BY TEAM SUPER CINEMA

It’s that time of the year again – we’ve sailed through the first six months of 2019, and now it’s time to analyse how this half has been at the movies. It’s been good, completely being testament to the fact that the audience is always looking for great content, irrespective of the stars in the film. While many films sprung up a surprise, some didn’t meet the mark. Here’s a monthly analysis of the how the first half of 2019 has been for the movies. Also, let’s see what industry insiders have to say about it!

JANUARY
There’s a jinx around the first Friday of the year, hence not many prefer to release their movies around that time. But we had a release on the second Friday of January in the form of ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ which left everyone amazed. Not just with its content, but because of the box-office numbers and popularity it enjoyed. It made 244 crores emerging as the highest grosser so far. It turned out to be a sleeper hit one can say, since one didn’t expect it to do so well. Another January release was ‘Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi’ which made 90 crores at the box-office. Many political films also released in this time – like ‘Thackeray’ and ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ which failed to make a mark.

FEBRUARY
Valentine’s day is usually considered a great time to release films. This time we had ‘Gully Boy’ which did well, scoring 134 crores at the domestic box-office. February was a good month for movies. It started off with ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ which broke many stereotypes and was a unique film for Hindi cinema. Then there was ‘Total Dhamaal’ – a big budget film with a big ensemble, which proved yet again that entertaining films will work. ‘Total Dhamaal’ grossed 150 crores at the box-office.

MARCH
This month saw many smaller, content-driven, non-formulaic films releasing. There was ‘Badla’ which did great business in comparison to its budget. Then there were films like ‘Mere Pyaare Prime Minister’, ‘Photograph’, ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’ which got some bit of critical appreciation. Then came Akshay Kumar’s patriotic release ‘Kesari’ which highlighted an incident which not many were aware of. The film managed to do well and made 151 crores at the box-office.

APRIL
Now this was a really dull month, with no big hit as such. Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) and ‘Kalank’ were two major releases in this month. Considering its ensemble and banner, expectations were high from ‘Kalank’ but it disappointed. Another film which didn’t have big number, but had a great return on investment was ‘The Tashkent Files’, which also had quite a long run in the box office as well. Overall, this wasn’t a very happy month for cinegoers. But, Hindi releases apart, there was ‘Avengers’ which smashed all the records!

MAY
The much talked about sequel to ‘Student Of The Year’ released and it did decent but obviously didn’t match up to the first part. ‘De De Pyaar De’ was much-talked about. The film was well-appreciated, it was entertaining and made 96 crores. Arjun Kapoor starrer ‘India’s Most Wanted’ was a moderate-budget niche film which managed to make a little mark. Overall May was an average month.

JUNE
There came a biggie which was awaited. Salman Khan had an Eid release in the form of ‘Bharat’. It grossed 200 crores at the box-office, and yet, not many would be satisfied with that figure for a Salman Khan release. But it’s ‘Kabir Singh’ which has broken records and surprised everyone. It has not only made a huge number at the box-office but also become a talking about amongst cine-goers. It made a historical 209 crores at the box-office in its first two weeks, and it’s poised to do a lifetime total of 280 crores plus. Another film which is surprising people is ‘Article 15’. It’s gotten some good numbers for its budget and has gotten immense critical acclaim as well. Such films totally give hope for better content working in Hindi cinema

THE AVENGERS PHENOMENON
‘Avengers: Endgame’ had high expectations anyway, but it smashed records and how! It turned out to be the highest grossing foreign film in India, creating the record with 370 crores. This has further opened avenues for Hollywood releases in India, thus, giving competition and inspiration to our own films to come up with better content and more numbers!

SUMMING IT UP!
Overall, the first half as we see, has been great for the movies. ‘Uri’, ‘Manikarnika’, ‘Gully Boy’, ‘Total Dhamaal’, ‘Badla’, ‘Kesari’, ‘De De Pyaar De’, ‘The Tashkent Files’, ‘Bharat’ and ‘Kabir Singh’ have stood out in the first half. The expectations are only high from the second half with films like ‘Super 30’, ‘Mission Mangal’, ‘Pagalpanti’, ‘Housefull 4’, ‘Dabangg 3’, ‘Good News’, ‘Batla House’, ‘Saaho’, ‘Marjaavaan’, ‘Tiger V/S Hrithik’, ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’, ‘Panipat’, ‘Pati, Patni aur Woh’ amongst others lined. Let’s hope they live up to the expectations and bring in and even better second half!

INDUSTRY OPINION

RAMESH TAURANI

First half has been really good and all the films released till now have been good and ‘KABIR SINGH’ is icing on the cake.  ‘BHARAT’, ‘KABIR SINGH’, ‘ARTICLE 15’, ‘LUKA CHUPPI’, ‘KESARI’ all have turned well at the box-office. I believe this is a good year for the industry and I hope the next half year too gives us good releases and we have many more blockbusters like these films. The highlight is that we see content coming and all the diverse content is being liked by public and at the same time it’s doing very well at the box-office.

