The year 2022 was when audiences truly went South. The Hindi versions of the Yash-starrer commercial flick KGF: Chapter 2 and Jr NTR period-actioner RRR were among the top grossers at the Hindi box office in 2022, according to a report published jointly by leading media analytics and consulting firm Ormax Media and cinema advertising company GroupM iTV.
While KGF: Chapter 2’s Hindi version collected Rs 509 crore in terms of gross box office collections, RRR’s Hindi version raked in Rs 307 crore in terms of the gross box office. They were followed by Hindi releases such as Vivek Agnihotri-directorial The Kashmir Files (Rs 292 crore), Ajay Devgn and Tabu-starrer Drishyam 2 (Rs 285 crore), Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Brahmastra (Rs 273 crore), Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani-starrer Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (Rs 217 crore), and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi (Rs 152 crore).
After this, the Hindi-dubbed version of Rishab Shetty’s Kantara collected Rs 106 crore whereas the Varun Dhawan and Anil Kapoor-starrer comedy JugJugg Jeeyo minted Rs 94 crore in terms of gross box office numbers. Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan-starrer thriller Vikram Vedha raked in only Rs 94 crore at the domestic box office.
The Hindi domestic box office minted Rs 3,513 crore in 2022, 27 per cent less than Rs 4,831 crore in 2019.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Ormax Media founder and CEO Shailesh Kapoor stated: "When theatres were closed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and OTT platforms witnessed [a] steep growth in consumption, many observers were quick to write the obituary of the theatrical medium. In 2022, Indian audiences have shown that the cinemas are here to stay."
Founder and MD of GroupM iTV Ajay Mehta said box office collections were only Rs 300 crore behind the best-grossing year of 2019 despite movie theatres being closed in many parts of the country in early 2022. “Despite theatres being closed in many parts of India in early 2022, the year’s box office collections were only Rs 300 crore behind the best-grossing year of 2019," he said.
Following closely were Telugu films with an overall box office of Rs 2,145 crore in 2022 versus Rs 1,404 crore in 2019.
Top contributors to the improved fortunes of Telugu films at the box office are SS Rajamouli's latest directorial venture RRR (Rs 502 crore), Mahesh Babu and Keerthy Suresh’s Sarkaru Vaari Paata (Rs 145 crore), Telugu dubbed version of KGF: Chapter 2 (Rs 127 crore), Power Star Pawan Kalyan’s Bheemla Nayak (Rs 118 crore), and Prabhas and Pooja Hegde-starrer Radhe Shyam (Rs 85 crore).
So, what worked for the Telugu industry at the box office? According to the report, it was consistent movie releases and films that opened to great collections or were appreciated by audiences later on that ensured the Telugu film industry’s steady run at the box office.
The report noted: “RRR contributed 23 per cent single-handedly to the Telugu box office of 2022. While no other film crossed the Rs 150 crore-mark, a consistent flow of releases, that either opened very well or found audience appreciation, ensured steady performance through the year for the Telugu industry.”
But, why have Hindi films stopped performing? PVR Joint Managing Director Sanjeev Bijli told Business Today earlier this month that consumer taste has evolved with the rise of various OTT platforms and they are now expecting better content. Bijli furthermore added that a mix of various types of movies will help keep theatres afloat.
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