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#2022Recap: From memes helping Drishyam 2 become a hit to almost all A-listers giving flops to Alia Bhatt and Kartik Aaryan supremacy, here’s a look at the notable box office trends of the year

en Bollywood News #2022Recap: From memes helping Drishyam 2 become a hit to almost all A-listers giving flops to Alia Bhatt and Kartik Aaryan supremacy, here’s a look at the notable box office trends of the year

Another year has ended but this one was different. The cinema business slowly came back on its feet and while several films did well, the industry also suffered due to the debacles of several biggies. In this Bollywood Hungama Special Feature, we take a look at the interesting trends of the box office in 2022.

#2022Recap: From memes helping Drishyam 2 become a hit to almost all A-listers giving flops to Alia Bhatt and Kartik Aaryan supremacy, here’s a look at the notable box office trends of the year

1. Until July 31, the films were allowed to be released on digital platforms 4 weeks after the theatrical release. The industry went back to following the eight-week rule from August 1. It took a while but the box office trends improved in the last quarter and one of the reasons is that the public understood that the films won’t arrive in their homes in a month. Hence, they preferred venturing out to the cinemas instead of waiting for a film’s OTT premiere after 50 days.

2. Several remakes were made in 2022. Going by the flop verdict of Jersey and Vikram Vedhaand the blockbuster success of Drishyam 2, it seems the remake of films which have been dubbed in Hindi will have a tough time in cinemas. The audience now usually watches the dubbed version of the original and then doesn’t prefer watching its remake. In the case of Drishyam 2, the film was only available in the original format and the audience has still not warmed up to the idea of reading subtitles. As a result, they went out in hordes to catch the remake.

3. Rajshri Productions went for a unique strategy as they asked Yash Raj Films to release Uunchaiin just 483 screens while the usual norm is to release such films in 1000 screens. While it had a great run in the first week and led to cheer as footfalls and earnings remained steady on the weekdays, its collections took a hit in the second week, probably because of the release of Drishyam 2. Many in the trade and industry believed that instead of 483 screens, it should have been released in at least 600-700 screens. In certain towns, where there was demand, Uunchainever got a release. In some cinemas in tier-2 cities, it was released in Week 3 or 4 and by then, the audience had lost interest. The lifetime collections of the film are expected to be around Rs. 33 crores and it could have gone past the Rs. 40 crores mark had it been released in more theatres.

4. It’s now confirmed that memes can make for a great marketing tool. Drishyam 2 generated immense excitement due to the memes revolving around October 2 and pav bhaji. This also gives a strong hint that the sequels of other hit films in the meme world like Hera Pheriand Welcomewill also work big time.

5. A positive word of mouth is very crucial today for a film to work. But Brahmastrawas an exception. Despite mixed reports, it managed to do very well. The out-of-the-world VFX played a big role. Also, audiences were curious about this Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer, which was in the making since 2018.

6. In the past, a lot of films that were blockbusters, had released on festivals. This year, all festive releases flopped – Bachchhan Paandey[Holi], Heropanti 2and Runway 34 [Eid], Khuda Haafiz Chapter 2 – Agni Pariksha [Bakri Eid], Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan [Raksha Bandhan, Independence Day], Liger [Ganesh Chaturthi], Vikram Vedha [Dussehra], Ram Setu and Thank God [Diwali] and Cirkus [Christmas]. All the major hits of 2022 were non-festive releases.

7. The two actors who share the same initials – Akshay Kumar and Ayushmann Khurrana – ruled in 2019 but suffered the most in 2022. All of Akshay’s films like Bachchhan PaandeySamrat Prithviraj, Raksha Bandhanand Ram Setuand All 3 Ayushmann Khurrana starrers like Anek, Doctor G and An Action Hero also failed at the ticket window.

8. The marketing needs to be very correct. A song like ‘Jedha Nasha’got talked about but didn’t excite audiences for An Action Heroas it didn’t match with the film, which was essentially an action thriller. Many were not even aware that the song that they are grooving to is from An Action Hero.

9. When a film is marketed as a comedy, it needs to have plenty of LOL-worthy scenes, failing which it would be outright rejected. Minimal comedy in comic capers won’t work, as evident by the business of Thank Godand Cirkus. In the past, a film like Housefull 4(2019) emerged as a big hit, despite reports that it’s not too funny. But that’s not possible now, in the post-pandemic world.

