Bollywood bleeds with only two hits with almost two-thirds of the year over!

By: Amit KumaR Aagrwal

A lot has been written about Bollywood going down the hill, Hindi films flopping and the end of the industry. How true are these, decided to find out.
Of the eighty-one Hindi films released (including nondescript ones, releasing in one cinema hall or two) only two were hits. What is more only fifteen manged to go above 20-crores globally and only five manged to scale the 100-crore club globally!
While a section of cinema-goers attributed the failure to #boycott trend; the fact is, the films released held little appeal for the audiences. Case in point, owing to Prakash Raj's presence K.G.F. 2 was trended to be boycotted, yet the film created history not only in south India but in the very core of Hindi belt, as well. In fact, it is one of the best performing films in Hindi belt in recent times!
The biggest reason for the failure of Hindi film industry are the studios and the critics - reason, the studios bankrolled films that held little appeal for the audiences. Critics gave star-ratings to these films that hardly connected with the audiences. As a result, the whole trajectory shifted in creating these films that alienated the audiences from cinemas. A startling revelation that industry insiders knew all along, was made in 2020, when Anurag admitted in the media, that the much celebrated Gangs of Wasseypur, hailed as a 'hit' by the select 'media' when released, was a flop and the studio didn't pay him anything!
So why do filmmakers and producers pay select 'media' to hail their flop films as 'hit' or give star-ratings to a film that audiences haven't consumed, latest being Lal Singh Chaddha.
A reason cited by an expat producer based in US, Tirlok Malik is, "there are many first-time silent investors waiting to invest in films, they don't really know the ins and outs, they rely on the 'names', the 'banners' and the 'hit' tag to firm-up their decision of investing. When they get to know a film-maker has made a 'hit' film, (in reality is a false perception), they want to invest in their next film. The cycle continues".

While this might be one of the reasons, there is no denying the fact that the studios and critics together, have been responsible to shift the focus of filmmakers and stars into making commercially non-viable films. The rot started in 2007 and within fifteen years it has almost finished the Hindi film-industry.
The silver-lining is, few producers are now understanding that they have to change the way they make films to survive in the fiercely competitive industry. Ironically, there are still others that are doing the same mistake - case in point, the latest release Dobaaraa has again garnered extreme reviews ranging from 4 star rating to half-star rating; but the real test; the BO, has given the film a huge thumbs-down! Still the 'select media' is out to paint the film as some sort of a celebration! Why can't the makers just accept the fact that they made a film which isn't consumed by the audiences.

Nitin Agarwal, an exhibitor says, "a reason is the fact that OTT's want films to have a theatrical release before going on OTT, unless toplined by a superstar. So releasing it in cinema is an undue necessity!" Hopefully, the success of the much rooted south-Indian films will lead the way for these producers.
Rakesh Jain, a prominent film distributor says, "The box-office is much stronger than pre-pandemic, figures of films like Sooryavanshi bear it's testimony, which did 192 crores in spite of it's core territory Maharashtra playing at 50% owing to Covid-19 restrictions. All the audiences want is their entertainment, is that asking for too much by the audiences?"
Till the time producers mull and find an answer to this question, the gap between the cinema and the box-office success will persist, hopefully, like always it will be a win for cinemas in the end!

List of the fifteen Hindi films that made more than 20 crores globally in 2022 till August 21, 2022:
Of the 81 Hindi films released in 2022 only 15 have manged to earn more than 20 crores globally and only 5 have crossed 100 crores globally!
  1. The Kashmir Files
  2. Bhool Bhulaiya 2
  3. Gangubai Kathiawadi
  4. Samrat Prithviraj
  5. Jug Jug Jeeyo
  6. Bachchan Pandey
  7. Shamshera
  8. Lal Singh Chaddha
  9. Raksha Bandhan
  10. Ek Villain 2
  11. Runway 34
  12. Heropanti 2
  13. Attack
  14. Jhund
  15. Badhaai Do