT is a huge hit, I think the only undervaluing films were Aiyaary and Race 3 didn’t do that well as excepted but ratio wise I think so far this is the best year from the years I remember and now this trend has continued with Sanju also which closes the first half. I think this is possibly the best year we are having at least from the time I remember and I think there are probably bigger films in the definitely in the last quarter. I think if we do well In the middle like Dusherra onwards when Namastey England releases after that I think there are big films releasing and I don’t think there is a problem, if we do July August and September well, then I think we will have the best year.

Murli Chattwani ( Managing Partner – Panorama Studios Distributor LLB)

I think the previous six months have been the best six months in the last five years, we have had almost two 100 crore films in every month, the year ahead for the next six months looks very promising. It will start with DHADAK which I am sure is going to be a sleeper hit and there is GOLD and SATYAMEV JAYATE both releasing on the same day which I think will be good performers. The biggies are yet to come, we had a small disappointment with RACE 3 which we were expecting a lot of things from but I think going further every month September, October, November and December is filled with releases and most of the films can do 100 crore like STUDENT OF THE YEAR, THUGS OF HINDOSTAN, ZERO, SIMBAA these are all no brainers but I am talking about the films which are the borderline cases but are sure sort 100 crore plus films, there is HAPPY PHIR BHAAG JAYEGI, NAMASTEY ENGLAND they are all slow starters but good films, even the smaller films like KARWAAN, YAMLA PAGLA DEWWANA PHIR SE they are also looking very good. I think by the end of this year we are going to see one of the best years of Indian Cinema.

Ravi Machhar (Distributor )

Of course, SANJU has done tremendously. On Friday morning, when I told someone that SANJU will do 200 crore in the first week, they felt I was joking. Every month we had a film which crossed the 100 crore mark, so it’s only content which works. No star works. Stars are searching for holiday dates but their films don’t run because of the holiday but only because of content. This year, all the content driven films have worked. Whether it was PARMANU or SONU KE TITU.., BAREILY KI BARFI, all of them did so well. These six months are better for the exhibitors, distributors because in Maharashtra and in general, the tax was almost 40-42 percent but the GST is 28 percent so the remaining also comes to the film industry. That profit has come to the exhibitors. Now the Government is planning to bring it to 18 percent, that will be the biggest move to the film industry. From heavy entertainment tax of 42 percent, if it comes down to 18 percent, obviously the benefit will be to the industry. The GST is a boon to our industry. And the films are doing so well. The coming films are also promising. We have big star films coming up, and other films like SATYAMEV JAYATE, DHADAK, so these films should do good business. 1-2 Marathi fi lms are also coming up. FARZAND did very well. A Hrithik Roshan film is also coming up. Even next year, good films are lined up, along with some big Hollywood releases as well.

Varun Gupta (Founder-Director Max Marketing)

First of all, needless to say it that this year is one of the best first half of the year Bollywood has ever seen. Literally one of the best and I think the most satisfying thing is that all good content has worked. In previous years also we have seen that films have earned money but don’t have good word of mouth, this has been that year where every film has worked, has earned that amount of respect, love and appreciation as well and the film that has opened well but not got appreciated has also not earned the way it should have earned. So the whole point is that apart from earning a lot of money, right kind of films have worked and being appreciated. Otherwise in the past there have been films which have done 100 crores- 150 crores- 200 crores but audiences still don’t consider them as hit but this year I don’t think for any of these films there is even an argument whether they are hit or not which I think is the beauty. Also films that have not got 100 crore, have done well, whether it’s a‘Padman’ or a Hichki or a 102 Not Out or October or Parmanu, Parmanu has become John Abraham solo highest grosser film ever. So it’s so heartening to see that all these films doing well too, who would have thought that with 10 days of promotion John Abraham would give his career biggest hit in terms of solo box office. So, according to me the marriage of content and commerce has been the highlight of this year. In this year both these things have happened and upcoming also, if you just look at the line up right from a Gold to Dhadak, the best part about this year first half again was that the genres were different it wasn’t that only comedy has worked or only drama has worked or only love stories have worked or only action has worked, everything has worked, similarly in the second half of the year we have a Total Dhamaal, we have a Zero, we have a Thugs of Hindostan, we also have a Karwaan and a Dhadak, so the good part is that you again have a mix of genres a mix of scale of films a mix of new comers, you also have a Loveratri that looks promising with those audio sounds and everything, so the good part is again in the second half is that there is variety of content and different genres and I strongly feel the way it’s going that if the films  are good nothing can stop them to work at the box office and because the line up of the second half looks as good as the first half but it will all depend on how the films will turn out to be; there are interesting films plus there is a Student of the year 2, Namastey England, you have a Paltan so you also have a war film, like I don’t remember the last time we had a war film, now JP Dutta is finishing his war trilogy with Paltan, so I am honestly excited for that as well because we have seen Baahubali, we have seen Avnegers, so I personally feel that in the second half the line-up looks equally exciting and the good part is if first half had a PADMAAVAT, second half has Thugs of Hindostan, if first half had Raazi, second half has a Soorma, first half had a Parmanu, second half has a Paltan, so if the content is good I am sure all this films are going to work and I have a feeling 2018 will be remembered as one of the best years of Bollywood.

Vishesh Bhatt (Director)

We have entered a time when a generational shift is taking place towards new stories, 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.

Sanjay Dalia (Distributor)

The second half starts with some promising Bollywood and Hollywood films like SOORMA, DHADAK, ANT MAN AND THE WASP, SKYSCRAPER and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 6.This would be followed by FANNEY KHAN, SATYAMEVA JAYATE, YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA 3, SUI DHAAGA, MANIKARNIKA, EK LADKI KO DEKHA TO AISA LAGA, Ajay Devgn’s next, STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2, TOTAL DHAMAAL in Hindi. In English also, there would be THE MEG, ALPHA, THE EQUALIZER 2, THE NUN, THE PREDATOR, VENOM, FIRST MAN, MOWGLI, FANTASTIC BEASTS 2, MORTAL ENGINES, ALITA AND THE AQUAMAN. Moreover there are the hopeful mega blockbusters – GOLD, THUGS OF HINDOSTAN, ZERO AND SIMMBA. So, second half of 2018 with a good spread of small and big interesting titles should be at par if not better than the first half.

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