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The success of Kalki 2898 AD and failure of Bade Miyan Chote Miyan underscore that mediocrity won't work at the box-office


Laapataa Ladies


Currently Kalki 2898 AD’s success at the box-office is ringing cash registers, which forces us to look at the past six month’s records of Hindi films. While many films like Fighter, Shaitaan, Crew, Munjya and Article 370 were able to pull above Rs 100-crore in worldwide gross collections, none made an impact like Kalki 2898 AD, which collected over Rs 219 crore in India alone in just 13 days since its release on June 27. We bring the box-office half-yearly report of Hindi films.


Getting it right

January opened with the release of Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi-starrer Merry Christmas, but it barely surpassed Rs 18 crore at the box-office. To recover its budget of Rs 60 crore, makers sold its streaming rights to Netflix at the same amount. There were big expectations from Pathaan director Siddharth Anand, as he brought a new onscreen pair, Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, with his film Fighter. A Republic Day release, the film collected Rs 337.20 crore worldwide, but the amount did not match Pathaan’s success. Although a hit, much more was expected of Fighter, considering it was made at a whopping budget of Rs 250 crore.

(L-R) Emergency, Vedaa, Deva

February’s major hit was Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya, starring Shahid Kapoor and Kriti Sanon, another pair seen together for the first time on screen. The first rom-com of the year, made at a budget of Rs 75 crore collected Rs 133.64 crore worldwide. Kriti Sanon has seen a successful year as her two films, the other one being Crew, are listed among top 10 grossers of 2024 so far. If Teri Baaton Mein… is placed at the fourth position, female-centric Crew is just one rank above with Rs 157.08 crore collection worldwide. A heist comedy with catchy songs, Crew was made at a budget of Rs 75 crore.

Shaitaan, a supernatural horror thriller with a talented star cast, including Ajay Devgn, R Madhavan and Jyothika, made a profit of Rs 146 crore only in theatres. With Rs 211.06 crore worldwide collections, the film is at the number two position in highest grossers’ list till June end.

Flop show

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan

The much-anticipated Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, starring Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, was an action film made at a cost of Rs 350 crore. Guess how much the makers could recover? Barely Rs 102 crore, making it the biggest multi-starrer failure of the year. Ajay Devgn-starrer Maidaan (Rs 250 crores budget) released on the same day as Bade Miyan Chote Miyan only recovered Rs 68 crores at box-office.


Even biopics didn’t make much impact. Films like Maidaan, Main Atal Hoon and Chandu Champion drew much traction online, but looked like people were willing to wait for them to release on OTT rather than visit the theatres. Chandu Champion, starring Kartik Aaryan (Rs 100-140 crore budget), has grossed Rs 85.64 crores so far. Much like Chandu Champion, Srikanth also was based on a differently abled-man. Starring Rajkummar Rao in the titular role and made at a cost of Rs 45 crore, the film managed to collect Rs 62.92 crore. In other words, medium-budget films like Munjya (Rs 30 crore), Article 370 (Rs 20 crore), Madgaon Express (Rs 30 crore) and Srikanth (Rs 45 crore) turned out to be hits.

Surprise package


If some of the most-anticipated projects failed at the BO, then there were also a few films that performed beyond expectations. Munjya, from the makers of Stree and Bhediya, made at a cost of Rs 30 crore, earned over Rs 128.36 crore worldwide. Another sleeper hit was Kiran Rao’s Laapataa Ladies, which was just made at a budget of Rs 3 crore. The film won critical acclaim and went on to mint Rs 25.26 crore in theatres worldwide!

Hear it from the expert

Kalki 2898 AD

There wasn’t any pronounced trend as such during the first half of the year. The only trend that I saw, and which one sees year after year, was that good content succeeded while weak one failed. Films which deserved to do well, like Kalki, Article 370, Srikanth and Munjya, did well. I think our writers need to understand that mediocrity won’t work. It is mediocre stuff that is failing. I have been saying from the beginning that this year, probably, the South Indian and Hollywood film industries will come to the rescue of the Hindi film world, and Kalki has proven that. With the collections being what they are, it’s going to cross Rs 250 crore, which is a huge figure for a dubbed film. Some Hollywood films are doing well, have done well, like Inside Out 2 etc. So, Hindi writers and directors need to pull up their socks. — Komal Nahta, Film Trade Analyst

#Article 370

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