APOORVA MEHTA

The first half of 2019 is painted with a great start to the year at the box office. Hollywood films like Avengers & Captain Marvel emerged as high takers in the Indian market but films holding strong on diverse content like ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, ‘Gully Boy’ and ‘Kesari’ along with ‘Luka Chuppi’, ‘De De Pyaar De’ and ‘Kabir Singh’, proved that audience going into the theatres are now not considering the faces of the film as the only reason to buy the ticket. Big star cast films like ‘De De Pyaar De’, ‘Total Dhamaal’ and ‘Bharat’ made a big mark at the box office as well. Content with a strong and relatable base such as a colour of pride for the country, seen in ‘Kesari’ and ‘Uri’, packed with the right elements of action and drama is one of the flavours of the year.

MILAN  LUTHRIA

It has been a fantastic first half. Audience is arching and they have shown that they like variety of films. There is no particular genre that the audience like because they watch the movies of every genre especially the one that has been presented well. Two movies definitely standout spectacularly in ‘URI’ and ‘Kabir Singh’, which nobody expected them to do the business it did. So I think it’s got a lot to do with the quality of the product. Stardom of course comes with big releases like ‘Total Dhamaal’, ‘Bharat’, and these movies are the big ticket movies but it is very difficult to believe that they did not do great. One would expect ‘Uri’ and ‘Kabir Singh’, to stop at a certain point but they have found repeat audiences and have connected in a certain way. I always feel like this is a game without rules because you can have ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya 2’ break all records and do fantastic business and I can say we have moved. It’s a very good time as the reach of the medium has increased a lot. Even a medium budget film can get more than 3500 screens which is very good.

MANOJ DESAI 

This is the best half year, and I never expected Shahid to break records but with ‘KABIR SINGH’ but he did and did good business. ‘KABIR SINGH’ has been one of the highest grossers of the half year.  Eid was the time when we did good business with the film ‘BHARAT’.  Content wise all the films were up-to the mark and did good business at the box office.

SUNEEL DARSHAN

I think it’s been a remarkable half year. We have had films which faired very well, we had films which were diverse from each other to name a few – ‘URI’, ‘GULLY BOY’, ‘KABIR SINGH’, ‘ARTICLE 15’, these are opening new whiskers and how times move on  where earlier the entire burden of the multiple  100 crore was on the  shoulder of the three Khans which is now gradually shifting; it’s become no one’s priority now, even  Shahid Kapoor can come with a 100 crore plus film and before that we saw Vicky Kaushal , Kratik Aryaan. It’s a great time for the industry and a whole lot of successful films have come in the period and we look forward to see the second half of the year.

RAJAT RAWAIL

From the box-office point of view, it has been a fantastic year. 2019 has been a great year. We have had big blockbusters that came in the first half of this year. Films like ‘URI’ and ‘KABIR SINGH’ which we can call landmark blockbusters. Then we had some big hits like ‘BADLA’, ‘TOTAL DHAMAAL’, ‘KESARI’, ‘DE DE PYAAR DE’ ,’ LUKA CHUPPI’, ‘GULLY BOY’ these were the respectable hits. The genre has been accepted and path-breaking, we have had everything from a film on patriotism like ‘URI’ and ‘KESARI’, and cult films like ‘KABIR SINGH’ and ‘GULLY BOY’, interesting high concept drama like ‘BADLA’, Rom-coms like ‘LUKA CHUPPI’ and ‘DE DE PYAR DE’ a path breaking rom-com genre that never go wrong and the no brainer film like ‘TOTAL DHAMAAL.’ And then we had ‘AVENGERS’ which was unbelievably massive blockbuster. Because of the influx of the web, digital and OTT platform the audience has even increased to go in cinema that exactly happened when the video era came in; everyone said the footfalls would diminish but it increased, the digital era has only helped to the audience going to cinemas.  I think a very respectable strong government coming on-board, the entertainment industry will definitely put up an act of forum who understands what to pitch and how to pitch, in terms of demand where it can only help the entertainment industry to increase footfalls but the question here is – what are the demands and what are we asking for, for that a forum which understands that, what exactly needs to be done, is needed. And I am sure this will happen in near course and the demand will be considered and the entertainment industry is only going to grow. So, the first six months have been fantastic, the footfalls have increased and the films have been loved , box-office has gone up, all kind of genres have been accepted. It’s been a mix bag where talent is concerned having new directors, new producers, it’s been a great year.

RAJESH THADANI 

I think this first half has been really good, we saw smaller films that worked.  And the coming six months are looking pretty positive.  ‘URI’, ‘KABIR SINGH’, ‘LUKA CHUPPI’ all worked above expectations. Second half looks promising; with Bollywood we have Bollywood films too coming up in the second half.

MILAP  ZAVERI

It’s been a phenomenal first half because there have been so many big hits. Almost every week there has been a big hit.  There have been two block buster’s ‘Kabir Singh’ and ‘Uri’. I would count ‘Simmba’ in this year only as it released almost at the end of 2018 and it was a super hit movie. ‘Kabir Singh’ has broken all records despite of being ‘A’ certified movie. Movies like ‘Kesari’, ‘Total Dhamaal’, ‘Badla’, ‘Luka Chuppi’, ‘Gully Boy’, ‘De De Pyaar De’, ‘Manikarnika’, did so well and now ‘Article 15’ is doing so well. ‘Kabir Singh’ is still doing well. I think it has been a phenomenal first half in which we have huge number of hits. It is genuinely a good start for the year. This first half has been better than last year. There were people who were predicting digital will do better than cinema but you see it has not affected cinema. People are still willing to go to the theatres.