10. Token or forced theatrical releases became a norm as producers had to release the film in cinemas for a good deal on digital premiere later on. In some cases, the producers didn’t even care to give the film a good release or promote it well. Genuine efforts like Toolsidas JuniorTara vs Bilaletc suffered as a result.

11. National Cinema Day was celebrated on September 23, when cinemas across the country slashed the rates to Rs. 75. It led to pandemonium as almost all shows were sold out everywhere. It finally made the stakeholders realize how lower ticket prices can help get more footfall.

12. The unpredictable nature of business became all the more unpredictable this year. Kantara in Hindi was expected to do well as the original Kannada version had made waves. Yet, no one expected it to collect Rs. 79.25 crores. On the other hand, Karthikeya 2came with no noise and the trailer had not become a talking point. Hardly anyone had seen the first part. Yet, it made viewers excited and despite clashing with Laal Singh Chaddhaand Raksha Bandhan, it did well and earned Rs. 31.05 crores.

13. If the audience is not interested, those films bombed like never before. And if a film was accepted, it did historic business. Many didn’t imagine in their wildest dreams that Drishyam 2would cross the Rs. 225 crores mark. Trade and industry are of the opinion that pre-pandemic films like Drishyam 2and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 would not have done such business.

14. While films like Avatar: The Way Of WaterDoctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madnessetc were some of the biggest Hollywood hits in India, a film like Top Gun: Maverickalso surprised the trade. It was released on May 26 and for nearly 30 weeks, it ran in theatres and recorded decent occupancy. The collections in IMAX and 4DX were quite good, even after completing 20 weeks. On the other hand, Minions: The Rise Of Gru and DC League Of Super-Pets had lower collections but went on in theatres for nearly 10-15 weeks, in kid-friendly screens in certain multiplexes mainly. Avatar: The Way Of Water might also complete 25 weeks, especially in special format screens.

15. Several cameos of high-profile stars were seen in several films. But unlike the previous times, it didn’t help the film much. Be it Deepika Padukone in Cirkus, Ajay Devgn in Thank God, Shah Rukh Khan in Laal Singh Chaddha, Akshay Kumar in An Action Heroor Aamir Khan in Salaam Venky, these special appearances didn’t excite the audiences. The sole exception is Shah Rukh Khan in Brahmastrabut this film had the advantage of other factors that went in its favour.

16. Aamir Khan has given the formula to measure success, “You need to see the weekend figures and compare them with the total collection. Like 3 Idiots(2009) did Rs. 40 crores on the weekend and the total business was Rs. 202 crores, so the weekend multiplied by 5, is the behaviour of the film which is very good. That shows people have gone again and again to see the film. Jo film teen din mein100 crore karein aur total mein 200 crore karein, then that film is not good.” In that regard, Karthikeya 2 and Kantara are historic hits. Kantara collected Rs. 7.52 crores and it collected 10 times more in its weekend. Karthikeya 2, meanwhile, jumped nearly 21 times compared to its weekend collections (Rs. 31.05 crores). Such a trend might become the norm, especially for South films. Many such films will usually release without excitement and succeed due to a positive word of mouth.

17. Several films that flopped or underperformed like Cirkus, Uunchai, Doctor G, Raksha Bandhanetc but made money due to digital, satellite and music deals. As per reports, Uunchaiearned Rs. 70 crores and Doctor G earned Rs. 40 crores from non-theatrical avenues, and this is nearly double the money it made at the ticket window.

18. Except for Kartik Aaryan, all the top actors of the industry like Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Sidharth Malhotra gave flops and this is a record. Varun Dhawan proved to be an exception as both his films – JugJugg Jeeyoand Bhediya– underperformed and weren’t flops.

19. Alia Bhatt rocked the show with the success of her theatrical releases like Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2and Brahmastraand the digital film, Darlings. Kartik Aaryan, too, cemented his position with the super-hit film, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. Both actors will have an edge due to this aspect for their forthcoming films.

20. Kangana Ranaut, at one point, was considered to be the most successful actress. This perception took a beating first with the debacle of Thalaivii (2021) followed by the way Dhaakad bombed. Dhaakad, in fact, suffered a loss of nearly Rs. 78 crores and proved to be one of the biggest disasters ever. It was widely talked about due to which her track record has suffered tremendously, and it is expected to affect the opening and hype of her upcoming films.

Also Read: What went wrong with Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus at the box office? Trade experts claim it was lack of humour, lacklustre music and missing masala content


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