First quarter of 2020 has come to a close and it is as depressing as it gets, as far as Bollywood is concerned. One look at the numbers accumulated so far and the situation isn’t really rosy out there. Moreover, comparison with the first quarter of 2019 indicates loud and clear that even without the corona virus situation, box office moolah would have lagged by a distance in comparison. Now with theaters expected to be shut till May at least, the second quarter is set to be dull as well. As such, even without the corona virus situation, things weren’t really looking rosy if one compares the first quarter of 2019 with 2020.
Box office at a glance
In 2019, between January and March, close to 1100 crores had been accumulated. On the other hand 2020 is nowhere close to that, what with just 750 crores coming in. Even if Baaghi 3 run would have continued, Angrezi Medium wouldn’t have been hit by corona virus and Sooryavanshi would have released on schedule, this gap of 350 crores wouldn’t have been covered.
Lesser films making an impression
First quarter of 2019 had seen the arrival of 14 notable films with seven major grossers – Uri – The Surgical Strike, Kesari, Total Dhamaal, Gully Boy, Luka Chuppi, Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi and Badla – making their presence count. 2020 couldn’t really catch up with that score at all, what with just 11 notable releases and only five turning out to be plus affairs – Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior, Baaghi 3, Street Dancer 3D, Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan and Malang.
A blockbuster each helped the first quarter soar
In 2019, it was Uri – The Surgical Strike that turned out to be an All Time Blockbuster affair. The film had netted a humungous 244.20 crores at the box office. As a matter of fact, 2020 goes one up in that aspect as Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior turned out to be even bigger at 279 crores. Needless to say, the Ajay Devgn blockbuster helped the cause for 2020.
Superhits went missing
2019 would be remembered for the fact that two relatively smaller films went on to gross quite well at the box office. Both Luka Chuppi and Badla actually deserved to be 100 Crore Club superhits but then they arrived so close to each other that audience was divided. Still, Luka Chuppi hit 95 crore mark while Badla too went on to score 87.99 crores. In comparison, there hasn’t been a single superhit for Bollywood in 2020 so far.
No hits either
Now this is where 2020 has been hurt most because while all time blockbusters and superhits are always difficult to come by, one expects hits to be a regular feature. We saw that in 2019 when between January to March, there were three major hits in the form of Kesari [154.41 crores], Total Dhamaal [154.23 crores] and Gully Boy [140 crores]. In 2020, there has been none.
There has been one semi-hit each though
Now this is quite interesting as 2019 as well as 2020 have seen a semi-hit each and they could well have been a hit if not for varied factors hurting their prospects. In 2019, Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi had to battle the controversy around director’s credit and fell short of the 100 crores mark by stopping at 92.19 crores. On the other hand Baaghi 3 was making an easy progress towards the 100 crores mark and then go well beyond that milestone. However, corona virus hit it right from the beginning and it had a pre-mature closure at around 95 crores.
More average grossers have saved the day
Though there haven’t been hits and superhits, fortunately there are certain average/below average grossers that have saved the day for Bollywood in 2020. Street Dancer 3D [75 crores] and
Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan [63 crores] were of course expected to do a lot more but still at least managed to cover some distance. As a matter of fact Malang [59 crores] did better than expected. In comparison, below average affairs in 2019 were hardly any grossers, as seen with Thackeray [38 crores] and The Accidental Prime Minister [22.65 crores].
Flops and underperformers
More number of films have either been flops or underperformers in 2020. These are the films which were expected to do a lot better but stopped well short. Love Aaj Kal [36.50 crores] was a big ticket offering but couldn’t sustain after a very good opening. Chhapaak [34 crores], Thappad [33 crores] and Panga [29 crores] were female centric films led by Deepika Padukone, Taapsee Pannu and Kangana Ranaut, and while there was some appreciation for them, theatrically they stopped short though Thappad did sustain a bit better on word of mouth.
As for Angrezi Medium [10 crores], it could have possibly got into the average category but then its release coinciding with shutting down of theaters totally killed its chances.
In comparison, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga [22.70 crores] was a clear flop and Why Cheat India [8.66 crores], Sonchiriya [6.60 crores] and Notebook [3.72 crores] were disasters in 2019.