Another year has ended but this one was different. It had too many twists and turns. Several films that were not expected to work or were to be average grossers became huge hits. On the other hand, a few films that could have easily been biggest grossers of the year, underperformed. In this Bollywood Hungama Special Feature, we take a look at sixteen interesting trends of the ticket window in 2019:
1. Underperforming year for Salman Khan
Salman Khan had two films, both of which failed to really impress the audiences. His Eid release, Bharat, was met with mixed response, which affected its overall box office outcome (Rs 194 crore). His Christmas offing, Dabangg 3, was poorer and has failed to reach even the Rs. 150 crore mark.
2. Even underperforming films of Salman Khan go over Rs. 100 crore
Despite Bharat, Dabangg 3 and even 2018’s Race 3 not doing well, Salman Khan is still a force to reckon with. Even if his films don’t impress, they still manage to cross the Rs. 100 crore mark for sure. And this is a fear that most other actors can’t boast about!
3. Akshay Kumar jumps into the Rs. 600 crore club
Akshay Kumar has a super-successful year as all his four films, all different from each other – Kesari, Mission Mangal, Housefull 4 and Good Newwz – were box office successes. He finally entered the Rs. 200 crore club with Mission Mangal. While Kesari earned Rs. 154.41 crore, Mission Mangal collected Rs. 202.98 crore. Housefull 4, meanwhile, managed to accumulate Rs. 194.60 crore. The total collections of these three films stand at Rs. 551.99 crore. With Good Newwz, which released on the last Friday of 2019, expected to cross Rs. 100 crore mark, the figure would reach to more than Rs. 650 crore. Thus he’s the most profitable actor of 2019.
4. Shahid Kapoor: 2019’s biggest success story
Shahid Kapoor was never considered to be in the big league. But surprisingly, he delivered Kabir Singh, which is 2019’s second biggest grosser, earning Rs. 278.24 crore. All of a sudden, everyone began to look up to him and his next flick, Jersey, is also expected to be one of the films to watch out for in 2020.
5. Hrithik Roshan bounces back in the big league
Hrithik Roshan, meanwhile, was always one of the superstars but his long absence and wrong choice of films kept him away from the success he deserved. But finally, 2019 was a turnaround year for the Greek God. His first film, Super 30, seemed dicey to many in the trade but it collected a huge Rs. 146.94 crore. His other flick, War, co-starring Tiger Shroff, was a blockbuster from Day 1. It earned a huge Rs. 317.91 crore, and was thus the biggest hit of 2019. The trade is now excitedly waiting for his next and hoping that his next flick arrives in 2020 itself.
6. Vicky Kaushal makes a giant leap
Vicky Kaushal had impressed everyone in 2018 with Raazi and Sanju. But no one thought he’ll zoom in the Rs. 200 crore club so soon! His war flick Uri – The Surgical Strike touched viewers deeply on account of it’s patriotic touch and gripping execution. Just like Shahid, even he got included in the top league.
7. Kartik Aaryan and Ayushmann Khurrana cement their position
Kartik Aaryan proved that Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety was no fluke. His family comedy Luka Chuppi was a smashing hit. Even Pati Patni Aur Woh did very well and fulfilled all expectations of viewers, producers and exhibitors alike. Ayushmann Khurrana, meanwhile, had yet another rocking a year. He opened his account in 2019 with the hard-hitting Article 15. Despite its serious mood, it collected Rs. 65.45 crore. Dream Girl was his first complete massy film and it was loved so much that it emerged as his biggest hit. Bala, too, did super-hit business of Rs. 116.78 crore.
8. A mixed bag for John Abraham
John Abraham rocked in 2018 with two big hits. But in 2019, out of three, only one movie worked well. Batla House clashed with a biggie like Mission Mangal and had a serious theme. Yet, audiences were impressed with the tale and also John’s performance, resulting in business amounting to Rs. 87.22 crore. However, his spy drama Romeo Akbar Walter was found to be unimpressive, collecting just Rs. 38.83 crore. His comic caper Pagalpanti was even lower than Romeo Akbar Walter in terms of collections (Rs. 33.01 crore).
9. Another slightly underwhelming year for Varun Dhawan
Varun Dhawan is one of the bankable stars today but in 2018, he gave two underperforming films – October and Sui Dhaaga. In 2019, he had just one release – Kalank – and it emerged as his first flop in his 12 movies old career. The multi-starrer period flick was mounted on a huge scale but earned paltry Rs. 80.35 crore.
10. The actresses too emerge successful in their own right
The actresses were seen playing strong roles and their presence also added to the buzz of many films. Mission Mangal was a hot product not just because of Akshay but also due to presence of Vidya Balan and Taapsee Pannu. Taapsee, along with Amitabh Bachchan, took Badla to dizzying heights. She also joined hands with Bhumi Pednekar in Saand Ki Aankh which did well, despite wrong release timing. Alia Bhatt was rocking in Gully Boy and her ‘mar jaayega tu’ dialogue in the trailer added to the hype. Rani Mukerji’s Mardaani 2 too is a box office success. Lastly, Kangana Ranaut delivered Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi, which is one of the biggest female-centric grossers of Bollywood.
11. Sajid Nadiadwala gives a hattrick of Super-Hits
Producer Sajid Nadiadwala didn’t start 2019 on a great note with Kalank emerging as a debacle. But his other three films – Super 30, Chhichhore and Housefull 4 – exceeded expectations. He once again proved why he’s one of the most reputed producers today.
12. Single screen ratio comes down
The number of single screens is reducing with each passing year, and so is the business coming from these cinema halls. A film like War collected Rs. 317.91 crore, but from single screens, it collected less than Rs. 80 crore! So almost Rs. 230 crore collected by the film was earned in multiplexes. A similar trend was seen for other films. In case of films that were more multiplex-friendly, the single screen ratio was even less. For example, Uri – The Surgical Strike collected Rs. 245.36 crore, out of which less than Rs. 30 crore came from single screens!
13. Extreme collections of films
Few films like Uri – The Surgical Strike, Super 30, Total Dhamaal, Luka Chuppi, Badla, Kabir Singh, Chhichhore etc collected much more than what was expected. On the other hand, films like Why Cheat India, Sonchiriya, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, Notebook, Arjun Patiala, Khandaani Shafakhana, The Zoya Factor, Laal Kaptaan, Satellite Shankar and The Body were absolute washouts as these couldn’t even cross the Rs. 10 crore mark.
14. Pagalpanti and Panipat – biggest loss makers
Most of the flops of the year eventually recovered the budget through sale of satellite and digital rights. But in case of Pagalpanti and the historical Panipat, the losses are so huge that even rights from other platforms will not be enough to break even.
15. Festive period is lucrative but T&C apply
Like every year, the films that released on or during festivals did have a boost in their collections. But a few films also suffered. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota released on Holi to take advantage of the festival and four-day weekend. But it backfired. Similarly, Diwali saw the release of one biggie – Housefull 4 – and two small films, Made In China and Saand Ki Aankh. Both these films would have done better had they released on some other date as audiences simply skipped one or both the movies as it became too much for them.
16. Acceptance of different films but audience still exists for mass films in abundance
The success of unusual kind of films like The Tashkent Files, Saand Ki Aankh, Article 15, Badla, Super 30, Chhichhore and Mission Mangal showed the if audiences like a film, then these films can go anywhere. But at the same time, viewers don’t mind watching a typical escapist entertainer. 2019 also saw hits like Total Dhamaal, Housefull 4, Saaho, Dream Girl and Marjaavaan. Except for Dream Girl, all these films were thrashed by the critics and yet, all these were successful commercially.