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Bollywood Talk – 2023’s first quarter ends on a fine note thanks to Pathaan

Photo Credit: Twitter

The first three months of 2023 were a mixed bag. But the industry is breathing easy thanks to the super-success of ‘Pathaan’. Also, 2022 saw a lot of flops and ended on a low with the debacle of ‘Cirkus’. Hence, the few hits and average grossers in the first quarter spread smiles.

2023’s first release was ‘Kuttey’, starring Arjun Kapoor, Tabu, Radhika Madan and Kumud Mishra. The film carried limited buzz and failed due to average word of mouth. ‘Pathaan’, meanwhile, broke records left, right and centre. The Shah Rukh Khan-starrer was expected to do a business of Rs. 250-300 Crore. But it managed to collect around Rs. 515 Crore, thereby breaking the long-standing record of ‘Baahubali 2’ (2017).

A week after ‘Pathaan’ came two small releases, ‘Faraaz’ and ‘Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat’. Both sank without a trace, though ‘Faraaz’ got acclaim, more so after its Netflix premiere. ‘Shehzada’ was released on February 17 and a lot was expected from the Kartik Aaryan-starrer. But it opened below expectations and flopped. ‘Selfiee’, starring Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi, shocked the trade and industry with its very poor opening and lifetime earnings.

March, however, was better. Ranbir Kapoor-Shraddha Kapoor’s ‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’ did quite well, considering it was an urban romcom. Its lifetime collections are expected to be around Rs. 125 Crore. These are very good numbers at a time when films are struggling to cross Rs. 40 or Rs. 50 Crore mark. However, due to high costs, it’ll have to settle for an average verdict.

‘Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway’, starring Rani Mukerji, wasn’t a huge grosser. But despite being a niche film, it trended quite well and the word of mouth was very positive. If all goes well, it’ll cross the Rs. 25 Crore mark. It was reasonably budgeted and the makers also recovered the entire cost of production from the sale of TV and OTT rights.

‘Bheed’, directed by Anubhav Sinha, was a major disaster. Ajay Devgn’s ‘Bholaa’ was released in the last week of March. A lot was expected from this film but it’ll be an average grosser at best due to high costs and mixed word of mouth. What also went against the film is that it was released in the month of Ramzan, which kept a section of the target audience away.

Speaking of Hollywood, the films that were released with expectations like ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania’ and ‘Shazam! Fury Of The Gods’, failed. ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’, meanwhile, was a pleasant surprise and it’ll enter the Rs. 50 Crores club.

The industry now looks forward to the second quarter. Surprisingly, the month of May might not have a single major Bollywood release. But the industry will compensate for it with ‘Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’s release on Eid, on April 21 and also with the releases of Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan’ on June 2, Prabhas’ ‘Adipurush’ on June 16, Ajay Devgn’s ‘Maidaan’ on June 23 and Kartik Aaryan-Kiara Advani’s ‘Satyaprem Ki Katha’ on June 29, 2023.

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