Each year we see a multitude of films hitting the screens across the country. However, it has always been that films which release in the first month January have had a tough time posting expected
this jinx is the question.
Looking back at the films that have released in January, it is evident that there have been no real winners, despite the fact that films like Salman Khan‘s Jai Ho and Akshay Kumar‘s
Airlift performed well at the box office. In fact we have attached a chart that depicts the collections of films that have released in the first month of the year for the past five years
while comparing their collections to other big grossers of that respective year. Apart from this to get a better understanding of why films that release in January have a tough time posting good
figures and whether Raees will break the mould, we decided to speak to a few well established trade pundits.
|Year||Film||Collection INR cr||Ranking|
NOTE: The ‘Ranking’ denotes the individual film’s standing among the Top 10 Highest Grosser of that respective year.
Does the January Jinx really exist?
Bollywood and the people involved in the film industry have always been a superstition lot when it comes to their films doing well at the box office. But is the month of January, which is said to
be jinxed, really so or is this changing with the audience? “Filmmakers generally prefer to release their films around big holidays to maximise their box office earnings. But for releases in
January that come after the long Christmas and New Year holiday we tend to see a drop in collections. However, here again content plays an important part since if a film features good content it
will work”, says Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh. Further talking about another factor that could possibly translate into lower box office collections, Taran talks about the month of January which
usually heralds the coming of the exam season saying, “Usually just after the Christmas holidays and as the New Year celebrations die down towards the end of January, the second month February,
sees most educational institutions holding exams. The thought of exams and the pressure to perform generally keeps not just kids but their families as well away from theatres.”
However, Girish Wankhede, trade analyst and founder of Entity One Entertainment Solutions differs saying, “Traditionally the best days to release a film were around the festivals of Eid, Diwali and
Christmas. However that has changed today, as with the number of films releasing it becomes extremely tough to find that one day and date to release your film maximising returns. In light of this
producers are now looking at dates like January 26 as prime dates for releases.” Further talking about the month of January being jinxed for films, Girish adds, “Yes it is true January was earlier
considered a jinxed month, but like I said this trend is changing. For example take films like Jai Ho, Airlift, and a couple of other recent releases, though some did not reach that 100
crore mark, they were rated as box office successes.
Taking a different perspective, film critic and trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Firstly if you look at the holiday season in India, be it Diwali or even Eid, it usually sees people venturing out of
the house for shopping. Now if you look at Christmas contrary to the earlier two there is not much shopping involved, instead people are in the mood to generally have a good time. Now post this fun
holiday in the New Year, people are getting ready to back to work and school so we see a decline in people going to theatres. However, now we have started to see some content driven films doing
well, no matter the time of their release. So basically the so called ‘January Jinx’ is just words as there have been so many films like Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Baby, Airlift that have released
in January and have done well. In fact it is only the first week of January that tends to underperform. I think that apart from No One Killed Jessica, films that have released in the first
week have flopped.”
Going by the table above and with inputs from the industry, one thing is for certain that the so called ‘January Jinx’ that plagued the superstitions film industry seems more to be an old wife’s
tale rather than a fact based analysis. However, as we stand today, only time will tell whether the jinx is baseless or whether Raees will suffer at the box office due to it.