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Bollywood box office to recover to 80% of pre-COVID levels in Q4, riding on ‘Pathaan’ and other star films

Bollywood box office to recover to 80% of pre-COVID levels in Q4, riding on ‘Pathaan’ and other star films

‘Box office tsunami loading’, say trade analysts as SRK’s ‘Pathaan’ sets cash registers ringing with advance bookings. Overall, Q4 FY23 could be strong for Bollywood, after its swinging fortunes in the last two years.

The much-anticipated Pathaan, which is a part of YRF’s Spy Universe, marks Shah Rukh Khan’s return to the screens after four years (since Zero in 2018). The much-anticipated Pathaan, which is a part of YRF’s Spy Universe, marks Shah Rukh Khan’s return to the screens after four years (since Zero in 2018).

It might be looking up for Bollywood at the box office in the last quarter of FY23. Analysts expect Hindi film revenues at the big screen to recover to 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels in Q4 FY23 at Rs 7 billion (Rs 700 crore) riding on big titles like Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan (slated for release ahead of Republic Day) and other star-driven films, including Shehzaada, Selfiee, and Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar


“We believe a strong box office performance in at least two hold the key for Hindi content to show visible signs of a comeback. Any small and medium budget film doing well beyond expectations would be an added benefit,” said Karan Taurani, SVP at Elara Capital. 


While multiplexes like PVR reported a strong December quarter (Q3 FY23), exceeding pre-COVID levels (Q3 FY20) by 2.7 per cent because of the success of Hollywood content led by Avatar 2, its fortunes in the March quarter will depend primarily on large-scale homegrown releases. 


“Dependence on Hindi content doing well is higher this quarter, due to lack of any large-scale cinematic English and regional franchise film, unless some film reports a big positive surprise, helped by content and word of mouth marketing [as in the case of Kantara],” Taurani explained. 


“A healthy performance in Hindi content augurs well for ad spends too, as a large portion of the latter is helped by Hindi footfalls,” he added. 


The Pathaan ‘Tsunami’


The much-anticipated Pathaan, which is a part of YRF’s Spy Universe, marks Shah Rukh Khan’s return to the screens after four years (since Zero in 2018). The film opened for partial advance bookings earlier this week, and the response has been tremendous. 


Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh revealed that national cinema chains have already sold 1.17 lakh tickets, with PVR, INOX and Cinepolis selling 51,000, 38,500, and 27,500, respectively. “#BO Tsunami loading,” he said, adding, “Full-fledged advance booking will start tomorrow [Jan 20].” 


A Box Office India report further stated that one of Hyderabad’s biggest multiplexes sold 1,800 tickets in just two hours of opening advanced bookings for Pathaan. Some trade experts also believe Pathaan could gross upwards of Rs 40 crore on its first day, making it the second-biggest opening in SRK’s career (after Happy New Year which had collected ~Rs 45 crore on Day 1). 


Even in international markets like Germany, where SRK enjoys massive popularity, the response has been encouraging. Film trade analyst Girish Johar expects Pathaan to collect Rs 300 crore in the first week itself. If all signs are to be believed, then the Bollywood box office is in for a truly blockbuster quarter. 


The positive sentiment of the trade is also echoed by multiplex operators. In an earlier interaction with Business Today, INOX Group Director Siddharth Jain, said that “latent demand” is pushing people towards the cinemas again after “an extremely hard two years” for the film exhibition business. 


 

Also read: Meet composer MM Keeravani, the man behind RRR's big win at Golden Globe Award 2023

Also read: PVR banking heavily on 'Pathaan', other Bollywood releases; says 75-80% pre-pandemic footfalls are back

Published on: Jan 20, 2023, 11:54 AM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Jan 20, 2023, 11:48 AM IST