AMOD MEHRA 

It’s been a very decent first half, not very outstanding and not bad at all. After the first quarter we saw films like ‘BHARAT’ which was average, ‘ARTICLE 15’ which is hit and ‘KABIR SINGH’ was super-duper hit.  It’s been a pretty good first half where we had two super hit films like ‘URI’ and ‘KABIR SINGH’.  There was no trend, we saw commercial cinema doing well, on the other hand; art cinema also doing well thus it’s been a satisfactory first half. There is nothing to panic about.  Though we didn’t have a big film in the first half except for ‘BHARAT’ which we had a lot of expectations, it lived up-to some expectation but not entirely.  Second half year looks promising with lot of good cinema coming in; overall it’s a satisfactory year.

ANIL  SHARMA

Many movies have done well. I specially loved ‘Kabir Singh’ a lot because according to me it is very genuine and nice. The movie does good business when it is good content wise and if the movie is good it will pick its business in 2nd or 3rd week itself and that is what happened with ‘Kabir Singh’. Many movies have been released in this half year and I think ‘Kabir Singh’ did really great. This is Shahid’s first movie which has actually made him a superstar. There are many movies that Shahid has done but not all did so great and this movie had a lot of weight in the content and the trailer because of which people forgot about all the movies that were flop and went to see his this movie. I want to tell industry people that the cinema is still alive and people are still willing to come to theatres and enjoy the movie.  Avengers came on a non-holiday but did so well in those 3 days itself. We are in which world we don’t know because we are not able to make movies that will reach out to people at max level. South is making some good movies whereas we have a lot of talent to make so many good movies. We have good directors and actors too. The industry needs to learn from ‘Kabir Singh’. People are hungry for good movies, if you produce good movies people will definitely go and watch.

JAY  SHEWAKRAMANI

In my view the first half of 2019 has been excellent. Starting with ‘Uri’ up to ‘Kabir Singh’…It’s just a big confidence booster that everyone is just one film away and big hits are not restricted to a few banners or a few actors. Audience is receptive to good content and it once again proves the fact that the film is above everyone.

MURLI CHHATWANI

2019 has started superbly well and the six months have had a mind blowing end with ‘KABIR SINGH’ which is doing phenomenal business.  I am particularly very happy for producers whose films have worked, there are so many announcements made for next one – one and a half year. I have heard some of the phenomenal film announcements happening in the recent time. If we notice every month practically had two big releases and the films which have worked. And for the next half year there are films which have Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar that are still awaited. So, I feel this year will be slightly bigger than 2018. There has been a great response at the box-office, to name a few films like ‘AVENGERS’, ‘KABIR SINGH’, ‘BHARAT’ did quite well, ‘TOTAL DHAMAAL’, ‘GULLY BOY’.  I am very proud that even the smaller films are doing well, currently ‘ARTICLE 15’ is doing well; I am very hopeful that we are running towards at least a 15-20% hike from 2018, it is very positive.

SIDHARTH  MALHOTRA

This year is proving yet again that without good content, high concept storytelling and the formulaic story telling even with a superstar, will not work. The audience is saying no and rejecting that story right then and there. While we have seen movies like ‘Article 15’, ‘Kabir Singh’, and other movies that came out, with that we have also seen that the number of releases we had, have been interesting movies only. Films that we thought would tear the box office did not do anything and the movies that we thought would do average business did really great at the box office. The audience will see the stories that they want to see and nobody can force them into watching it.

TARUN TONDON

Content is the king and that is what this first half proves. Movies live ‘Uri’, ‘Manikarnika’, ‘Luka Chuppi’, did really well and now ‘Kabir Singh’ is doing really well. I think content has always been the star. We have seen some movies that have disappointed at an extreme level like ‘Bharat’ which was a Salman Khan movie and we expect Salman’s movie to do really well but it did not. ‘Kalank’ disappointed big time. Shahid’s movie ‘Kabir Singh’ has crossed 200 crores which is massive. It could result in being one of the biggest numbers for the year. I don’t think any of Shahid’s solo movies have even got 100 crores before this. We will be in business till we continue making good movies.

AKSHAYE RATHI

It has been a very encouraging first half of the year. The year started with ‘Uri’ which did phenomenally well at the box office where as not even the makers imagined about the movie doing so great at the box office. ‘Kabir Singh’ did the same at the box office. Shahid Kapoor’s average life time collections are not beyond 30 crores. But then a movie comes out and suddenly it touches 200 crores. There have been a lot of other movies like ‘Kesari’, ‘Bharat’ which did well too so I think overall it’s been a very good first half. We have learned from our mistakes and it’s an era where we are transitioning from superstar to superstar scripts. The type of content you are seeing is doing well now because we know what the audience accepts.

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