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Last Updated 17.07.2024 | 9:09 PM IST
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After a record 2022, Kannada cinema saw a STEEP decline in box office numbers in 2023; not a SINGLE film crossed even the Rs. 70 cr. mark; footfalls down from 8.1 cr. to 3.2 cr.

By Fenil Seta

Bollywood Hungama recently provided data about the performance of films in India in 2023 across languages. It was observed that all the major industries like Bollywood, Tamil, and Telugu had their best performance ever in terms of domestic box office gross, in 2023. Two major industries that suffered in 2023 were Hollywood and the Kannada industry. In this special report, we’ll be sharing information about the performance of Kannada films in 2023.

After a record 2022, Kannada cinema saw a STEEP decline in box office numbers in 2023; not a SINGLE film crossed even the Rs. 70 cr. mark; footfalls down from 8.1 cr. to 3.2 cr.

The Kannada cinema industry has been growing steadily and got a boost with the blockbuster success of KGF - Chapter 1 (2018). The sequel, KGF - Chapter 2 (2022) was an even bigger hit. Other films, too, performed well and one expected 2023 to be another stellar year. Sadly, the business dropped to alarming levels.

In 2018, the domestic box-office gross collections of all Kannada films was Rs. 383 crores. It jumped to Rs. 522 crores. 2020 was bad for all industries due to Covid restrictions and Kannada was no exception. The total collections stood at a mere Rs. 41 crores. It jumped to Rs. 374 crores in 2021 and went on a record high of Rs. 810 crores in 2022.

Sadly, in 2023, the business came down to Rs. 312 crores. Hence, it is less than the collections in the last 8 years, sending shockwaves into the industry.

What also added to the shock that not a single Kannada film crossed the Rs. 100 crore mark. In 2022, two films entered the Rs. 100 crore club - Kantara and JamesKGF - Chapter 2 even breached the Rs. 200 crore mark.

But in 2023, the biggest hit was Kaatera, starring Darshan, Aradhana Ram and Jagapathi Babu. It collected Rs. 67 crores gross domestically. This was followed by Kranti at Rs. 41 crores. Kabzaa takes the third position, which collected a mere Rs. 30 crores and was a box-office disaster. Shiva Rajkumar’s Ghost collected Rs. 22 crores. Sapta Saagaradaache Ello – Side A, which got a lot of acclaim, took the fifth position as it earned Rs. 21 crores.

As for the footfalls, 2019 was the best ever at 7.3 crores. The number slipped to 60 lakhs in 2020. It then jumped to 4.40 crores and 8 crores in 2021 and 2022 respectively, the latter being the highest ever. In 2023, the footfalls were a mere 3 crores.

Kannada Top 5 films of 2023
Kaatera - 67 cr.
Kranti - 41 cr.
Kabzaa - 30 cr.
Ghost - 22 cr.
Sapta Sagaradaache Ello Side-A - 21 cr.

Only five films crossed the 20 cr. mark, highlighting how the absence of successful big-ticket films affected the Kannada film industry in 2023.

Kannada Domestic Box Office Footfalls
2015 - 5.7 cr.
2016 - 8.5 cr.
2017 - 6.9 cr.
2018 - 5.5 cr.
2019 - 7.3 cr.
2020 - 0.6 cr.
2021 - 4.4 cr.
2022 - 8 cr.
2023 - 3 cr.

Footfalls also saw a huge drop of 63%, and just managed to touch the 3 cr. mark by the end of 2023.

Kannada Domestic Box Office (In cr. gross)
2015 – 342 cr.
2016 - 531 cr.
2017 - 430 cr.
2018 - 383 cr.
2019 - 522 cr.
2020 - 41 cr.
2021 - 374 cr.
2022 - 810 cr.
2023 - 312 cr.

Source: The Ormax Box Office report: 2023

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